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Since turning pro just over a year ago Joel Baglio is keeping himself busy. The 22-year-old boxer from Lake Charles has averaged a bout every five weeks. A graduate of Barbe, Baglio has won all nine of his pro fights, six by way of knockout. (Special to the America Press)<br>

Since turning pro just over a year ago Joel Baglio is keeping himself busy. The 22-year-old boxer from Lake Charles has averaged a bout every five weeks. A graduate of Barbe, Baglio has won all nine of his pro fights, six by way of knockout. (Special to the America Press)

Barbe graduate Baglio making waves in Texas as pro boxer

Last Modified: Monday, October 01, 2012 10:01 PM

By Peter Lim / Special to the American Press

Since turning pro just over a year ago, the 22-year-old boxer from Lake Charles has averaged a bout every five weeks. A graduate of Barbe High School, Baglio has won all nine of his pro fights, six by way of knockout.

In addition to his hyper-hectic fight schedule, Baglio has also attracted a growing following in Texas, having fought five bouts under the Savarese Boxing Promotions banner in Houston. As prolific as he has been in 2012, Baglio, anticipates an even busier year ahead of him.

“I’m about to turn 23 in a few months and I’ve always felt that 23 would be the year when I’d definitely make some noise,” Baglio said. “It might not be for a world title, but I definitely see myself beating some prestigious opponents within the next year.”

Baglio has been able to fight so frequently largely because of a synergy his trainer and manager Phil Daley forged with former heavyweight contender turned promoter Lou Savarese. Staging fight nights every two months, Savarese has provided a big-city platform for Baglio to hone his skills and raise his visibility on a regular basis.

“I do have a fan base right here in my home town but the fight game is not as relevant where I’m from as it is in Texas,” Baglio said. “Lou has a very good schedule. They have a show every other month. They keep their wheels rolling and we love that. It’s been crucial for my career.

“Houston is one of my favorite cities,” he added. “To be able to have a fan base there is amazing to me.”

Promoting boxing cards since 2009, Savarese said he will gradually step up the level of Baglio’s opponents as he continues to cut his teeth and gain exposure in the pro ranks.

“When you first see him he doesn’t look that intimidating but he’s just a really good boxer,” Savarese said. “You can tell he’s got a really good amateur pedigree. He’s been in some really tough fights here, so we’re trying to move him up.”

“He’s winning everyone over because he’s such a likable guy,” Savarese added. “I have two or three clients who always ask if he’s fighting. The crowd likes him and he’s exciting.”

A southpaw, Baglio cites the straight left as the deadliest punch in his arsenal but deploys a mode of combat that relies on brain as much as it does brawn. Playing mind games, he typically lulls his opponents into a “false reality” before imposing his will, he said.

“They get in a comfort zone and feel like they’re in control of the fight, but really, I’m the one who’s in control,” Baglio said. “I can speed up the tempo or slow it down and then just kind of break them down. When you’ve got that control, you know what they’re going to do next and you can bait them.”

A die-hard fan of Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya, Baglio first laced on gloves at 13, lured by the competitive, one-on-one nature of the sport. He fought over 60 amateur bouts, winning back-to-back Louisiana Golden Gloves championships in ‘08 and ‘09.

Baglio put his pugilistic endeavors on hold for two years after enlisting in the Army National Guard in 2009 and completed a tour of duty in Iraq the following year. He joined the professional ranks three months after returning to the gym and has hit the ground running since.

Still in the infancy of his prizefighting career, his ultimate goal in the sweet science extends beyond capturing a world title or two. Although he currently campaigns as a 140-pound junior welterweight, Baglio claims the ability to effortlessly melt down or bulk up in weight and envisions conquests from 130-160 pounds over the course of his career.

“I want to win titles in multiple weight divisions,” he said. “I’m talking four to five world titles.”

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