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Refocused and ready to fight : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Refocused and ready to fight
Rocket Boxing increases training in preparation for tournament season

by Kristin Sharp


Summer is typically a quieter time of year in the boxing ring, but August has been an exciting time at Rocket Boxing gym in Oswego.

On Aug. 3, a production crew was on site to film a scene for a boxing movie titled," Stand Up and Fight." The movie is expected to be released in the second quarter of 2015.

"The movie producer, film and crew, actors and actresses came over here. It's about a female going through hard times in life and is using boxing and other stuff to get strong in life again," said Chris Chodhary. "They filmed part of the move here and it was really cool to see them do that. ... A lot of my boxers showed up that day because they needed a lot of extras working out in the background. It was really exciting."

Chodhary is the owner of Rocket Boxing and certified USA boxing coach as well as a martial arts master.

The gym, which has been opened for six years, changed locations about a year ago and Chodhary has been enjoying the new accommodations - as well its growing popularity. The larger space allows for more training room indoors - and more space for outdoor workouts as well.

"It has a nice lobby area now for parents to view the training, and it has more equipment now as far as speed bags and things. I've got better circulation now too, but I still want them to sweat," Chodhary said with a laugh. "It's really nice."

Rocket Boxing pulls from Naperville, Joliet and Shorewood as well as towns like Yorkville and Earlville.

"When people talk about boxing in any of the surrounding towns, they say 'you need to go see Rocket' as far as boxing is concerned," Chodhary said. "We have a niche. We're a specialty. Even though I'm a martial arts master, I just focus on boxing. I don't want to be the jack-of-all trades. We take one specialty and really focus on it so that we can do something with it."

Chodhary is hoping to match up a few of his boxers for August fights before the bigger push begins this fall.

"The kids are training really hard and some of my older students are back now," Chodhary said. "The summer is a little slower for me - families are on vacation, traveling and doing other sports. We work on conditioning all year round, but when it comes time for tournaments and fights, we really up the training and intensity. We start doing a lot of pad work, focus training and we cover a lot of strategy and philosophy."

The amateur boxers will increase training this fall for the first major tournament of the season - the Silver Gloves. The coach expects a group of four or five from Team Rocket to enter the December tournament. The Golden Gloves arrives in March.

"September starts the big push to make sure they're ready for the Silver Gloves," Chodhary said. "I've got a good, strong group this year."

Kristy Rodriguez made her debut in the Golden Gloves last season, competing in March after previously entering the Silver Gloves.

Chodhary expects another strong season from Rodriguez this year. She is a 2012 State Silver Gloves champion and, in 2013, became a USA Boxing state champion, USA Boxing regional champion and USA National Junior Olympic silver medalist.

"She fought somebody who has been winning the Golden Gloves for the past five years, and this was her first year. She had some pretty stiff competition," Chodhary said.

Joey Lumino is also a two-time State Silver Gloves champion, winning the title in 2013 and 2013.

But Rocket Boxing isn't just for those interested in stepping into the ring. Many come to the gym for cardiovascular conditioning, strength training and self defense.

"About three-quarters of the people who are here are just people who want to get in a good workout and learn something new. A lot of them want to lose weight," Chodhary said. "It's different. I've got a lot of different people in here. You'd be surprised."

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