A Stinging Ring Lesson for Daunt
The road to Madison Square Garden ended for Richie Daunt, a 152-pound boxer from Montauk, Friday night in Queens as he lost a unanimous decision to Patrick Gough, who is to fight Daunt’s frequent sparring partner, Zach Bloomberg, in a semifinal novice bout in Patchogue soon.
During a conversation the next morning at the MuvStrong fitness studio in East Hampton, Daunt said Bloomberg’s manager had told him that, frankly, he wasn’t unhappy that Daunt had lost,
“ ‘because when you and Zach spar it’s always a war.’ ”
When it was suggested that one could learn from one’s losses, Daunt readily agreed. “I wasn’t working in with the jab, I was just walking right in, and I wasn’t moving my head either. I’d be lunging when I should have been getting inside first, and then getting back out. I don’t know what it was. . . . My head wasn’t 100 percent there. I looked like the sloppier fighter.”
The defeat wouldn’t stop him, however, the 27-year-old Montauker said. Having fought 10 times now, he would move up into the open class, which will be “a lot more challenging, I’ll be fighting everyone . . . no more games . . . the real deal.”
His next fight, he thinks, will be on July 12 at his home gym, Finest Fitness in Patchogue. He’ll try for what used to be known as the Golden Gloves again next winter, but this time, as aforesaid, in the open division, “probably at 141 pounds. . . . I’ve got to change my diet to get down there.”
There is no doubt that Daunt can punch. An 18-minute nonstop workout on MuvStrong’s bags in its basement room that followed the interview attested to that. “Six rounds on the bags is like three in the ring,” he said. “And of course the bags don’t hit back,” he laughed.
“I coulda beat this kid. I was loading up instead of boxing, going for knockout punches instead of boxing. Haymakers. I should have settled down, got in and got out. I was chasing him all around the ring.”
And when he did, Gough would tie him up in such a way that when he tried to free his right arm it would look as if he were the one who was holding, Daunt said. The commentators held forth afterward on the subtle tactic, which they guessed may have had Irish roots, but by then the fight was over.
Asked how he would grade his performance, Daunt said, “I’d give myself a D. . . . My first bout was the best, the one in Yonkers. I’d give myself an A for that, and probably a B for the last one. This kid was fighting his fight. I could have done a lot more.”
“Zach fought the same night I did and stopped his guy in the first round, but he’ll have trouble with Gough if he doesn’t stop him early. He’ll gas out. This kid’s in shape.”
Speaking of being in shape, Daunt said he would continue abiding by a strict regimen that includes frequent sparring sessions up the Island, “and I’m going to add a lot of classes here at MuvStrong to go with the ones I’m giving at Body Tech at the Playhouse and at my sister Lacey’s Ideal Living studio” at the Albatross in Montauk. He would, he said, incorporate boxing moves into all of the workouts he oversees.
“My dad said it seemed as if something was on my mind that night. . . . Yes, he came, so did Tom Piacentine and Chris Kalimnios, who owns the Royal Atlantic. Camille [Erb, his girlfriend] and my sister Lacey . . . Kenny Wessberg was there . . . there were at least 10 to 15 from out this way.”
It was, he agreed, a long ride home. “I was pissed . . . I don’t know what it was. My head wasn’t there. Some nights it’s there, some nights it’s not. I didn’t do the plan at all. I was trying to make big punches — one or two rather than three or five. I should have been working the head and the body instead of aiming for his head. I won those first two fights because I worked the bodies. . . . He was holding the whole time and I was getting called for it. I should have just stepped back and caught him coming in. . . .”
“He was the better fighter last night. If it were today, I’d beat him. I’d step back and use my jab, one or two jabs every time before I walk in. Then a straight right. I would move my head. . . .I stood there like a statue.”