Krecek continues family tradition of Notre Dame boxing
Mike Everett | Friday, March 1, 2019
Senior Michael Krecek has participated in Bengal Bouts in all four of his years at Notre Dame. The LaGrange, Illinois, native discussed his unique family connection to Notre Dame boxing and how he came to enter the sport’s tradition.
“There are a few kids in the club who are like me, but my grandfather competed here back in the ’50s doing boxing,” Krecek said. “I don’t think he was in the actual Bengal Bouts because that was more of the premier tournament back then … so I got exposed to it that way, as well as through a friend of the program, Terry Johnson — his son was one of my classmates in high school.”
Krecek planned in high school that he would fight in the tournament.
“I knew from about my junior year that if I came to Notre Dame I was going to do boxing,” he said.
A finance major with studio art and actuary minors, Krecek is now a part of the Bengal Bouts brotherhood. The Morrissey senior reflected on the value he sees in the men’s boxing club on both a personal and global scale.
“It’s really been one of the coolest things I’ve done here,” Krecek said. “Aside from the fact that you get to compete and fight, and see the glory of all the people who came before — that’s awesome, but the fact that you get a good community of guys together — I know that my community of friends is significantly larger because of boxing — and on top of that, doing a tremendous amount of good along the way. Over the four years I’ve been here, the club has raised close to a million dollars, which is tremendous. That’s what has kept me around more than anything else — the people, and the good that we do. Obviously fighting and staying in shape is just secondary to all that.”
Krecek said his role as a captain of the club has shifted his relationship to the group as a leader of the program.
“Being a captain hasn’t necessarily changed the amount of time that I spend here at practice because I was always in and out here — you only get good if you spend time on it,” Krecek said. “So it’s not really changing the amount of time, but it’s changing how I spend the time. Rather than being the person who’s here training, learning you’re the person in charge helping others get better. It’s not more physically taxing, but it’s a lot more mentally taxing. Just trying to help kids figure out what’s up with their own boxing issues, or helping them figure out how to best develop as a boxer in the ring when you’re cornering for someone. That’s been one of the more interesting dynamics.”
Krecek also highlighted his changed perspective on the fundraising mission of the club itself and the amount of effort and teamwork that goes in to making the mission a reality.
“Another thing that’s given me a different view is that from the outside it looks so official and it’s such a well-organized club, but at the end of the day, it’s just a bunch of kids — it’s really insane to see that,” he said. “It’s like, ‘OK, how are we gonna raise $150,000?’ Well we’re gonna sell tickets at churches, we’re gonna sell T-shirts and ads. It’s crazy. But the way it all comes together from the actions of a lot of kids who really have no prior experience — all [of a] sudden you’re doing a lot of good and learning a lot of new things.”
Krecek won the championship last year in a highly unusual tied victory. The “Mayor of Flavortown” has won his first two fights this year and will again be competing in the finals of the 185-lb. weight division Friday. The senior said his mentality heading into his final fight is keeping success at the forefront of his mind.
“I’d just like to go out on top,” Krecek said. “I know that’s kind of a cliché thing to say, but if you look across the sports world, not a lot of people get to end their career with a win, so I’d really like to achieve that.”