AP NEWS

Coash fighting for storybook ending by defending title

April 12, 2019 GMT

Brian Coash wants to prove winning last year’s Open Super Heavyweight title at the Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament wasn’t a fluke.

The 52-year-old Kankakee County police corporal’s title defense begins Friday night at Cicero Stadium, when he takes on three-time champion William Strizel. Coash defeated Strizel by decision in last year’s semifinal.

“Bill is a big guy. He’ll come after you,” said Coash, who trains at Gold Star Gym under fellow sheriff’s deputy Calvin Zirkle. “He likes to go for that one big punch. He outweighs me by about 30-something pounds. But, I’ve been working on Calvin with my speed, footwork and endurance so I can try to wear him down more.”

Ultimately, Coash plans to execute the same plan that helped him overcome Strizel last year. He has lost a handful of pounds and focused more on cross training than before his debut.

“I don’t want to fight like a super heavyweight,” Coash said. “My thing was to stay out of his way and throw as many punches as I can. He doesn’t throw many punches, but he hits hard when he connects. He beat on me in the second round last year.”

Coash handled the pressure in stride last year, though he was making his Golden Gloves debut. This year, though, his confidence is oozing as he tries to write a storybook ending to his short boxing career.

“It means a lot to be back at it again because this is going to be it,” said Coash, who is now on the Kankakee County SWAT team. “After this, I am done. I want people to know last year wasn’t a fluke. Absolutely. I want to go out a champion.”