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Bengal Bouts

After Notre Dame, Garrity McOsker eyes pro career

| Friday, February 27, 2015

As far as Bengal Bouts go, few people have as much experience as senior captain Garrity McOsker.

As McOsker enters the finals of the 158-pound weight division, he will attempt to win his third consecutive Bengal Bouts championship. McOsker narrowly missed a chance to win four consecutive titles when he lost by split-decision in the championship his freshman year, a loss which motivated him to work harder than ever to get to the top.

“Coming to Notre Dame, I wanted to win four years in a row,” McOsker said. “After losing freshman year, I had to redefine the goal; I wanted to win three years in a row. I was pissed, but I decided I was going to have to work a lot harder. I learned a good lesson.”

Senior Garrity McOsker celebrates after winning the 2014 Bengal Bouts title in the 162-pound weight class.Caroline Genco | The Observer

Senior Garrity McOsker celebrates after winning the 2014 Bengal Bouts title in the 162-pound weight class.

It is a lesson that McOsker has taken to heart as he attempts to pursue a professional boxing career after he leaves Notre Dame.

“I’m trying to fight professionally next year,” McOsker said. “I think I’m smart enough to play [a professional boxing career] right. Boxing’s a very interesting and very dangerous business, and I think I’m smart enough and have a good enough understanding of business and the fight environment in Los Angeles that I think I’ll be able to make a career happen.”

McOsker’s dreams of being a professional boxer began long before he came to Notre Dame, though; the San Pedro, California, native has been boxing since he was a young child.

“I knew I wanted to do this,” McOsker said. “Wanting to be a professional boxer was a consistent goal I’ve had since I was 13. I boxed as a kid, in high school and in grade school. I love boxing. I’ve taken Bengal Bouts as an opportunity to get a college education from one of the best schools in the country and box on the side.”

Senior captain Garrity McOsker, left, fights sophomore Joe Sulentic during Tuesday night’s Bengal Bouts semifinals at Joyce Fieldhouse. McOsker is a two-time defending Bengal Bouts champion and has ambitions of a professional career in boxing after leaving Notre Dame.Monica Villagomez Mendez | The Observer

Senior captain Garrity McOsker, left, fights sophomore Joe Sulentic during Tuesday night’s Bengal Bouts semifinals at Joyce Fieldhouse. McOsker is a two-time defending Bengal Bouts champion and has ambitions of a professional career in boxing after leaving Notre Dame.

Whatever the future may hold for McOsker, he is focused on winning his third consecutive title this year, and he plans to use his wealth of experience to do so.

“I have a lot of boxing experience having done this longer than most people.” McOsker said. “I think just being comfortable with the environment once you get into the finals is a big thing. You never find crowds the size of these crowds, you’ve never fought with an announcer and a big screen so there’s that added pressure. I would say the experience of the fight night come Friday is completely different having done it before.”

Away from the ring, McOsker is highly involved with the charitable side of the club and has traveled to Bangladesh to see the effect it has on those it helps.

“At the end of my junior year, I decided I was going to apply to the ISSLP (International Summer Service Learning Program) in Bangladesh” McOsker said. “It was an amazing experience, and it’s made this year all about trying to make this year the biggest fundraising year ever, the biggest mission-centered year ever.”

According to McOsker that includes personal speeches about the mission in Bangladesh.

“Every Monday, we start off with Mission Monday,” McOsker said. “We start off with a story of someone we meet [in Bangladesh] or something that happened. We give a little artifact to the club or a little picture or something. I think this year we’ve been striving to make the club the most mission-centered its even been.”

As McOsker prepares to graduate, he said his experiences with Bengal Bouts will help him in both his professional boxing aspirations and his charitable spirit.

“We just had a great fundraising drive,” McOsker said. “The way that we, as captains, handled that and executed that will give us skills that will become useful in all sorts of different endeavors.

“I’m a salesman at heart. The leadership and the boxing are two things that I hope to continue doing.”

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About Marek Mazurek

Marek is a senior history major and is a former resident of Carroll Hall. He has lived in Mishawaka or South Bend for all 21 years of his life and covers Notre Dame football and men's basketball. He has loads of hand-eye coordination but lacks the height to be any good. Marek is also a proud esports supporter.

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