In a small, dilapidated room with no ventilation in Withrow Court, inside a ring that has seen its fair share of sweat, blood and tears, the Miami University boxing club works to make itself stand out amongst the other clubs sports that Miami has to offer. The club, which competes in the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) under the umbrella of USA Boxing, has made some drastic changes to its organizational structure in recent years.
Senior Lauren Pinkerton, who has served as both president and treasurer in the club, discussed how the club transitioned into becoming a more inclusive program.
“When I joined the team in the fall of 2010, under Mike Argentine, the club worked very exclusively with competitive only members, and carried a very elitist view of ourselves,” Pinkerton said. “Once Argentine retired and Coach [Eric] Buller came in, the club immediately took a 180. At first it was very hard for me to adjust to the idea of letting anyone in and creating the recreational side, but slowly, I was convinced that this new tactic was the way to go.”
The boxing club has made several moves in order to increase its visibility in Oxford and elsewhere. The previous regime did not allow for members to attract attention to the club or make clothing that represents the club. Under Buller, the inclusiveness can be felt as the team members can represent their club with pride and encourage their friends and classmates to be a part of boxing club. The team also holds events at Buffalo Wild Wings on the night of a big Pay-Per-View, helping build a strong sense of camaraderie and solidarity.
The club has also done well this year, competing in three invitational with the most recent being the Miami Fight Night Invitational, which was held in the Withrow Gym March 1 and featured competitors from Army, Michigan, Purdue, Eastern Michigan and Lock Haven. Pinkerton spoke glowingly of the team’s performance, which defeated the boxing powerhouse from West Point in three of the many bouts on the night.
“If I wasn’t already persuaded that this current team is far more dedicated, hard working and serious than the team I was originally brought into, my doubts were put to rest this Saturday at our annual home show,” Pinkerton said. “It wasn’t just the fact that I saw the highest percentage of wins from Miami than I have at any other home show in my college career: it was that I saw more perseverance with each one of my teammates than I ever have seen before. Each one of them fought harder than I’ve ever witnessed. It is such a privilege to watch this team evolve as it has, and knowing that our legacy will only strengthen in the years to come.”
The boxers will be hosting the NCBA Mid-West Regional and Sub-Novice Tournament in the Student Recreation Center (REC?) the weekend of March 21-23. The team will hope to compete well enough in order to make it to West Point, N.Y. for the NCBA Championships that will take place April 3-5.