There is sad news to report about North Bergen-based heavyweight boxing contender Mariusz Wach.
After he lost to Wladimir Klitschko for the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight championship last November – a fight where Wach went the 12-round distance and actually fared pretty well – Wach first told the Polish newspaper Gazeta Krakowska that he lost interest in the sport.
“I must admit that my heart is no longer in boxing,” Wach told the Polish newspaper. “I must admit that the only fight I watched over the last two months was the fight with Tomasz Adamek.”
Adamek, a long-time friend of Wach, is a former sparring partner who used to live in Jersey City and still trains there. Adamek defeated Steve Cunningham on a nationally televised fight Dec. 22. Adamek lost to Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir’s brother, for the WBC world heavyweight title in October, 2011.
“I stopped having interest in the sport,” Wach said in the interview. “I need some time to recover and rebuilding my career will have to come in small steps. I still think I have some fight in me.”
The loss to Klitschko gave Wach his first professional loss after 27 wins. Wach prepared for the fight at the World Boxing Gym on Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen, owned by Wach’s manager, Mariusz Kolodziej.
However, now it has been learned that Wach is in more serious trouble. After the Klitschko fight, the 6-foot-7, 285-pound Wach allegedly tested positive for anabolic steroids.
Wach is now in danger of being suspended and face heavy fines from the German Boxing Federation (the Klitcshko fight was held in Hamburg). Other boxing sanctioning bodies may do the same.
If Wach has some fight left in him, it might not come in the ring for a very long time…
Good news to report on the pro basketball front.
Jersey City native Jimmy Boylan was elevated to the role of interim head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks last week. He played high school basketball at the now-defunct St. Mary’s in downtown Jersey City, and later played college basketball first at Assumption College, then later at Marquette University, helping the Warriors win the 1977 NCAA Championship.
Boylan got the job when former head coach Scott Skiles resigned.
Ironically, the same situation took place almost four years ago to the date, when Skiles was fired by the Chicago Bulls and Boylan took over as head coach there.
Boylan will be given the opportunity to coach the rest of the season with the Bucks. Over the years, Boylan has told this reporter that he still has “thousands of friends” in Jersey City and Hudson County. Now, those friends must be thrilled he’s getting a chance to be a head coach once again.
Ironically, Boylan is the third coach to take over as a head coach during this season. Another is P.J. Carlesimo, who took over three weeks ago as the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Carlesimo, the former Seton Hall coach, currently resides in Jersey City.
So Boylan is 2-0 as the Bucks coach and Carlesimo is 6-1 as the coach of the Nets. Not bad for Jersey City thus far…
Speaking of Seton Hall basketball, former Pirate standout and St. Anthony great Jerry Walker has more than hinted to friends that he is interested in running for mayor of Jersey City in the coming May election. Walker has done some great things for the community with his Team Walker program and served as a delegate at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
Walker could be following in the footsteps of his long-time friend and Pirate and Friar teammate Terry Dehere, who was a member of the Jersey City Board of Education and ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Jersey City Council a few years ago…
On the local basketball front, the St. Anthony boys’ basketball winning streak now stands at 74, after the Friars defeated Egg Harbor Tuesday night.
Incredibly, the Friars defeated Newark East Side, 35-15, last Sunday. Fifteen? That’s like a score from the peach basket era. The Friars always play stifling defense, but 15 points in a game? Five in the entire second half? That’s astounding…
The North Bergen girls’ basketball team had a nice win over Kearny Tuesday, pushing the Bruins’ record to 7-2. Veteran head coach Dan Reardon is getting quality play from Icies Hammer and Doris Illic. The Bruins might just battle Bayonne and Lincoln for top honors in the county. We’ll have more on the Bruins in next week’s editions.
On the boys’ side, Dickinson, with fiery head coach Sean Drennan calling the shots, is off to a fine 8-1 start. Forward Duane James has been a stalwart for the Rams thus far. We’ll also have more on the Rams next week…
Congrats to the Memorial boys and St. Dominic Academy for winning their respective team championships in the Hudson County Relays held Tuesday at the Jersey City Armory. It was an impressive performance for both teams and bodes well for the remainder of the indoor track season…
Forrmer St. Peter’s College men’s basketball coach Rodger Blind won the 200th game of his career at Millburn High School Wednesday…
Hudson Reporter Boys H.S. Basketball Top Five: 1. St. Anthony (9-0). 2. Hudson Catholic (11-1). 3. St. Peter’s Prep (5-4). 4. Snyder (8-1). 5. Dickinson (8-1).
Hudson Reporter Girls H.S. Basketball Top Five: 1. Lincoln (9-0). 2. Bayonne (8-1). 3. Secaucus (9-1). 4. North Bergen (7-2). 5. St. Dominic Academy (7-2)…--Jim Hague
Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.