Pine-Richland teen making his mark inside the ring
Friday, April 12, 2019 | 1:30 AM
Pine-Richland junior Thomas “Max” Hudak has lived in Western Pennsylvania for only a short while, but already is making a name for himself in boxing circles.
Hudak, 16, of Pine won the 154 pounds Cadet Final at the Western Pennsylvania Police Athletic League Golden Gloves tournament April 7 in Monroeville.
Hudak moved from Massachusetts in the fall, with only a few bouts under his belt.
“He didn’t have that much experience, and that makes what he is doing even more special,” said Joe Divosevic, his coach at the MAC Gym in Pine, where Hudak has trained since November. “(There is) a lot of upside here.”
Hudak, 6-foot-1, 154 pounds, downed Isaac Kelly of the Boyce Gym for the title, avenging an earlier loss.
“When the fight began, I had a slow start, but I got my footing and did much better in the second round,” Hudak said. “The fight was very close, and my opponent and I knew that the winner would be the man who took the third round.”
Hudak said he won the qualifier by a first-round TKO.
Divosevic said Hudak, who hopes to compete in the Olympics one day, has tremendous dedication.
“He is very mature,” Divosevic said. “Not much of a talker and more of a doer.
“He is very coachable. (He) listens and executes new skills quickly, but, most important of all, (has) the mental and physical toughness.”
Hudak said he learned about boxing from a middle school teacher who coached the sport.
“Mr. (Mark) Nolan made science interesting for me,” Hudak said. “I figured I would have as much fun boxing with him as I did learning about cells.
“The summer before eighth grade, I attended my first conditioning class at Mr. Nolan’s gym and was immediately hooked.”
Hudak looks ahead.
“I plan to take a short break (to) focus on schoolwork, cycling around North Park and playing my bass guitar,” said Hudak, who will run cross country in the fall. “But when winter comes around, I’ll be back in the ring full-time, practicing for next year’s Golden Gloves.”