Hard work, training pays off for Metzger

WILSON – The majority of 10 year-olds spend the cold months of winter playing video games, but if you look for Dominic Metzger he’ll be in the gym training five days a week.

It’s this type of dedication that has the 10 year-old rising in the amateur boxing ranks and becoming the latest star from the Hannahville Boxing Club to make a name for himself.

“It’s him just being dedicated,” said Metzger’s coach/trainer Keith Tebear. “When you can dedicate yourself to the sport, putting the hard work and dedication in, it always pays off. You know, you’ve got to start out in steps to get better but the longer you’re in something the better you get.”

For Metzger, the dedication is paying off quick. He’s only been in the ring since September of 2012 but will represent Region 4 in the National Silver Gloves Tournament in Independence, Mo., at the end of this month.

Metzger will fight in the 70-pound weight class for a shot to be named the country’s top amateur boxer in the 10-11 age division. Tebear, who is also Metzger’s uncle, noted that 11 year-olds might have more experience but he is confident that Metzger will have a good showing.

“I expect Dominic to do really good,” he noted.” We’ve been working really hard on his agility. He’s got the power, he’s got the speed, he’s got the reflexes and the timing, so now we’re just working on his agility and his movement in the ring, and his footwork.”

Metzger’s training is already yielding results. Prior to the Wisconsin Silver Gloves Championship in December he was doing six chin-ups. Fast forward a month later and Metzger can rip off 10 chin-ups and Tebear expects that number to grow to 12 by Nationals, held Jan. 31-Feb. 2.

Metzger was humble about his accomplishment in the ring but said he enjoys training and representing his state and region.

“I’ve been sparring and working out every day, five days a week,” Metzger said. “It’s awesome to represent my state.”

After winning the Wisconsin Silver Gloves Championship, Metzger flashed his worth at the Region 4 Tournament held on Jan.4-5. Metzger was crowned champion from a field that featured boxers from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota.

“I like getting matches and winning them,” Metzger said.

The young phenom has done a good job of that in his early career. He has already compiled a 5-3 record with his first victory coming against a boxer who had already been training since he was six.

“Dominic only had probably four or five months experience before he jumped in the ring with someone like that, and it was Dominic’s first boxing match and that kid had been training since he was five or six,” Tebear recalled.

“Dominic gave him his first bloody nose.”

Metzger’s success in the ring is part of a rich history that the Hannahville Boxing Club has built for itself with boxers such as Matt Karaja, Ricky Smith and Lexie Keshick and others finding success at a national level.

The club had closed its doors for nearly five years before Tebear reopened the gym in 2011. He fought for the club as an amateur back when it was still run out of a basement and said the decision to reopen the gym’s doors was an easy one.

“I didn’t have much trouble opening it back up, I just had to put in the work to get everything running,” Tebear said. “That place was a mess when I first went in there.”

“I see a good future for it definitely. The Hannahville Boxing Club has always been a good program and I just want to keep it running because we can compete with the top guys as you can tell with Dominic going to the nationals.”