Everett Boxing Club’s Greg Vendetti gets ready for his next bout in New Hampshire Wednesday night
By Joe McConnell
Boxing fans will head to Windham, N.H. next week for Boston Boxing Promotions’ sixth annual Thanksgiving Eve (Nov. 22) Spectacular that features a night of fights at The Castleton on Enterprise Drive, starting at 7 p.m.
Everett’s Broadway Boxing Club’s own Greg Vendetti will fight Argentina’s Geronimo Sacco in one of those bouts next Wednesday night in the Super Welterweight Division.
The Broadway Boxing Club moved from Saugus in 2019, where it was known as the Tomasello Boxing Club. The club is now located in the former Everett High School complex, and Vendetti, who grew up in Stoneham, is one of its longtime members.
Vendetti has been a fighter for 17 years, starting out as an amateur. As a pro, he has a record of 23-5-1 that includes a dozen knockouts to date. His last fight was one year ago in October, when he lost an eight rounder by decision to Brooklyn’s Courtney Pennington in Washington, D.C.
Vendetti, a 2008 Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational High School graduate, likes to box every six months, but prior to his fight against Pennington he had just joined the Army to change that routine. He was in boot camp throughout the first six months of this year at Fort Benning in Georgia, and is now in the National Guard.
His training as a boxer prepared him well for boot camp. “Boot camp was not that hard, but it was a grind for 22 weeks,” said Vendetti, who now resides in Wakefield. “There was a lot of waiting around, while boxing is much more regimental, and way more extensive.”
By extensive, Vendetti means he trains in the gym four hours per day, mornings and evenings, and that doesn’t count his daily running outside. Once every month, he has weekend training with his National Guard unit. He also works as an EMT for Action Ambulance, and is a certified plumber on the side.
His military training coincides quite nicely with his boxing career, where, he says, “fighting in combat situations goes hand-in-hand with the sport of boxing.”
Vendetti has never regretted signing up for the Army last year. “If I didn’t go, who goes,” he said, “and I’ve always been comfortable in life-risking situations.
“I like boxing, and it still drives me,” he added. “I can potentially get seriously hurt from it. One big hit, it could definitely setback my career. There’s no faking it. The harder you work, and how badly you want it will determine how much success you will have. Every time you step in the ring, your bravery is put to the test. There’s no lying here, either you have the courage to fight or not.”
Giving back with non-profit gym in Revere
Over the years, Vendetti has held together pretty well, sustaining only a minor eye injury in almost two decades in the ring. He credits his longtime manager Artie DePinho and trainer Joseph Ricciardi for his success in the sport, and now he’s passing on that experience to the next generation in the form of the Revere Boxing Outreach Program.
Vendetti opened up the non-profit Revere gym for teens three years ago with the Revere Police Department’s School Resource Officer Joseph Singer. They started the program in Singer’s small office at Revere High School, but it has since moved to the old McKinley School building on Yeamans Street. It’s a free after school program that’s open daily, Monday through Friday, from 3-6 p.m. Right now, it has as many as 40 youngsters signed up to participate in the classes.
“For me, if it wasn’t for boxing, I would have been arrested or killed,” Vendetti said. “I also have never done drugs, because of boxing. The sport kept me tethered, and now I feel like I have an obligation to give something back to boxing by providing good values and connections to kids today.”
But right now, his mind is only on next Wednesday night’s (Nov. 22) bout in New Hampshire. He has already earned three super welterweight belts during his career – the New England championship in 2017, and the IBA (International Boxing Association) and USNABA titles in 2019 and 2021, respectively – something boxers use to get bigger bouts to make more money. While he still has the desire to box, he’s also thinking about the future to keep the next generation out of trouble coupled with helping out in real life situations as an EMT, plumber and National Guardsman.