Cody Eisner of Fallston is a big fan of the Baltimore Boxing Club, so much so, that the place has become like a second home to him. “I love it man. It’s like when I don’t come I start feeling weird because I’m so used to coming all the time, it’s like second nature.”
Cody is 16-years old and is a junior at Fallston High and has been boxing for nearly four years. At 138 pounds, he can dance all right. In addition, he is on a serious mission. His goal: winning the National Golden Gloves. The road to the National Golden Gloves: beating out six others in his weight class. These fights begin in February and run through March. First, Cody is going to get his “feet wet” in an amateur bout set to take place Friday, January 23 at Martins West.
If Cody’s training is any indication on how he’ll fare in this quest then it’s safe to say he has a leg up on the competition. He is unrelenting in his training both at home and at the club. He starts his day with a 3-4 mile run before school. When he goes to the club, trainer Moe Rites does not play. Rites makes it clear that he is there “to kick butt,” and get Cody ready. Incidentally, Rites was the 2007 trainer of the year. And he delivers on his promise to work Cody until he has nothing left.
Cody begins by sparring two pro. boxers, one must’ve out-weighed him by a good 30 lbs easy. But that’s how Cody likes it. His philosophy: train hard all the time and it won’t be much of a challenge in the ring. His body will have adapted. Clearly, in this sport, weight matters and Cody needs to work on adding some lb’s to his lean stature. He’s directed by his agent, John Valentini, Jr. (who also represents current and past NFL players) to pack on the protein, bulk up on fiber and watch the fat.
Cody asks what is good and what is not in the way of diet. He seems undaunted by these restrictions.
“At lunch it can be hard, kids are eating ice cream. I can’t eat what I want. I worry about my weight. I want all muscle, I mean I eat carbs and stuff but it’s a constant worry,” he said.
It is a part of the sacrifice, and a part of his focus. He wants it that bad because boxing is something that he likens to a disease. “It’s weird, it’s kind of like a disease with me, I mean its natural- it’s in my blood. If I don’t box for a certain amount of time now I start getting fussy…I like who I am now. I don’t get in trouble, I get good grades I don’t have the time.“
So how did he get started? “I’ve always been fighting and stuff in the streets,” he says and yeah it wasn’t always good. His father Andy interjects, “he was in sixth grade and he was getting bullied and I said Cody you have to defend yourself…” Bullied no more.
After some time sparring in this gritty old-school style club plastered with old clippings of fighters, Cody works on the bag for a while. His admitted strength is his speed. But that does not stop him from wanting more… “I feel if I could have more speed than I can probably win.”
Cody has been going all engines at full steam for more than an hour and the sweat glistens on him, his shorts and tee have sweat spots. Rites grabs his timer from around his neck and saddles up to a bag, holding it steady for Cody. Rites proceeds to time Cody as he makes short swift jabs, alternating with the right and left. Short quick jabs, do not stop and go as fast as you can. Make it count. Cody’s fists, one at a time, bash the bag and retreat. Bash the bag and retreat. His face is red; he strains to continue but pushes past it. He closes his eyes. He does not give in. Bash the bag, retreat. The sweat collects on his entire body now. He grimaces and keeps going. He is breathing through his mouth and it grows louder…finally, he is done.
His hair is soaked and he steps away from the bag. Rites and him begin talking as the gloves come off. Surely, his muscles must be writhing. But you cannot tell. At least not right away. Soon enough though, Cody shows signs of being a mere mortal as he bends down and puts his body weight on his heels. He is recovering.
What is he thinking about when his tank is on empty? “I’m thinking about winning, because if I work harder than my opponent then I am going to win. You got to work hard to win.”
Tickets are still available for January 23. For more information visit: http://www.baltimoreboxing.com/