Joe "The Punisher" Gumina - Destruct and Destroy
By John J. Raspanti (March 14, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
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Joe Gumina is a throwback to another time when boxing ruled the world. Dressed in black, staring at his opponent, and smiling at the crowd, Gumina has an immediate advantage over some of nowadays fighters.

Joe “The Punisher” Gumina comes to fight.

Fighting on the streets as a kid, Gumina always liked boxing. His father would take him along to the Golden Gloves and Gumina liked what he saw. Still he was busy playing other sports like football, earning all-county honors as a linebacker. He enrolled at Butte College, where Aaron Rodgers was the starting quarterback.

“I was always playing baseball or football, and then I got hurt, so I said you know what I’m going to try boxing and I loved it”

The injury to his ankle occurred in his freshman year at college, and for Gumina his football career was over. After recovering, he started working with Jimmy Ford who schooled him on the basics, and spotted the youngster’s natural ability. His success in the ring was immediate as he attracted quite a following due to the nature of his knockouts, which were quick and explosive. Honestly though, Gumina was never much of a fan of amateur boxing.

“I hated the amateurs, I’m not there to be the world’s greatest boxer, or to jab you to death. I’m there to knock people out. I guess the judges didn’t like my style”.

The judge’s might not have appreciated Gumina’s intensity, but the fans sure did. His base was growing, as was his knockout percentage. After winning the California Police Activities League state light heavyweight title, and compiling a record of 22-4 (19 KOs) Gumina was ready to turn professional. An injury sidelined him for some time, then an inability to find the right trainer. Eventually he met legendary trainer Jesse Reid.

“Jesse Reid is an old school trainer, replied Gumina “once I hooked up with him things started happening”.

Last month “The Punisher” fought his first professional fight. Though the night was supposed to be a showcase for world ranked fighters Mercito Gesto and Elory Perez, it was Gumina with fans and family in attendance, who stole the show. Dressed in black, like his boyhood idol Mike Tyson, Gumina waited impatiently for the bell to ring.

“I felt perfect…everything was perfect, it was long overdue. I’m in there for the crowd, I’m a fighter, I want a knockout”.

He got what he wanted. Coming out of his corner aggressively with even an occasional bob and weave, he fired some wicked shots, eventually knocking his opponent down twice. The fight was over in sixty two seconds.

“Joe’s a true fighter,” said trainer Jesse Reid. “He’s a Rocky Marciano. He’s got awesome power with both hands, good speed, and an awesome mind."

Gumina admires Marciano a lot, and is impressed by Saul “Carnelo” Alveraz. No surprise there, he likes fighters who come to fight.

“Marciano was a beast, Alveraz is a bad dude. Paquiao really impresses me with his speed and power.”

Gumina’s next scheduled fight is March 25 in Fairfield as part of a Golden Boy promotion. His immediate future is in the light heavyweight division. Gumina has no desire to move down to 168, though he does foresee the possibility of someday fighting as a cruiserweight.

“I feel real comfortable as a light heavyweight, I have a lot of power at 175, and I’m just as fast as the other guys I’ve fought so why give up the power?”

Why indeed, a fighter with power can turn a fight with one punch. Joe Gumina knows what he has, and knows how to use it. His plan is to move up the ranks, as he attempts to bring boxing back to San Francisco and with it, a world title.

Like the old saying says, so far so good.

Questions/comments johnboxing1@hotmail.com



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