Boxing Philosopher

” ‘Myths are made for the imagination to breathe life into them.’ Isn’t that good? Isn’t that good?” he recently told a classroom, leading them in a close, line-by-line reading of a Camus essay on how to respond to the absurdity of life. ” ‘A face that toils so close to stones is already stone itself!’ Oh, man. That’s unbelievable. C’mon. That’s an amazing image.”

In the gym, he’s equally insistent on detail and focus. Attention must be paid to the slightest movements of the head, hands and feet.

“Hands up! Hands up!” he shouts to fighters in a sparring session. “Don’t stand in front of him. Work. Work.”

The Circle of Discipline, a place full of boxers of all levels hitting bags and each other, is noisy, crowded, intensely kinetic, but orderly. For Marino, it isn’t a crucible, but a refuge.

“This gym is a very special place,” he said. “There’s such a feeling of family.”


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