Brooklyn duo Will Rosinsky and Felipe Gomez fight for 'change'

By Vivek Wallace: Few in life understand the principles behind the laws of attraction. Even fewer believe it exist. Every now and then examples surface in life that give us bona fide proof that everything happens for a reason, and in the case of light heavyweight Will Rosinsky (6-0, 6KO's) and his trainer Felipe Gomez, this effect could be no closer to the truth. Two men, born in two separate era's, from two totally contrasting backgrounds, yet somehow the stars aligned at precisely the right time and place.. Childhood dreams filled the memory of these two men, and despite being pursued apart, they now find themselves on the brink of a chase at life altering fortunes together. For NYPD Sergent turned boxing trainer, Felipe Gomez, the journey started back in 1985. It was a balmy day in New York City, yet he and 11 of his closest friends set out on a 2 hour journey, by foot, to find out if they had the 'stuff' that champions are made of. Two decades later, time, and other circumstances watched that once dedicated supporting cast fall by the waist side, leaving Gomez as the last man standing.

For Will Rosinsky, his path would take a different trail. One that has landed him in a place that most don't feel he belongs. In the case of Gomez, many could easily fathom a Police Officer engaging in a sport like boxing, but for Rosinsky, there would be no such parallel. Conventional wisdom tells us that being a college graduate trained to educate kids, a class room is the best place for Rosinsky. That wisdom is contradicted when noted by the fact that this same man is a world class boxer who stands as the only fighter in history (81 years and counting) to win the Golden Gloves Light Heavyweight tournament four consecutive years. Despite the contradictions, every step along the way in the journey of these two lives have surrounded one mission, two acts, and three words. Those three words...simple....Serve and protect.

After turning to the sport of boxing in their younger days to stay clear of the ills found on the streets of New York, this talented boxer and his trainer have tapped into that outlet once again by opening the doors to a local gym of their own. When asked about the joint venture, the dedication and vision of the project beamed through from both men. Rosinsky chimed in by saying that "being both a teacher and a fighter gave me the drive to want to have a gym. Boxing and teaching are two totally different ends of the spectrum, but the parallel is the fact that they both reward the same. In boxing, you're working your ass off in the gym and you're rewarded by not only the purse you receive but also the fact that you get to demonstrate your skills in front of a crowd. In teaching, you don't necessarily get to showcase any skill, but when you see the progress kids make and realize that it was possible because you extended your hand to help, there's no reward greater". For Gomez, it was the same sentiments echoed, but from a different perspective. When asked about his vision behind the gym, he responded in saying "One of the things that kept me clean and off the streets was boxing. A lot of guys I knew were into drugs, hanging on the streets, but I turned my interest to the gym, which kept me drug free. I had a great mentor, (Jimmy O'Pharrow), but I also had many challenges, so it was a healthy distraction and if I can help turn one kids life around with that distraction, I feel I've done my job".

Gomez's own boxing career was cut short when he decided to answer the call of duty and become a local police rather than turn pro. His passion for the sport took him back to the ring to compete, but laws in place which prohibited pro boxing as an officer would end those hopes. He did try to overturn that rule legally, but fell short in his attempt. That temporary loss set the stage for another victory of sorts, as he now lives out his dream vicariously through the efforts of his pupil and business partner, Will Rosinsky. With a ton of progress made and a vision ahead to conquer more, these two men remain bonded like few other tandems in the sport. As they prepare for a May 8th showdown, scheduled to take place in New York City, they do so knowing that they're not only fighting to advance themselves in the sport, but also the hopes and dreams of all the lives they continue to change.

Article posted on 23.04.2009

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