By Joseph Staszewski
By Joseph Staszewski
Fighting in arenas like Barclays Center was not Will Rosinsky’s goal when he took up boxing simply as a way to stay in shape in high school. Putting on the gloves is still a hobby, but the Ozone Park native’s goals have changed as he has moved his way up the ranks.
Rosinsky will be in the ring at Barclays Dec. 5 to compete on the undercard of the middleweight title fight between Daniel Jacobs and Peter Quillin. It is the largest indoor arena the 30-year-old has fought in during his career.
“I wanted to be there sooner or later,” said Rosinsky, sitting in the office of his training site at Universal Boxing in Ozone Park. “You start from nowhere and you work your way up to a place like that.”
The Archbishop Molloy grad, who learned karate as a youngster, first landed at a boxing gym with a friend who asked if he wanted to give it a try. Rosinsky took to it, going on to win four New York Golden Gloves championships and a USA Amateur national crown at 178 pounds.
His career nearly ended there despite his success.
Rosinsky was at Queens College studying to be a physical education teacher and student-teaching at St. Francis Prep and PS 207 in Queens. His father was telling him why would you want to get punched in the face for the rest of your life when he could have summers off and teach.
Rosinsky chose neither of those.
After talking with a friend who was in a similar situation, he decided to take a chance on turning pro in 2008, looking to just take a few fights and see how it went. Eventually, he also put teaching aside and became an Emergency Medical Technician before his days as a firefighter at Engine Company 234 in Crown Heights.
“I went from, alright I’ll give it a shot for two or three fights, to I love it so much I’m going to keep going,” said Rosinsky, who is 19-2-0 with 10 knockouts.
Boxing is currently his part-job with a training schedule that changes week to week. He has to work with his trainers so that he is able to come in early when he works late and late when he has a morning shift. And when he has to work one the 24-hour shifts that are often required of firefighters, boxing relieves some of the stress.
“It is different every week,” he said. “It’s not like I am working 9 to 5, Monday to Friday.”
The only job Rosinsky has when he steps into the ring at Barclays Center for his light-heavyweight contest is to beat opponent Joe Smith Jr., whom he knows all too well. The two usually spar with each other to get ready for fights, and they were doing so two months ago with Rosinsky thinking he was fighting in October.
That card was scratched and Rosinsky was a bit apprehensive about fighting someone who is so familiar with, but eventually saw it as an opportunity to raise his stock against a hard puncher who is 19-10 with 16 knockouts.
“If I beat him, it is a much bigger thing,” Rosinsky said. “He has a good record. It is a good win on my resume, so I decided to take it.”
Rosinsky, who is an athletic and strong volume-puncher, still isn’t well known as a boxer to the general public. He joked that even the people who live around his firehouse don’t know, despite his flat nose from being hit. Rosinsky fought once on HBO against former World Champion Kelly Pavlik in 2012, but until recently he has spent most of his career fighting in smaller arenas like the B.B. King Blues Club, Aviator Sports and Recreation Center, the Theater at Madison Square Garden and Roseland Ballroom.
“I’m not mainstream media and all over your television, so people are not really going to know you if you are not really a fan of the sport,” Rosinsky said. “That’s my goal. I am trying to get to that point where people know who I am.”
He didn’t care about any of that when he first laced up a pair of gloves. Now that he is here, Rosinsky just want to go as far and as high as he can.
“Once you start winning and then you go to the Golden Gloves, you get successful there, now there is a next step. You are looking forward to doing it, and it is the right step,” Rosinsky said. “I followed that path.”