Coach Mike of Kayo Boxing in Hempstead, NY is perhaps the literal definition of a FighterHeart Athlete. Under his fathers tutelage, he eventually accomplished his primary goal of becoming a pro-boxer. It was at this time, with the blessing of his father, that Mike chose to join the Navy. Following his time serving his country, Mike decided that pro-boxing was not in the cards for him. He spoke to us about why he opened up a community boxing facility, how he takes in clients of all kinds, and what he hopes to accomplish next.
Mike Corleone was born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in Long Island, NY. He came up a physical specimen becoming the captain of his wrestling, track, and lacrosse team in high school. One of his most impressive statistics was how he was able to run an unfathomable four minute and thirty six second mile, “when I say I ran, I ran” he said. So needless to say, this guy was a natural born athlete. After high school Mike decided to serve his country and join the Navy. While in the Navy Mike excelled at the deep diving program placing third in his class. When his time in the Navy came to an end, it was time for Mike to begin his next journey.
Mike’s father owned a clothing factory in Puerto Rico and invited Mike to come work there. Mike accepted and headed down. One day, after going on a run, he came across someone who asked if he wanted to enter a boxing tournament. “A guy comes up to me and says hey kid you ever box before? Want to fight?” said Mike. Mike accepted the offer, but little did he know he was going up against the amateur champion of their town in his very first fight. It was a setup, he was supposed to get knocked out or at the very least lose the fight. After getting hit hard in the nose, Mike began to take the fight seriously and ended up winning against all odds. After a year of towns people asking Mike’s father to let Mike fight again, he gave in and enrolled his son in a high level boxing academy. Mike honed his skills and kept fighting until 2003 when he had his son Dominic and decided to move back to NY and open his own gym, Kayo Boxing.
Fast forward 18 1/2 years and Kayo Boxing is still going strong. Mike serves his community by training people of all different shapes and sizes. Mike talked to us about what he says when parents come into his gym wanting him to train their kids to beat people up; “People always say I want to send my kid to boxing so they can learn to beat people up, I tell them its not about that, it’s about learning how to deal with an obstacle and going around or over it” he said. Mike has lived an interesting life, full of athletic accomplishments and inspiring stories. He has shown the world what it means to possess a Fighters Heart countless times and it doesn’t look like he plans on stopping anytime soon.