For one of the top 10 coolest moments in my life, I have to thank my coaches for leading me to a New England Golden Glove Championship victory. When I made the decision to box last August, I was just looking for something new and exciting to do, while still getting in a great workout. I never imagined I would be the 132 lb. New England Golden Glove Novice Champion, let alone be fighting in the tournament. After the final bell rang, I ran back to my coaches and I knew I had done something right when Tom hugged me and lifted me off the ground. “You just won the New England Golden Gloves!” It didn’t seem real. That was until the ref called my opponent and me back to the center of the ring. “And the winner, by unanimous decision, coming from the blue corner is Coast Guard’s Mary Hazen!” It was unbelievable!
The day started off like any day of one of my fights. I would go through moments when I would be so nervous my stomach would cramp up, and then the cramps would slowly fade away as I didn’t think about what was ahead of me. This happened frequently throughout the day. At 1600, LT Webb, Trevor, and I loaded into the van and I quickly fell asleep, more or less to keep my mind from wondering. When we got to the venue in Lowell, Massachusetts, I weighed in and got checked out by the doctor. After being herded around, we were finally directed to the locker room, where Tom wrapped my hands and gloved me up. I warmed up, starting out with relaxed and easy movements, working up a little sweat, and then Tom had me work on some combinations. Once he was pleased, he sent me off and I said my three Hail Marys (one for each round) and tried to clear my mind.
When the second bout of the night made their way to the ring, my opponent and I stepped up on deck. Tom kept telling me to relax and stay loose. I was so nervous! But was able to keep relaxed by jumping around and reminding myself that Tom, Mike, and LT Webb had prepared me for this fight! They all knew I would succeed; I had to have the same confidence. The winner of bout two was announced and Tom and LT Webb escorted me to the ring.
My nerves subsided as the ref touched my opponent’s and my gloves, and the first bell rang. I went in full force, just like Tom had said to. I fought behind my defense and used my jabs to my advantage, mixing up different combinations and combining head and body shots. The bell ending the first round rang. I returned to the blue corner feeling pretty good, as Tom and LT Webb told me to keep up what I was doing. The second bell rang; round two had begun. Much like the first round, I went out strong, using mainly defense and my jabs. The bell ending the second round rang. Again, Tom and LT Webb told me to keep it up. The third round went similar to the first two and at the sound of the final bell, I ran back to the blue corner to get my headgear removed, where Tom picked me up and was the first to unofficially announce me New England Golden Glove Champion!
I was on cloud nine! I have won games and races in my day, but I never fathomed the idea of winning a Golden Glove Championship title! It is an amazing feeling! If there is one last thing to say, it’s that I have been incredibly blessed and would be nowhere near the person I am today without every single person in my life. I am so grateful for the relationships I have built over the years and am so appreciative of my support system. I love you all and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
More about Mary.