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|WM boxing coach goes to Olympic training session|
Boxing coach Sparky McDuffie of West Monroe was in Colorado Springs, Colo. this past week for intensive training of both coaches and fighters in the U.S. Olympic Training Camp hosted by the U.S. Olympic Boxing team.
McDuffie was selected as a coach for the camp and could be in line for future international travel with the team as they get close to picking the fighters who will represent the country in 2012 Summer Olympic games in London, England.
"These camps are great," McDuffie said. "It is real busy. It is pretty much work day and night. Either in meetings or in the gym all day and night."
Top American amateur boxers in the light heavyweight, heavyweight and super heavyweight divisions have been in final preparations for an international competition this fall when the world championships will be held in Italy in the coming weeks. The team was coached by McDuffie and other renowned coaches such as Jaimie Cantu and Dennis Shimmel during the weeklong camp. While no Ouachita Parish boxers were invited to the camp, McDuffie did not rule out the possibility that Louisiana would see a couple of Pelican state fighters invited to future camps.
McDuffie said he enjoyed his own experience after having to turn down the Olympic coaching camp several times in the past.
A football coach at West Ridge Middle School, McDuffie had been invited to several camps during the fall semester in the past and had to turn it down to focus on his football and teaching responsibilities in West Monroe,
"This thing just came up at the right time," McDuffie said. "I was able to make it this time being my first time."
McDuffie had previously been invited to go with the U.S. national team to Russia for an international competition in a showing of how respected he is in national coaching circles.
McDuffie has been pulling double duty as of late as he focuses on training boxers for the popular "Battle Of The Badges" event coming to the Monroe Civic Center at 6 p.m. Aug. 15.
Policemen and firemen will be battling it out to raise money for charity. Police will fight for the Jake Owen Raborn Foundation while the firefighters will battle to raise money for Med-Camps of Louisiana.
The fighters are currently practicing three days per week at a training facility at Academy Sports in West Monroe.