Boxing coach sharing experience

Published 10:11 am Friday, October 2, 2009

CHESAPEAKE — Noah Kirk understands what it takes to be a champion. With an uncle as a professional boxer he grew up around fighters and has seen what qualities matter to win in the ring.

“Heart gets you farther than anything else,” Kirk said. “Just being motivated. Anyone can put on a pair of boxing globes and get in the ring. But you need heart to be a champion.”

Now he want to impart those lessons he learned growing up to other youngsters at the new boxing program Kirk has started at the Chesapeake Community Center.

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Right now, he coaches every Wednesday and Friday at the center starting at 5:30 p.m. There youth learn more than technique; they also concentrate on conditioning and strengthening exercises that can run the gamut from roadwork, shadow boxing to push ups and jumping jacks.

“When you are in the ring boxing even for one minute, you need good lungs,” he said. “And boxers have to keep their hands up and elbows in. A better boxer, one more skilled, will get beat if he is not conditioned.”

Kirk works with those at the center with an eye to getting them ready for competitions like Golden Gloves, Silver Gloves and Junior Olympics, which gives them the opportunity to get to see other parts of the United States. And he is not a novice to coaching. He has worked with programs in Ashland, Ky.

“We travel all over the country,” he said. “Memphis, all over Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois.”

On Saturday, Oct. 10, the Chesapeake center will host the Southern Golden Gloves Fall-Brawl, starting at 3 p.m.

“There will be a lot of different teams coming in for match bouts,” Kirk said.

Teams from Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, Ashland, Ky., Huntington, W.Va., Lexington and Louisville are among those scheduled to participate.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students with half the proceeds going to the community center and the other half to Kirk’s program so he can upgrade equipment.

It’s the individual aspect of the sport that appeals to Kirk.

“In boxing it is you and the other guy. You can’t put the blame on anyone but yourself,” he said. “A coach can coach you all you want, but when you are in that ring, it is up to you.”