For one student, boxing is more than just a sport

A student at Cabrini University has regained his passion to box again after feeling he was cheated out of his last tournament. When seeing others achieve his goal of becoming a national champion, he believes that he is ready to get back into the ring and take the next step towards becoming a professional boxer. 

“I see fighters that I know I can beat that became world champions,” James Kaihorn, a junior communication major, said. “If they can be world champions I know that I can be a world champion.” 

Kaihorn, known to his friends as Nova, quit boxing after losing a fight in a tournament that he knew he should have won. In 2015 he attended a boxing event in Atlanta, Georgia called “The Title Tournament.” This event consisted of three fights on different days. Nova won his fight against his first two opponents and was on his way to the finals. During his finals match, Nova dropped his opponent twice giving him two eight counts. 

An eight-count is also known as a protection count and is scored the same as a knockdown. This is when the referee stops the fight for the safety of the opponent and counts to eight. During this count, the referee will determine whether or not the fighter can continue the match. However, the fight went on until the end when the judges determined the winner. The judges decided that Nova lost the fight. This decision not only made Nova upset but the entire audience and other contenders were shocked.

Because of the judge’s decision other coaches started to pull their fighters out of the tournament because they also felt that they were going to get cheated out of a win. After the tournament, get the decision overturned which is when the judges review the entire fight again and possibly make another decision about the outcome of the fight. However, Nova later found out that his opponent’s coach was also an official for the boxing tournament. He believes that they cheated.

Photo by James Kaihorn

This loss was hard to comprehend but Nova believes that in boxing there is no one else to blame, except for yourself. “There’s no team, it’s just you and you’re opponent,” Nova said  

Nova first fell in love with boxing during his childhood years. He would go to the gym to see his older brother and cousins box. One day while he was at the gym watching when his brother’s coach came up to him and told him to throw a jab. He wanted to train Nova just like his older brother. He was a natural considering he would always go to the gym to see his brother box.

Nova ended his boxing career with a record of 15-5 but is planning on bouncing back. One of his best moments as a boxer was when he participated in the Junior Olympic Nationals. Before the tournament, Nova was wondering whether or not he could fight because he was sick. His mother gave him many different medicines but it didn’t help.

Nova told his mother that he couldn’t continue but she refused to believe that and convinced Nova to participate even if he felt like he was going to throw up. Surprisingly Nova went on to win every single fight and win the Junior Olympic Tournament.

“Moments like these are what makes me miss the sport the most,” Nova said.

Photo by James Kairhorn