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Continued: Aaron "Gorilla” Green: Punching faces and clocks

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 21, 2013 - 12:30 AM

“Time to lock this place up,” he says.

Looking like the Clark Kent version of Superman — in a black suit and tie with black, thick-framed glasses — Green strides through the building. Monday through Friday, he’ll work here until 7 a.m., fighting off sleep rather than punches. Often, when day breaks and his shift is over, Green will head directly to the gym to spar.

His salary from DoubleTree, combined with the one Frances makes as a consultant for 7 Medical Systems, helps the two live comfortably in a modest apartment. Since going pro in October of 2010, Green has averaged about four fights a year and makes anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000 at each event. Some of that is contingent on selling the ticket allotment the promoter gives him — typically around 100-150.

Percentages of the purse go to Bauch; Pete Daszkiewicz, his head trainer and son of legendary Minnesota boxing trainer/manager Papa Joe Daszkiewicz; and Heath Roth, his co-trainer. The rest is mostly used for travel, equipment and doctor bills. But even if Green’s boxing career someday becomes profitable, which he anticipates, he still has no plan to quit his night job.

Before all this, Green swears, he wasn’t quite so tough.

“If you can do that, you can do anything,” Frances said. “The mental toughness that he’s had to go through the last couple of years, doing that schedule, you can’t get that anywhere else.”

In the DoubleTree, Green locks the double doors to Terrace Ballroom 1, grins and slowly turns back.

“I’m kind of a sucker for pain,” he said.

No more quitting

Former North Dakota State assistant coach Todd Koering still laughs when he remembers Green approaching him with his plea to play point guard. Even in basketball, he wanted control.

Basketball probably contributed to his excellent footwork and gave the first hints of his toughness — in the post, Green would take elbows to the face and shrug them off. But after three seasons, Green’s frustrations with the team were too much for him to handle and he left.

“He’s so internally motivated, so intrinsic,” Koering said. “He was the guy that sometimes we would say, ‘I don’t know if basketball is good for him’ because you have to tolerate teammates and coaches and opinions and direction that maybe he didn’t totally agree with.”

Green transferred to South Dakota State with a new vision, but the frustrations remained. One day during a practice, Green got mad and simply walked out. Later, regretting his temper, he returned to practice — but the coaches told him he wasn’t welcome back. Green swore he’d never quit anything like that again.

Ready for battle

Three hours before striding out to the ring Friday, Green — sporting a new fauxhawk haircut — sits elbows on knees, head in hands, intently watching film of opponent Stacy “Bigfoot” Frazier on Daszkiewicz’s laptop. Daszkiewicz sat next to him, Bauch knelt behind; both offered analysis.

“He’s sloppy with that left hook,” Daszkiewicz said. “It’s his favorite punch, but he’s sloppy with it.”

Later, at the casino, three boxers and their entourages cram into one locker room. Green chooses the short hallway between the bathroom and the lounge as his territory: earbuds in, jogging in place, squatting, stretching, mostly pacing.

Daszkiewicz drops the gauze he’s laying out to wrap Green’s hands — a good-luck charm, he says. Every time he’s dropped the gauze on a fight night, Green has knocked out his opponent. Still, everyone is nervous. No one wants to let on, but everyone is feeling it.

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    A security guard by night and professional boxer training at Uppercut Gym in Minneapolis during the day, Aaron “Gorilla”...

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    Aaron Green Makes a living as a boxer and a Security guard, Chasing fame in the ring that few...

  • Aaron “Gorilla” Green has only been a professional boxer since October of 2010, but he’s 12-0 with 10 knockouts. His team at Uppercut Boxing Gym helps fuel — and temper — his passion. “Probably the worst disease a person could ever get is the love of boxing,” trainer Pete Daszkiewicz said.

  • Aaron Green’s “other” profession is a security guard at the Double Tree hotel in St. Louis Park. Often, when his overnight shift ends at 7 a.m., Green goes directly to the gym to spar.

  • Aaron Green trains at Uppercut Boxing Gym in northeast Minneapolis. Uppercut founder/owner Lisa Bauch saw his second pro fight and couldn’t believe, despite Green and his trainer’s insistence, that he’d had only one previous fight. She’s now part of his management team.

  • Right, Green took a shot to the head from opponent Stacy Frazier during an Aug. 16 bout at Grand Casino Friday Night Fights in Hinckley, Minn. Later, (below) Green delivered punishing body shots to Frazier before the fight was stopped by TKO in the fifth round, keeping Green unbeaten.

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