United States Military Academy Senior Cadet Luca LoConte Botis, who was born and raised in Winchester (Mass.,) is looking forward to his final local boxing competition on Sunday, November 10.
Botis, captain of the West Point boxing team, will be in action in front of many friends and family members Nov. 10 at the National Collegiate Boxing Association’s (NCBA) “West Point Fall Classic,” to be held at Anthony’s in nearby Malden, Massachusetts.
Members of the West Point boxing team will compete against amateur boxers from USA Boxing New England, University of Connecticut, Trinity College, Hartford College, and the University of Massachusetts.
Botis is a 2015 graduate of Winchester High School, where he captained the school’s cross country, swimming and outdoor track teams.
“It always feels nice to comeback home and fight in front of my home crowd,” Botis said. “Since this is the last local fight for me, I can definitely say there is an early sense of nostalgia.”
Botis will graduate from the United States Military Academy on May 23, 2020, after which he will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Although he hopes to serve in the Infantry in either Colorado or Kentucky, Botis will not know his first assignment until Nov. 13, nor where he will be assigned until February.
Boxing has been an enjoyable experience for Botis for numerous reasons. “Boxing has helped me become a more humble, respectful person,” he explained. “In the boxing ring there must be mutual respect between the two opponents; no taunting, teasing, or any form of disrespect. Boxers must also learn to not feel emotional toward their opponents. I learned these lessons by fighting in or watching fights where instances as such occurred.
“I will not be boxing competitive in the army, but I will continue to train, because it is the best form of exercise I have ever experienced. Regarding my post-Army life, I will most likely volunteer at local gyms to train the younger generations to box.”
Unsure how long he will serve in the U.S. Army, at least at this stage, Botis plans to serve more than his required five years, but less than 10 years. He speaks an incredible seven languages: English, Italian, Sicilian and Romanian he learned at home, adding Portuguese, Spanish and a little Hebrew at West Point.
Botis has somewhat followed the path set by his great uncle, Louis LoConte, who was a varsity athlete excelling in hockey. He graduated in 1948 with honors from West Point, where he was trained to fly B-52 bombers. The now 93 years old, who lives in Louisiana, served in the military until 1956. Lucas’ great, great grandfather, Louis LoConte, Sr., immigrated to the U.S. from Sicily, working as mason on the West Point military base. He used to speak to his son, Lou, about how much he admired young Cadets, understanding that they were special.
“West Point has taught me that life is not about my own personal gains but, instead, about service to others,” Botis concluded. “It doesn’t matter what kind of service, military of civil, but what does matter is that I will help people everywhere I go. I value my relationships at West Point so much that I would not have made it this far if I didn’t have them.”
A tribute to the USA Boxing Alumni Association will also be held during the “West Point Fall Classic,” including appearances by 1988 Olympic gold medalist Ray Mercer, three-time Fight of the Year participant “Irish” Micky Ward (Lowell, MA), three-time, two division world champion “El Gallo” Jose Antonio Rivera (Worcester, MA), and former New England amateur champion and reigning IBA super welterweight champion Greg “The Villain” Vendetti (Stoneham, MA).
Doors open at 2 p.m. ET, first bout scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.
Limited tickets are available for purchase by calling Seacoast Ticket Agency at 1.800.382.5242.