Photographs of two national boxing champions from Portland Boxing Club in Maine

I recently called Bob Russo, the coach and owner of Portland Boxing Club, to get an update on his boxers.  I had met Bob a couple of years ago when I visited his gym for a different photo shoot and I was impressed with how committed he was.  His gym really helps “kids” from the Portland area by giving them a productive alternative with their time.  But not only that.  I knew that from this small city in Maine, Bob was producing and coaching some National champion boxers .  So I wasn’t surprised when he told me he had two boxers who had achieved amazing results and would be perfect for my next shoot.

One of my ongoing projects and an upcoming exhibit is called “Mainiacs” portraits of prominent Mainers and I try to add to this collection whenever I am back in Maine.   Lisa and Jorge will make excellent choices for this exhibit.

The first is welterweight Lisa Kuronya who is the defending National Golden Gloves Welterweight champion and former 5-time National champion overall.  Kuronya, who was formerly the captain of the U.S. Women’s Boxing Team, has now retired from competition and has become an assistant coach at the Portland Boxing Club.

The second is Super flyweight, Jorge Abiague who won his second pro bout (2-0) on the undercard of an ESPN2 show telecast from Laredo, Texas.  Abiague won a unanimous decision over My Li Ming of China.  Abiague closed out his amateur career by winning the 2008 National Golden Gloves Flyweight Championship, becoming the first male from Maine ever to win an open class national championship.

Can you believe what these boxers have done competing against some of the biggest boxing gyms in the country?!

And the accomplishments of Coach Russo are just as impressive:

  • Completed the Elite Level coaches Clinic at the Olympic Training Center Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1997 — Certified Level 3
  • Selected 14 times as coach for Team New England
  • Selected twice as coach of Regional Team #1, Lake Placid, New York (which includes N.E., N.Y., and NJ. for National Championships)
  • Selected as Coach of the Year for 1995, 2003, 2005 & 2010 For Northern New England Golden Gloves which encompasses ME, NH, VT, & upstate NY and for  2008 USA Boxing New England
  • Selected as coach for US  Boxing Team (USA vs. England), London, England in 2000
  • Executive Director New England Golden Gloves
  • Chairman Coaches Committee USA Boxing New England
  • National Golden Gloves Safety Committee
  • National level experience includes:
  • National P.A.L. Championships in Dallas, Texas
  • 7 U.S. Boxing Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado;
  • 1996 Olympic Trials in Oakland, CA;
  • 1996 Olympic Box-Off in Augusta, Georgia;
  • 16 National Golden Gloves Championships in Lowell,MA, Denver,CO, Detroit ,MI, Reno,NV,  Kansas City, MO, Chattanooga, TN , Hollywood, FL ,Salt Lake City,Utah & Little Rock,Ark
  • 2000 Eastern Olympic Trials, Scranton, PA;  2007 Eastern Olympic Trial, Cocoa Beach, FL
  • 2 Ringside World Championships, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Promoted over 100  boxing shows
  • Created and directed 15  Northeastern Regional Boxing Championships
  • Tournament Director 3 USA Boxing New England Championships

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