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Friday, June 14
The Indiana Daily Student

New boxing club training fighters

Training at B-Town Boxing

The rookie ran three miles from his apartment to the Warehouse for boxing training.

His coach said it’s part of what makes Emmett Dillon special.

“That got my attention right away,” boxing coach Rob Scardina said. “During my time as a boxing coach I get a lot of different people that say, ‘We’re interested in a gym,’ and you know, some show up and some don’t.”

Since the start, Dillon practiced three hours a day, five days a week, practicing punches and feet movement. Scardina had confidence in him from the beginning, but it was unclear whether Dillon could fight. He had never hit anyone in his life.

Now, about a month later, Dillon has committed to compete in the Golden Gloves this March, an amateur boxing competition known for breeding champions during its eight decades of existence.

“Emmett’s one of the few kids that I’ve seen besides my son and a few other kids I’ve had that actually has natural speed, ability, that inner toughness you sometimes need to be an amateur boxer,” Scardina said.

Dillon is training with Scardina’s new boxing club, B-Town Boxing.

Scardina, a certified U.S. boxing trainer, opened B-Town Boxing Jan. 2 at The Warehouse on South Rogers Street to produce champion boxers.

Despite his inexperience, Dillon might be Scardina’s first champ.

Most boxers train for a year or at least six months, competing in five to six fights in preparation for the competition, Scardina said. It’s very uncommon for someone to enter the Golden Gloves without any fights underneath his belt.

“It’s a pretty big leap of faith,” he said. “It shows me he’s somebody that has a lot of faith and self-confidence.”

On January 8, when Dillon first showed up at The Warehouse, he walked in on the beginning of one of Scardina’s first boxing classes in Bloomington.

B-town Boxing opened January 2 after Scardina moved from Lizton, Ind., to be closer to his 7-year old daughter, who lives in Brown County. He operated a boxing gym in Lizton.

When he moved to Bloomington, he contracted with the Warehouse, a Christian-based community outreach center for group activities, to train inside the facility. He has been working with about seven boxers, including his stepson and Dillon.

“I do this for the kids,” Scardina said.

He said it had brought his family closer, particularly because he has been training his stepson.

B-Town Boxing meets in The Warehouse, which houses multiple Christian ministry oriented organizations.

Dillon has missed practice only once.

Originally from Chicago, Dillon attended IU for the 2011-12 school year, studying business management and competing as a starter for the Division I lacrosse team.

The out-of-state tuition, after three semesters, was too much for Dillon and his family to afford. He said that’s when he decided to drop out and get an apartment in Bloomington to gain residency.

Dillon said he plans on returning to IU this summer.

“I’m very goal-oriented so usually when I start something I don’t give up,” he said. “So I don’t see myself quitting anytime soon.”

It was one day in September, long before Dillon knew B-Town Boxing existed, when he came across Manny Pacquiao.

Pacquiao was, at the time, considered the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, and he is a southpaw — a lefty — just like Dillon.

Dillon wrestled in the southpaw stance for all four years of high school, he said.

It is now the stance he is most comfortable boxing in.

“I watched the replay of the Manny Pacquiao Antonio Maragarito fight and I kind of just said to myself, ‘I think I can do that,’” Dillon said.

From then on Dillon prepared his body for fighting condition running three to five miles every other day while weight training at Cardinal Fitness.

It wasn’t until New Year’s that he came across B-Town Boxing’s ad on Craigslist.
Scardina said he received an email from him saying that he would be coming by the gym to talk about training.

Scardina’s coaching style is to ease boxers into the sport. This is why Dillon has just recently sparred for the first time.

Dillon said he plans on competing as a sub-novice middleweight, meaning he’s had less than five fights.

“I kind of pride myself in taking people that don’t necessarily have those attributes and helping them get them,” Scardina added. “But Emmett ... he makes my job a little easier.”

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