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Arriving in Vero Beach, we came to a small industrial area and found Elite Boxing’s training facility. It is a modest, two room affair with one ring, one heavy bag, and one speed bag. In this humble place, the trainer Buddy McGirt holds forth with his students of the Sweet Science. Here were the jump-rope boards, the “shadow” boxing mirror, and the ring where the likes of Antonio Tarver, Arturo Gatti, Leila Ali, Joel Casamayor and Buddy McGirt’s son, James, train for their future bouts.
Approaching the open bay doors of the building, we could hear the roar of the speed bag, and whistling slap of a jump-rope. There were, perhaps, ten people there working out, and tending to the fighters. As we stepped around the edge of a wall to view the sparring ring, there we saw, dancing on the canvass, the almost perfect prototype of a 130 lb. boxer. It was Joel Casamayor. He had just finished sparring, and was doing a little freestyle to cool down a bit.