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Hanlon showcases boxing prowess

by | Dec 11, 2023 | Featured: Sports, Sports

Barrett Hanlon

Barrett Hanlon acknowledges a recent victory in the ring.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, Hopkinton’s Barrett Hanlon was looking for something to do to keep up with his competitive nature.

“There wasn’t much going on, everything slowed down, but there was this one boxing gym that stayed open,” Hanlon said, referring to UpperKuts in Ashland.

“I just kind of started getting into the sport and started competing,” he said. “I just fell in love with the sport.”

Hanlon played football and basketball at Hopkinton High School before going on to play college basketball at Salve Regina in Newport, Rhode Island. During his time there, he got his first taste of competing in the ring.

“I always had respect for the sport and for the guys that fought,” he said. “I was playing college basketball and, when the season ended, I started taking classes in Newport. I would box, but I never really took it seriously.”

A few years went by and Hanlon stepped away from the sport. When the pandemic hit and he started training at UpperKuts, Hanlon said it was the perfect opportunity to scratch his competitive itch.

Hanlon has been successful in his return to the ring. He won four straight bouts in the novice division of the New England Golden Gloves, including a victory in the Central New England final in February, before losing in the All New England final. He’s had 13 fights, winning seven and losing six.

“It’s by far the most humbling sport for sure,” Hanlon said. “Any time you walk in there, you can lose.”

Hanlon has not been knocked out, but he’s taken a few lumps. His mother and some family members attended his most recent fight, when he broke his nose.

“It wasn’t the prettiest,” Hanlon said. “I’ve got to get better at defense. That’s a huge part of it, just taking care of yourself in the ring.”

Hanlon is taking a bit of a break from the sport, but the training regimen when he is in season is challenging. He runs 3 miles a couple of times per week in addition to boxing, sparring, shadow boxing and hitting the bag. But he said there is a lot more to boxing than just the hard work in the gym.

“You get to see yourself in different situations, and you realize that boxing is a lot of tactics and strategy,” Hanlon said. “It’s not just a question of who’s the stronger guy. I am not always the toughest guy or the strongest guy, but I try to figure out a strategy and win. That’s what got me addicted to the sport.”

Hanlon said he is assessing where he wants to go with the sport. In the meantime, he is coaching eighth grade basketball in Hopkinton and was the assistant coach for the eighth grade football team as well.

“It’s been good to pass down that competitive spirit for sports to my players,” he said. When he gets back to boxing, he said he hopes his players will be there to watch.

“If I continue, I will probably let those guys know about it,” Hanlon said. “It’s been a part of who I am the past two years.”

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