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Brooksville Battle III and Team Wolfpack

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On the 22nd of July, the best boxers from around the state will converge on Hernando County for Brooksville Battle III. One of the fighters to step into the ring will represent the local Team Wolfpack Boxing at the Jerome Brown Convention Center. The event is sanctioned by USA Boxing and will start at 2:00 PM on Sunday. The Brooksville-based boxer Justin Concepcion will fight in the middleweight class. The men who are preparing him for this event include Coach Larry Thorogood, who has been involved with boxing since 1975, and Coach Jackie Wilson, who is the head coach and owner of Team Wolfpack Boxing.

“We do all we can to prepare the boxers both mentally and physically,” Coach Thorogood said. “They’re working hard in the gym Monday through Friday, speed bag, heavy bag, shadow boxing, mitts, jump rope, roadwork, sparring, ab work, neck work. When they step through the ropes on July 22, they’ll be on the verge of the toughest six minutes of their lives.”

Concepcion’s Wolfpack teammates Darius Cordero and David Gonzalez were also set to compete, but they have since dropped out of the competition due to unforeseen circumstances.

This training has helped these men find success in their recent outings, with David Gonzalez emerging victorious in his last fight in Tampa two months prior. Justin Concepcion took the win in his division in the Florida State Junior Olympics earlier in the year as well. Cordero had looked to compete in Orlando on the first of July, but his opponent exceeded the weight limit. Later this month, Gonzalez will face off against Santiago Guevara from Ocala Boxing Academy, Concepcion will square off against Rico Toro of Reyes Macho Time, and Cordero will verse George Del Junco, who trains with Morales Boxing Club.

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As the events of the last few years threw many schedules into disarray, it became difficult for Coach Wilson to train athletes. With a proper place to prepare, the head coach is excited to get the boxers back in the ring and get some more fights under his belt.

“It’s me returning to fighting again,” Coach Wilson said. “When Covid came, I had to close down my other gym, and we reopened here. So we’re doing an event at the Jerome Brown Center on the 22nd. All the fighters from around the state of Florida are going to come fight, and we’re going to see who is the best fighter there.”

The coaches and players face many challenges leading up to and during the fights. Even minute details, such as the weight of the boxers’ gloves, must be considered. As the gloves the fighters wear are six ounces lighter in the competition than regular gloves, this makes their hands faster and more powerful as a result. This can have a marked impact during those critical six minutes in the ring. Ultimately for Coach Thorogood, he feels “the coaches are giving 100 percent to the boxers, and we expect the boxers to reciprocate accordingly.”

While winning is obviously a priority for the head coach, there is more to his instruction than being the best in the ring. Whether his fighters become professional boxers or choose a different path, Coach Wilson endeavors to instill in his athletes lessons that will carry them throughout their lives.

“The goal is to win,” Coach Wilson said. “That’s what we train for. We train to win. Their mindset is to win… It’s a metaphor for life. So not only winning in the ring. I teach them how to win in life, also. So, on that night, we’re going into that particular event to win the fight. Yeah, but they train hard, and they’re ready for it.”

Team Wolfpack Boxing Center is located at 13479 Chambord St., Brooksville
Tickets are available for Brooksville Battle III at Jerome Brown Community Center, 99 Jerome Brown Place. Tickets: front row $45, others $35, children under 5 are free. Competitors Weigh in 9-11 am on July 22. Doors open at 1 pm and Bout starts at 2 pm.

Team Wolfpack boxer. Photo by Austyn Szempruch.

Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch is a Graduate with Distinction, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. He's written numerous articles reporting on Florida Gators football, basketball, and soccer teams; the sports of rugby, basketball, professional baseball, hockey, and the NFL Draft. Prior to Hernando Sun he was a contributor to ESPN, Gainesville, FL and Gator Country Multimedia, Inc. in Gainesville, FL, and Stadium Gale.
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