Mike Romanelli is aiming high.
The 17-year-old senior at
Crystal Lake South High School is a wrestler that aspires to make it to
state this coming season.
He’s been cutting weight.
He’s 200 pounds and wants to get down to
the 195-pound class. He said a boxer’s workout — including about 20 rounds of
sparring Saturday and Sunday — is helping.
“I’d rather work out than diet,”
Romanelli said, explaining why he’s a regular at the
of Hard Knocks in Crystal Lake. He’s hoping to knock off about five more
pounds before the wrestling season starts. He's not in a fall sport, so he
needs to stay active, he said.
“The next weight up (in high school
wrestling) is 220 pounds,” Romanelli added. "I could go up."
“He could always go to the higher weight
class by using the Lou Malnati’s workout,” joked Gary Dobry, head trainer at
Dobry said he first trained Romanelli
when Romanelli was 8 years old, when Dobry’s boxing gym was in Palatine. He
also trained Romanelli’s father, Mike Romanelli Sr.
Dobry said the younger Romanelli is at a
level in which he is good enough to be competitive in the Chicago Golden
Gloves boxing tournament.
“You can’t teach toughness,” Dobry said.
“Mike’s a tough kid. He hits hard. He can take a punch. He just need’s to work
on his range and learn how to work the angles a little more.”
But Romanelli said he’s having none of
Once the wrestling season starts in
November, you won’t see Romanelli in the boxing gym until next spring.
“Wrestling season is the same time as
the Golden Gloves,” Romanelli said. “When I’m wrestling, I don’t have time for
And that’s O.K. with Dobry.
“Some people just want a boxer’s workout
but don’t want to compete,” Dobry said. “That’s fine.”
Romanelli said working out as a boxer
has helped with the mechanics of wrestling. He said he feels like he’s a
faster, has better footwork on the wrestling mat.
Pug's Boxing Club welcomes British veteran boxing trainer Tony Prignits to the
Pug's Boxing Team training staff. Head trainer, and Hard Knocks' owner, Gary
Dobry says, "Tony has trained me personally for years and that relationship
eventually evolved into Tony helping me work some of my own fighters. I'm big
on technical skills, turning out 'technicians'. Tony is that old-school, Jake
LaMotta-type of trainer that motivates fighters to be finishers, punishers.
He's the proverbial "Mick" type of trainer of Rocky fame. Tony helps me
produce well-conditioned wrecking machines that can get the job done. I soon
realized that the marriage of our training approaches was producing
well-schooled fighters that were finishers as well." Pug's members can get 3
months of training with Tony and the Pug's Boxing Club for only $150.
Non-members can get 3-months of competitive training with Dobry and Tony for
$299. Call us for more details: 815 356 6572