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Albion boxer: ‘I learned to punch and not be afraid’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 January 2014 at 12:00 am

Nick Platt will fight in Saturday’s ‘Battle of Batavia’

Photo by Tom Rivers – Nick Platt took up boxing about a year ago and has lost more than 50 pounds. His father Doug Platt is his coach. They train at Phoenix Fitness in Albion.

ALBION – A year ago Nick Platt was 15 when he tried boxing for the first time. Within 20 seconds, he was punched in the face and his nose was bleeding.

Platt didn’t quit. In fact, he has embraced the sport, dropping more than 50 pounds the past year through exercise, training and an improved diet.

Platt, a Kent resident, won his first sanctioned fight last Saturday in Jamestown. He will compete this Saturday in the “Battle of Batavia,” bouts that feature kickboxing.

Nick brings a 1-1 record into his bout. He lost his debut in September when Nick said he was far too timid.

“I learned to punch and not be afraid,” he said this evening at Phoenix Fitness, where he trains with about a half dozen other regulars in the Charisma Boxing Club.

David Gates is the owner of the club and Phoenix Fitness. He also is one of the coaches. Nick’s father Doug Platt also coaches the boxers and has them running at least twice a week to build their endurance. They train at least two other days a week.

Nick was about 200 pounds a year ago. He’s now down to 148.

“I was short and fat,” he said. “I wasn’t active. I ate unhealthy and I never worked out.”

Nick is on the short side for his weight class. But he holds his own.

“He has good defense and relentless pressure,” his father said.

Nick and his father said the sport is safe. The boxers wear padded head gear, mouth guards and padded gloves. Doctors are at all of the bouts and perform physicals before and after the fights.

Nick will be in a three-round bout at Saturday’s kickboxing event at the Clarion in Batavia. The fights start at 6:30 and tickets are available at the door.

Doug Platt, marathon runner and former boxer, would like to see Albion host a boxing event in the future. He is encouraged by the growing number of participants in the Charisma Boxing Club.

“We’d like to see it become one of the premiere boxing clubs in Western New York,” Platt said.

The club has three coaches with John Weber also working with the athletes.

Nick expects to fight regularly at events throughout Upstate New York. He wants to compete in the Junior Olympics in February in Niagara Falls.

He tried baseball and other local youth sports, but he said it wasn’t until he tried boxing, even after that initial bloody nose, that he enjoyed a sport.

Now the junior at Albion is highly motivated, running 4 miles and putting 2-plus hours in the gym.

“It takes a lot of endurance to get hit and to fight for three rounds,” he said.