'Friday Night Fights' Brings Amateur Boxing to Romeoville - Mongo McMichaels

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1 - 13 of 13 Comments Last updated Saturday Aug 2
Friday Night Fights

Romeoville, IL

#1 Aug 26, 2011
Someone told me there is an article in The Patch about young children boxing at a bar in Romeoville today (Friday). I don’t know who let this happen. The Mayor? The Board Members of Romeoville? Steve the owner? But, this says “WRONG” all over it. Kids as young as 8 years old will be boxing at Mongo McMichael’s. If this village doesn’t stop this, I hope there is a State law to prevent this. Whether it’s in the parking lot or in the bar. What’s the difference? Never heard of children boxing at a bar AND ITS ON A FRIDAY NIGHT!! I hope someone stops this and calls in the State Police. There has to be a law to prevent this. What has this village become? Wow a new low for Romeoville.

“Blood Roses”

Since: Sep 09

Villa Park, IL

#2 Aug 26, 2011
It seems to me from this article, they are doing this right, and it's no different the karate tournaments. It's not like these kids are being forced and it's their parents that signed them up. You have to have trust in these kids parents. I really don't see the bad in it as long as its done right.

Young fighters will step into the ring for their first real bouts this week as part of what organizers are billing as the first-ever USA Boxing-sanctioned amateur event in Romeoville history.

All Ages Red Dragon Martial Arts will host “Friday Night Fights,” pitting local martial arts students against youths from other studios and park districts from throughout Chicagoland, starting at 8 p.m. Friday at Mongo McMichael’s, 1101 N. Independence Blvd.

Mark Caruso, owner of Red Dragon, said about a dozen students, including his daughter, have signed on to be part of the event, which he hopes is just the beginning for amateur boxing in Romeoville.

“This is a pilot for what I want to do,” Caruso said, noting he hopes eventually to prepare students to compete at the Golden Gloves and Olympic levels.

“That’s our goal — to bring Golden Gloves to Romeoville,” he said.“But first, we need a team.”

Caruso said he also hopes boxing will provide a positive outlet for area youths.

“It’s for the kids,” he said.“It’s about giving kids the opportunity to train and put themselves through a mental and physical challenge every day.”

While the boxers are young, Caruso said he has not personally heard any complaints or concerns from community members about the all-ages boxing event.

According to the Red Dragon Martial Arts Facebook page, the fighters range in age from 8 to 16.

Caruso’s daughter, Toni, is the youngest at age 8.

“Hopefully we can find a match for her so she can have her boxing debut,” he said, adding the boxers are carefully matched before going into the ring.

While the fighters’ weights and ages play a large role, so does skill level.

“If we’ve got someone who’s been boxing for five years, we’re not going to put them up against someone who’s new,” Caruso said. Coaches from several area gyms have been part of the matchmaking process, he added.

Caruso said there will be ring girls at the event, but noted that they’ll be dressed differently than the scantily clad girls sometimes associated with professional boxing matches.

“The girls are all 21 years old and work for Mongo McMichael’s,” he said.“It’s done tastefully. We’ll have children there, and it’s going to be a mixed crowd, so we have to be respectful.”

The outdoor boxing show will kick off at 8 p.m. Caruso said the ring and seating will be set up behind the restaurant, and roughly 10 bouts are scheduled.

“It’s about a three-hour show,” he said.

Tickets are available at Mongo McMichael’s. Prices range from $15 for general admission to $25 for a VIP table seat near the ring.
Level head

Romeoville, IL

#3 Aug 26, 2011
I checked and found out that the event is actually sanctioned by the State and must operate under state law. The state officials will be on site along with all necessary emergency and security personnel. All paid for by the event organizers. It also seems that the majority of the people attending are the parents and family of the participants.
Crimson Rose wrote:
It seems to me from this article, they are doing this right, and it's no different the karate tournaments. It's not like these kids are being forced and it's their parents that signed them up. You have to have trust in these kids parents. I really don't see the bad in it as long as its done right.
Young fighters will step into the ring for their first real bouts this week as part of what organizers are billing as the first-ever USA Boxing-sanctioned amateur event in Romeoville history.
All Ages Red Dragon Martial Arts will host “Friday Night Fights,” pitting local martial arts students against youths from other studios and park districts from throughout Chicagoland, starting at 8 p.m. Friday at Mongo McMichael’s, 1101 N. Independence Blvd.
Mark Caruso, owner of Red Dragon, said about a dozen students, including his daughter, have signed on to be part of the event, which he hopes is just the beginning for amateur boxing in Romeoville.
“This is a pilot for what I want to do,” Caruso said, noting he hopes eventually to prepare students to compete at the Golden Gloves and Olympic levels.
“That’s our goal — to bring Golden Gloves to Romeoville,” he said.“But first, we need a team.”
Caruso said he also hopes boxing will provide a positive outlet for area youths.
“It’s for the kids,” he said.“It’s about giving kids the opportunity to train and put themselves through a mental and physical challenge every day.”
While the boxers are young, Caruso said he has not personally heard any complaints or concerns from community members about the all-ages boxing event.
According to the Red Dragon Martial Arts Facebook page, the fighters range in age from 8 to 16.
Caruso’s daughter, Toni, is the youngest at age 8.
“Hopefully we can find a match for her so she can have her boxing debut,” he said, adding the boxers are carefully matched before going into the ring.
While the fighters’ weights and ages play a large role, so does skill level.
“If we’ve got someone who’s been boxing for five years, we’re not going to put them up against someone who’s new,” Caruso said. Coaches from several area gyms have been part of the matchmaking process, he added.
Caruso said there will be ring girls at the event, but noted that they’ll be dressed differently than the scantily clad girls sometimes associated with professional boxing matches.
“The girls are all 21 years old and work for Mongo McMichael’s,” he said.“It’s done tastefully. We’ll have children there, and it’s going to be a mixed crowd, so we have to be respectful.”
The outdoor boxing show will kick off at 8 p.m. Caruso said the ring and seating will be set up behind the restaurant, and roughly 10 bouts are scheduled.
“It’s about a three-hour show,” he said.
Tickets are available at Mongo McMichael’s. Prices range from $15 for general admission to $25 for a VIP table seat near the ring.

Since: Dec 09

Romeoville, IL

#4 Aug 27, 2011
Lets shut them down, that is the only thing that will help. I cant believe they are letting people do something they want to. If I dont like it, they can not do it. We need to call the Army, Air Force, Navy & Marines.
who cares

United States

#5 Aug 30, 2011
Who cares get over it
Lou Storiale

Chicago, IL

#6 Sep 1, 2012
I was at the fight and I can tell you that they actually were coercing at least one child to fight. The mismatch in the about 9th or 10 bout was with a 10 year old kid fighting another kid - the mismatch was about 8 inches in height and at least 20 lbs difference.

Between the 1st and 2nd round the smaller kid was crying saying, "I don't want to do this anymore, I don't want to, I can't do this, I don't want to fight, I don't want to fight..."

He continued for the entire minute while his so-called corner men were telling him that he WAS going to fight - it was clear that he didn't want to and one of the "scumbag" cornermen degenerate coaches yelled at him.

He was clearly out-matched, out-weighed and there was no way on earth he should have fought his opponent. They did it anyway. I was about to enter the ring and carry the kid out, when it was called off. Everyone on our side of the ring was horrified, and I'm no bleeding heart liberal, either.

There were other mismatched fights, i've blogged about it. The Promoter, Mark Caruso should lose his license to promote fights. He lied on the fight card, claiming that some of the fighters had ZERO fights when it came out that he knew they fought in Golden Gloves and had well-over 15 fights.

One fight was matched, 15 fights against someone with ZERO fights. It was egregious!!

Another new fighter was matched up against someone with 8 fights. both of these fighters were told they would be matched up with a person with zero or 1 fight at the most. The fight card indicated they had zero fights - it was a lie. I was there. Some of these guys were my fighters and it was disgusting.

Steve McMichaels should be aware of the miscarriage of justice that went on and Mark Caruso should be banned from Illinois Boxing.

The entire event was a sham and I've been involved in boxing and kickboxing since 1990. Horrendous excuse for an event!!
thisme

Romeoville, IL

#7 Sep 3, 2012
Lou Storiale wrote:
I was at the fight and I can tell you that they actually were coercing at least one child to fight. The mismatch in the about 9th or 10 bout was with a 10 year old kid fighting another kid - the mismatch was about 8 inches in height and at least 20 lbs difference.
Between the 1st and 2nd round the smaller kid was crying saying, "I don't want to do this anymore, I don't want to, I can't do this, I don't want to fight, I don't want to fight..."
He continued for the entire minute while his so-called corner men were telling him that he WAS going to fight - it was clear that he didn't want to and one of the "scumbag" cornermen degenerate coaches yelled at him.
He was clearly out-matched, out-weighed and there was no way on earth he should have fought his opponent. They did it anyway. I was about to enter the ring and carry the kid out, when it was called off. Everyone on our side of the ring was horrified, and I'm no bleeding heart liberal, either.
There were other mismatched fights, i've blogged about it. The Promoter, Mark Caruso should lose his license to promote fights. He lied on the fight card, claiming that some of the fighters had ZERO fights when it came out that he knew they fought in Golden Gloves and had well-over 15 fights.
One fight was matched, 15 fights against someone with ZERO fights. It was egregious!!
Another new fighter was matched up against someone with 8 fights. both of these fighters were told they would be matched up with a person with zero or 1 fight at the most. The fight card indicated they had zero fights - it was a lie. I was there. Some of these guys were my fighters and it was disgusting.
Steve McMichaels should be aware of the miscarriage of justice that went on and Mark Caruso should be banned from Illinois Boxing.
The entire event was a sham and I've been involved in boxing and kickboxing since 1990. Horrendous excuse for an event!!
Should report the scumbag ASAP. That is child abuse. Did you video record it? If so, post on Youtube and make sure the authorities see the video. If what you say is true, it needs to stop. I never thought kids''boxing' was a good idea anyway. Some kid is bound to get really hurt and a lawsuit will follow. But why wait for some kid to get hurt? If you have evidence, report it NOW.
another voice

El Monte, CA

#8 Sep 5, 2012
Gee. Any little bets? Drinking? Child welfare workers?
seriously, who made the money on this event? And who are the parents? Do they really think this sort of back alley event will lead to the Olympics? There are certfied competitions in place for those athletes with talent. Mongo's is probably not on that list. So the question becomes, who was best served by tossing minors into a fighting ring at a bar? The kids?
another voice

United States

#9 Sep 6, 2012
P.S. 8 and 10 year olds participating in a ten bout event that starts a 8 pm. Again...who are the parents and what are they thinking????
Mike

Romeoville, IL

#10 Sep 6, 2012
This is all very interesting.
Lou Storiale

Chicago, IL

#11 Jul 14, 2014
Just to follow up - It's been quite a while, right, but Mark Caruso didn't stop having kids boxing fights and to clear the facts from fiction - the state was NOT sanctioning the fight. The fights that took place were not sanctioned and they were not sanctioned by the Illinois Boxing Commission, either.

Since, Mark Caruso had a nonsanctioned fight, my complaints to the sanctioning body went ignored. I emailed and called the top 3 guys on the website for the commission. No call back, not returned email... nothing.

Lastly, Illinois has since become an unsanctioned state given the amount of fraud. To have a real sanctioned fight in Illinois, a person must contact Wisconsin and have them sanction it.

I did receive a call from one boxing gym that had boxers participate in that night and at first he was livid because parents called them to complain... After we spoke for 20 minutes, we parted in 90% agreement that Mark Caruso set up kids to fight an overmatched/undermatched opponent and we also agreed that my fighters were set up to lose.

Mark Caruso has zero integrity in my opinion. I sat down with him for 90 minutes explaining that my fighters had 6 months of training and zero fights. I wanted to be matched with a fighter with zero or one fight at the most.

We discussed this at his martial arts studio for 90 minutes about the unfair practices in amateur boxing - he assured me all would be done above board and if there was any hint of a fighter being overly skilled for their number or fights or match up that he would stop the fight.

What really happened is that he had a poster created with my fighter and another fighter both with 0-0 records. After the fight, the opponent admitted to having over 13 fights and had already participated in Golden Gloves 6 months prior to this match. How do we know that Mark Caruso lied about this unfair boxing matchup? During the head-to-head meeting in the middle of the ring, he looked at the experienced boxer and said, "This is Brian's first fight, so take it easy on him."

So he knew that the opponent was experienced, lied to the coach (me), lied to the fighter (Brian) and then tried to do this again with another fighter of mine.

We left with a really bad experience, thinking that Mark Caruso is an unfair promoter, a dangerous promoter that, in my opinion, puts peoples' lives and health at stake and could care less.

BTW - the fighter (Brian) that was matched up, quit boxing in large part because of the unfair practices of Mark Caruso. A pitiful man with no integrity and certainly not a true martial artist.
John Caliendo

Romeoville, IL

#12 Jul 14, 2014
Mongos is a shi7 hole. Nowbody cares about any fightes their. What about the people using weed in the parkin lot? Or what about the 2 girls that do things for money in the parking lot? The owners now about what is going on out their!!
taxpayer

Merrill, WI

#13 Saturday Aug 2
Friday Night Fights wrote:
Someone told me there is an article in The Patch about young children boxing at a bar in Romeoville today (Friday). I don’t know who let this happen. The Mayor? The Board Members of Romeoville? Steve the owner? But, this says “WRONG” all over it. Kids as young as 8 years old will be boxing at Mongo McMichael’s. If this village doesn’t stop this, I hope there is a State law to prevent this. Whether it’s in the parking lot or in the bar. What’s the difference? Never heard of children boxing at a bar AND ITS ON A FRIDAY NIGHT!! I hope someone stops this and calls in the State Police. There has to be a law to prevent this. What has this village become? Wow a new low for Romeoville.
so basically you are against encouraging children from participating in sports its far better for these children to compete in athletic events then to run the streets getting in trouble at least these kids are not getting fat and lazy playing video games

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