Redemption for "The Kid" - Gary Stark Jr
By Dimitrios Verteouris (March 20, 2008) Doghouse Boxing  
February 5, 2007 was a night Gary "The Kid" Stark Jr. never wants to be reminded of again. To this day, it haunts him everywhere he goes. Everything he had worked for, everything he had sacrificed in his life was in jeopardy that night with a devastating KO loss at the hands of journeyman Andres Ledesma. Stark opened the fight in impressive fashion, boxing the way he knows how to and entertaining the crowd. Before the end of the 3rd round Stark connected with a punch that sent Ledesma down. It was looking like it was going to be another dominating performance by “The Kid”. The fight continued
and through the first 4 rounds Kid Stark was looking sharper then ever. Everything changed in the 5th round when a right hand landed right on the chin of Stark and sent him to the canvas, and out for the count. It was a few minutes until Stark was revived. Afterwards, he was in disbelief of what had just happened. Not knowing what was going on, he kept asking everyone around him, "Did I lose? Is the fight over? What’s going on here?"  It was a devastating loss suffered by Stark, a loss that many fighters do not rebound from.
 
After taking time off Gary decided it was time to get back to boxing and set out to do what he originally started to do as a kid, perfecting his craft. It was time to get back in the gym and put the loss behind him. It was especially harder this time around since Stark had suffered a controversial decision defeat at the Hands of then USBA titleholder Mike "Machine Gun" Oliver just 3 months earlier. Many observers ringside and in the media felt he was robbed of the win.
 
On March 5, 2008 Stark would have a chance to redeem himself and gain his
revenge he so desperately wanted in a rematch against Ledesma. The stage was set for Gary in his hometown of New York in the Hammerstein Ballroom. The bout was scheduled for 10 rounds and promised fireworks. The opening bell rang and the fight started off in a good pace. Ledesma was using the ring while Stark was looking to hunt down his opponent and go to work. The fight was going Gary's way the first 2 rounds and looked as if Gary was focused on making this an early night. All that changed in the 3rd round when either a head butt or a punch swelled Gary’s right eye. The swelling affected Gary and Ledesma took advantage of this opportunity. The middle rounds where in favor of Ledesma as he started to box and throw more right hands and uppercuts to work on that right eye. The referee threatened to stop the fight many times because of the eye injury. Gary begged to let him finish the fight. He allowed the fight to go on and Gary proved to them that they made the right decision. With the fight being very close on all cards Gary turned it up in rounds 8-10 to earn himself a decision over Ledesma. Revenge would be Stark’s for the evening. The trip to the Hospital and the doctor’s visits for the next few days were all worth it for Gary Stark.
 
Many people question the decision of his corner to let the fight go on for the full 10 rounds with his eye being so bad, and Stark himself knew maybe it wasn't the best move for his future career risking being blind in one eye, but on March 5, that didn't matter to him. All that mattered to him was showing his fans and the people in attendance he wasn't going to lose unless he was knocked out again. That's the type of heart Gary Stark displays when he is in the ring.







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