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Leicht’s Bouts experience centers on service

Kit Loughran | Thursday, February 28, 2013


After boxing for three years, senior captain Danny Leicht recognizes that the sport of boxing requires a unique mindset.

“It’s kind of a weird mentality that we have to want to box. Maybe it’s just stupidity,” Leicht said.

To many people, boxing may seem foolish, as Leicht himself admitted. But while the idea of putting on a pair of gloves and stepping into a ring to fight another person may seem foolish, Leicht said there’s undoubtedly a thrill that comes along with the sport.

“The workout in boxing is incredible,” Leicht said. “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done.” 

Leicht said that his days of playing baseball and basketball in high school don’t compare to the intensity of boxing.

Leicht has also found something greater than just the workout through his experience with Bengal Bouts because the program has more to it than just boxing. Bengal Bouts and its mission gives boxers an inspiring reason to get in the ring and take some hits to the head and Leicht said that mission has significantly influenced his participation in Bengal Bouts.

“I learned about the mission sophomore year and became really interested when I found out the boxers could go to Bangladesh to serve,” Leicht said.

Leicht and three other Bengal Bouts boxers traveled to the country last summer for eight weeks to volunteer. They taught English to the children in the schools, visited villages and helped the priests and sisters of the Catholic missionaries. 

“It was an awesome experience,” Leicht said. 

Leicht said it was great to have the opportunity to see first-hand the impact Bengal Bouts has on the Bengali community.

Now in his third year in Bengal Bouts, Leicht said he has really enjoyed being a captain during his final year. 

“As a captain, I like that we have the responsibility of teaching the younger guys both about boxing and about the mission,” Leicht said. “And, having been to Bangladesh, I’ve been happy to tell those guys what I can about my experiences.” 

As a captain preparing for the tournament, Leicht has been training since the middle of fall semester. 

“October is the beginning of novice season, so we have the younger guys come out earlier and teach them the basic punches and try to get in shape,” Leicht. “Then, around right after Thanksgiving break, everyone is getting back into it.”

Last year, Leicht made it to the semifinals, but lost to his good friend Joey Kim, one of his good friends. This year Leicht won his semifinals fight over sophomore Mike Flanigan and will face fellow senior Chris DeLillo in finals of the 162-pound weight division.

With the end of his senior year quickly approaching, Leicht has been reflecting on the end of his Bengal Bouts career, but said his favorite aspect of Notre Dame is the people he has encountered.

“It may sound cliché, but at a time when you’re on your own and figuring out who you are, being able to meet people from all different walks of life is definitely my favorite part,” he said.

Leicht found a niche in Bengal Bouts that provided not only a great workout aspect that got him to the gym, but also an opportunity to serve in Bangladesh. While he may or may not take home the first-place hardware, Leicht will take his Bengal Bouts experience with him after graduation.

Contact Kit Loughran at kloughr1@nd.edu