Published in the October 12, 2016 edition

DOMINIC MONZIONE, 19, (left) will compete in his first professional boxing fight as part of the Saturday night fight card at Murphys Boxing Monster Brawl III at Memorial Hall in Melrose.

DOMINIC MONZIONE, 19, (left) will compete in his first professional boxing fight as part of the Saturday night fight card at Murphys Boxing Monster Brawl III at Memorial Hall in Melrose.


MELROSE — When Monster Brawl III, presented by Murphys Boxing, opens at Memorial Hall in Melrose this Saturday, Oct. 15, among the fighters on the card will be Lynnfield’s own Dominic Monzione.

At just 19 years old, Monzione will be making his professional boxing debut as a Junior Welterweight (140 lbs.) and he’ll be matched up against Theo Desjardin of Rhode Island.

Monzione, a 2015 Lynnfield High School graduate, is a business administration major at Merrimack College, which he loves. Even as a full time student, he finds the time to train two to three hours per day, six days per week at either Greater Boston Fitness in Revere or Peter Welch’s gym in South Boston. His trainer is Joe Lake.

A wrestler since the second grade, Monzione wrestled for Coach Craig Stone in high school and was inducted into the Lynnfield Pioneers Wrestling Hall of Fame. During his senior year, he was the 2015 Cape Ann League Champion and state Sectional Champion in his weight class and finished fifth overall at the State Championships.

He has always enjoyed the challenge and purity of individual sports, such as wrestling and mixed martial arts. He was introduced to Brazilian jiu jitsu at age 12, and picked it up so well that he was soon sparring with the adults in the class. Lake was one of those adult students he competed against in that class. Around age 14 or 15, he picked up his first pair of boxing gloves and learned to spar and box from Lake, who has remained his trainer.

Monster-Brawl-III_web“Joe has trained several prominent boxers from around the area. He has had a couple of world champions,” Monzione said.

Although Monzione played team sports like football and baseball at the youth level, he chose to stick with wrestling competitively as he got older.

“I just love the purity of it. It is something I can take with me my whole life. Putting a ball in a net or scoring a touchdown isn’t something I can take beyond the playing field. Wrestling is self-defense and I like the pressure of everything being on me,” he said, “There’s no hiding your mistakes in a sport like wrestling or boxing. You’re putting it all out on the line and that’s what drew me into it.”

Monzione said people are surprised to learn that he is turning pro with no amateur fights under his proverbial belt. “People hear you have no amateur fights and they think you have never put gloves on before. Joe likes to say we get our amateur work in the gym. I’ve been sparring with pros since I was 16 years old, so fighting is nothing new,” he said.

Amateur boxing is also a different style than professional boxing, based more on a point system and has few knockouts, he said.

“I’ve done smokers. It is like an amateur fight but there is no decision. It is to get you in front of a crowd,” he said.

Monzione said one of his biggest role models is Dana Rosenblatt of Malden who was one of the first fighters that Lake trained. “He became a world champion and he didn’t have any amateur fights,” Monzione said.

Monzione’s training regimen includes running three to six miles per day, and boxing two to three days per week. On the off days he does mitts and shield workouts with Lake, typically eight 4-minute rounds. “Then I’ll hit the bag a little bit and do endurance lifts for 45 minutes.”

A scrappy 5 foot, 7 inch righty, he considers himself to be a standard, orthodox fighter. “I have a come-forward kind of style. I’m old school, fundamentally sound. I try to stay on you as much as I can. That’s the kind of fighting style that was instilled in me as a kid,” he said.

Monzione said his “heart and determination” will be his main assets in the ring. “That’s how I wrestled too. There’s no real flash with me. I bite down on my mouthpiece and get to work.”

Among his biggest fans are his parents, Dominic and Cheryl Monzione of Lynnfield, and his younger brother, Zach, who will come home from college to attend Saturday’s fight.

“Dominic originally got on our radar from his trainer, Joe Lake, who called us and said we had to take a look at this kid,” Sean Sullivan of Murphys Boxing, told the Villager.

“We are a boxing promotion company with myself and my partner, Ken Casey of the band the Dropkick Murphys,” Sullivan added, noting that they are presently one of the biggest boxing promotion companies in New England.

“The nights are a very lively atmosphere and always consist of top notch talent. The main event for this card is our signed fighter, TJ Doheny, who is undefeated at 15-0 with 11 knockouts, and he is the seventh-ranked Bantamweight in the world,” Sullivan said. Doheny hails from Portlaoise, Ireland.

Other fighters on the Monster Brawl card include Charles Foster (11-0, 6 KOs) of New Haven, Carlos Candelario (8-1, 4 KOs) of Lawrence and Steve Collins Jr. of Dublin, Ireland (9-0-1, 4 KOs).

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the fights go through 11:30 p.m. For ticket information, visit: