It’s 7:20 p.m., and a group of about a dozen students are chatting outside of the large aerobics room at Yates. They stretch, wrap their wrists and shadowbox as they eagerly wait for boxing class to begin.

“I get to hit things today! I’m so happy!” Natalie Bender (LAW ’06) says as she bounces into Yates Field House.

Tom Quinn (C `55) started offering boxing classes at Yates after building a following at Georgetown Law Center.

“What I’m trying to do here is develop an instructional program to see if we can develop some talent and some interest to see if we can establish a club team in the next few years,” Quinn says.

There are currently about 28 schools with boxing clubs, Quinn says. Georgetown once had boxing at the club and varsity levels itself.

The History

Pugilism got its start on the Hilltop in December 1926 with a group of 70 students. In January 1927, Georgetown entered its first bout, versus the Naval Academy. Over 5,000 spectators attended the fight in Annapolis, Md.

In 1930 varsity boxing disappeared from Georgetown until Marty Gallagher revived the program in 1947. Gallagher, who was considered the best professional heavyweight boxer from Washington, D.C., stepped in to coach the team.

Georgetown had intense rivalries with Catholic University and aryland, and standing room-only crowds went to their fights.

Hoya boxers regularly competed in the Intercollegiate Southern Championship and the Eastern Intercollegiate Boxing Tournament, an impressive feat since boxers at Georgetown did not receive scholarships and usually fought against boxers who got at least partial scholarships, if not full.

Boxing at Georgetown went on hiatus again in the early 1950s, but there was enough student interest to bring the team back in 1955. Quinn was one of these Hoyas.

The Man

Quinn had never boxed before coming to Georgetown, but Gallagher said that “he was a natural and developed a punishing left hook” in a 1967 Washington Post article.

While at Georgetown, Quinn compiled a perfect 25-0 record. His senior year, Quinn entered the NCAA Eastern Intercollegiate Heavyweight Championship and won, knocking out the tournament favorite and a boxer from West Point who outweighed him by 50 pounds.

“Quinn . convinced me he was the best college boxer I ever coached and one of the best I ever saw,” Gallagher said in the Post story.

In the foyer of McDonough Gymnasium, Quinn’s gloves from the championship are on display. The gloves, now a half-century old, rest next to a photograph of the 1948-49 boxing team and a short history of boxing at Georgetown – the only reminders of a once-proud Hoya tradition.

Quinn’s roommate from Georgetown, Tony Essaye (C `55), helped him train for the championships, and the two are back together again for the boxing class at Yates. Essaye assists Quinn with the advanced boxers.

“He came in and got hit in the head everyday,” Quinn says, reminiscing about Essaye’s help during his training for the 1955 championships. “That’s a good friend.”

Quinn had to retire from fighting soon after because of a kidney stone operation, but he never left boxing. During his career as a Wall Street analyst, he fell back into the boxing scene when he was approached to be the promoter for professional boxer Joe Shaw, who eventually ranked fourth in the world.

The Class

Just like learning any sport, students have to learn the fundamentals of boxing first. Most students are eager to jump in and start sparring, but Quinn emphasizes the importance of proper technique.

“I teach form and then speed and then power,” Quinn says.

The first punch students learn is the left jab. Quinn demonstrates in slow motion to a group, pointing out the level of his arm and his stance.

“Every three degrees your head is off, you lose 5 percent of your punching power,” Quinn says.

After he demonstrates and has the group join in, Quinn approaches each student individually, making adjustments while keeping everybody comfortable with his pithy and humorous advice.

“You don’t throw a punch. You punch a punch,” Quinn says. “You throw a baseball. You throw a party.”

The class size ranges from a handful to 30, but Quinn can accommodate any group and students at any skill level.

“The other night I had 20 women arrive. That was exciting,” Quinn says. “I like to teach women because I have found that women have more patience.”

Alison Dimon (NHS ’06) says that the boxing class caught her eye on the Yates schedule at the beginning of the semester.

“It looked like the best class to me,” she says.

Ryan Goethals (MSB ’05), a senior offensive linesman on the Hoya football team, joined the boxing class after football season ended. He says that he thought it would be a good way to stay in shape.

“I used to joke around and spar with my friends at home, so I thought it would be good to learn,” he says.

Once class started, though, he learned that technique trumps power.

“You think it’s about how hard you can punch, but it’s all about football and balance,” Goethals says. “In football, every play, every snap is 100 percent, but boxing matches are a lot longer, so you have to be relaxed.”

While the new students are learning the basics, advanced students work with Essaye, Bender and Aaron Hiller (LAW, PPI ’06) on shadowboxing, drills and partnering. Once students master the fundamentals after a few lessons, they are able to start working on the advanced skills.

Students can use gloves and punching mitts provided by Quinn. The large aerobics room in Yates is equipped with two speed bags and a heavy punching bag. It doesn’t take long for students to get comfortable with the equipment.

“I have students come in after watching Million Dollar Baby saying, `The speed bag was much too high!'” Quinn says.

The only thing missing, Quinn says, is a ring.

Editor’s Note: Classes meet at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Yates Field House and are free of charge to students and Yates members.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.

It’s 7:20 p.m., and a group of about a dozen students are chatting outside of the large aerobics room at Yates. They stretch, wrap their wrists and shadowbox as they eagerly wait for boxing class to begin.

“I get to hit things today! I’m so happy!” Natalie Bender (LAW ’06) says as she bounces into Yates Field House.

Tom Quinn (C `55) started offering boxing classes at Yates after building a following at Georgetown Law Center.

“What I’m trying to do here is develop an instructional program to see if we can develop some talent and some interest to see if we can establish a club team in the next few years,” Quinn says.

There are currently about 28 schools with boxing clubs, Quinn says. Georgetown once had boxing at the club and varsity levels itself.

The History

Pugilism got its start on the Hilltop in December 1926 with a group of 70 students. In January 1927, Georgetown entered its first bout, versus the Naval Academy. Over 5,000 spectators attended the fight in Annapolis, Md.

In 1930 varsity boxing disappeared from Georgetown until Marty Gallagher revived the program in 1947. Gallagher, who was considered the best professional heavyweight boxer from Washington, D.C., stepped in to coach the team.

Georgetown had intense rivalries with Catholic University and aryland, and standing room-only crowds went to their fights.

Hoya boxers regularly competed in the Intercollegiate Southern Championship and the Eastern Intercollegiate Boxing Tournament, an impressive feat since boxers at Georgetown did not receive scholarships and usually fought against boxers who got at least partial scholarships, if not full.

Boxing at Georgetown went on hiatus again in the early 1950s, but there was enough student interest to bring the team back in 1955. Quinn was one of these Hoyas.

The Man

Quinn had never boxed before coming to Georgetown, but Gallagher said that “he was a natural and developed a punishing left hook” in a 1967 Washington Post article.

While at Georgetown, Quinn compiled a perfect 25-0 record. His senior year, Quinn entered the NCAA Eastern Intercollegiate Heavyweight Championship and won, knocking out the tournament favorite and a boxer from West Point who outweighed him by 50 pounds.

“Quinn . convinced me he was the best college boxer I ever coached and one of the best I ever saw,” Gallagher said in the Post story.

In the foyer of McDonough Gymnasium, Quinn’s gloves from the championship are on display. The gloves, now a half-century old, rest next to a photograph of the 1948-49 boxing team and a short history of boxing at Georgetown – the only reminders of a once-proud Hoya tradition.

Quinn’s roommate from Georgetown, Tony Essaye (C `55), helped him train for the championships, and the two are back together again for the boxing class at Yates. Essaye assists Quinn with the advanced boxers.

“He came in and got hit in the head everyday,” Quinn says, reminiscing about Essaye’s help during his training for the 1955 championships. “That’s a good friend.”

Quinn had to retire from fighting soon after because of a kidney stone operation, but he never left boxing. During his career as a Wall Street analyst, he fell back into the boxing scene when he was approached to be the promoter for professional boxer Joe Shaw, who eventually ranked fourth in the world.

The Class

Just like learning any sport, students have to learn the fundamentals of boxing first. Most students are eager to jump in and start sparring, but Quinn emphasizes the importance of proper technique.

“I teach form and then speed and then power,” Quinn says.

The first punch students learn is the left jab. Quinn demonstrates in slow motion to a group, pointing out the level of his arm and his stance.

“Every three degrees your head is off, you lose 5 percent of your punching power,” Quinn says.

After he demonstrates and has the group join in, Quinn approaches each student individually, making adjustments while keeping everybody comfortable with his pithy and humorous advice.

“You don’t throw a punch. You punch a punch,” Quinn says. “You throw a baseball. You throw a party.”

The class size ranges from a handful to 30, but Quinn can accommodate any group and students at any skill level.

“The other night I had 20 women arrive. That was exciting,” Quinn says. “I like to teach women because I have found that women have more patience.”

Alison Dimon (NHS ’06) says that the boxing class caught her eye on the Yates schedule at the beginning of the semester.

“It looked like the best class to me,” she says.

Ryan Goethals (MSB ’05), a senior offensive linesman on the Hoya football team, joined the boxing class after football season ended. He says that he thought it would be a good way to stay in shape.

“I used to joke around and spar with my friends at home, so I thought it would be good to learn,” he says.

Once class started, though, he learned that technique trumps power.

“You think it’s about how hard you can punch, but it’s all about football and balance,” Goethals says. “In football, every play, every snap is 100 percent, but boxing matches are a lot longer, so you have to be relaxed.”

While the new students are learning the basics, advanced students work with Essaye, Bender and Aaron Hiller (LAW, PPI ’06) on shadowboxing, drills and partnering. Once students master the fundamentals after a few lessons, they are able to start working on the advanced skills.

Students can use gloves and punching mitts provided by Quinn. The large aerobics room in Yates is equipped with two speed bags and a heavy punching bag. It doesn’t take long for students to get comfortable with the equipment.

“I have students come in after watching Million Dollar Baby saying, `The speed bag was much too high!'” Quinn says.

The only thing missing, Quinn says, is a ring.

Editor’s Note: Classes meet at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Yates Field House and are free of charge to students and Yates members.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.