There is no sport like boxing. And it is the great people who love boxing that make it what it is a – a rich and unique sport. No sport – not Basketball, Football, Baseball – no sport produces the great diversity and depth and character that Boxing has. At Headstrong Gym there is a man that exemplifies that special aspect that makes Boxing and those who love it so special. Mike Diamant.
You can find Mike there most days every week, training, sparring, passing on his wisdom and talking Boxing, a sport he loves. If you stop by you can’t miss him; look for the very fit, most intense, rugged guy in the room – that’s him. I have known Mike now for eight years and last year he told me his story. You see Mike, who is a former Boxer and current Trainer and Physician is Jewish and the son of a Holocaust Survivor. His father, Howard was sent to one of the infamous Nazi death camps during World War II, and survived the war unlike the cowardly Nazis who murdered defenseless men, women and children. As a boy Mike was told many times how his family was persecuted and suffered and how his father survived when six million souls did not. His father Howard -who passed away several years ago showed him the number that the Nazi burned into his arm. That Number is 159997.
It is obvious to me that those discussions and his father’s story has had a profound, lasting and life altering impact on Mike and it is a positive one. It is also obvious to me that Mike is very much the man he is because of his father’s strength and courage which he passed on to him. My intention in writing their story is to acknowledge the contributions of Mike Diamant to Boxing. It is men like him who make it what it is; rich and meaningful and relevant. It is also my intention to honor the memory of Howard Diamant, a man and a father whose legacy continues through his son.
Written by Al Iannacone Sr.