Fifteen year old Blayke Soares is one tough little Portuguese-American kid. I have been involved with the Fall River Police Athletic League boxing gym as a coach/mentor since moving to New England in October 2007. Little Blayke was a fixture at the PAL gym before I arrived. In fact, he had already earned the admiration and respect of the Golden Gloves and professional fighters who train there and is known to the gym regulars by the nickname “Killer”. He told me that he started boxing when he was only nine years old.
Unfortunately, he comes from a challenged home environment as is the case with many boxing types. His parents are separated and he is regularly shuttled between parental homes. Regardless, he has attempted to make the most of his lot in life. Because boxing is his main interest and possible vehicle for advancing his future socio economic status, he is a tireless gym worker. Blayke trains seven days a weeks and usually is the first one at the gym and the last to leave.
Although he is not yet old enough to enter USA Boxing organization amateur tournaments in Massachusetts, he is able to compete at the Silver Mittens and Junior Olympics level. He has fought at national competitions in both groupings. Despite losing in the finals at these tournaments, he reportedly gave a good account of himself. In addition, he is allowed to box “special category” bouts at local amateur shows. His fights usually resemble Tony Zale – Rocky Graziano action filled slugfests.
He has lost as many bouts as he as won. Nonetheless, his coaches have told him that at his age group, the wins and losses are not the important thing – it is whether he is improving after each bout. The consensus of the boxing cadre at the Fall River PAL is that he seems to be. In addition, his skill level and boxing sense is fast becoming that of a much older and seasoned fighter.
I have advised him to also pursue other interests and athletic activities in case he is not able to catch the brass ring in this tough sport. His decision to date has been to channel all his energy and youthful enthusiasm into become a fighter. His hero is former pro boxer and movie personality Micky Ward. Blayke feels if this Lowell, Massachusetts, guy with average skills and a huge heart and desire to succeed can make it, he should be able to do so too if he sticks to his game plan and gets some lucky breaks.
Campbell Boxing Report