OWL HEAD — Since his youth, Troy Marriner’s nose has not left the grindstone.
From lobster fishing on his grandfather Laurence’s boat, Mandy Leeas a child, from having his own fishing boat at age 15 – while mowing “14 to 15 lawns” in his rare free time – Marriner never had an “off” switch.
Now the 31-year-old Owls Head resident continuously said switch in the “on” position.
The same mentality that kept Marriner from a young age propelled him into a sport – namely boxing – that he had long hoped to practice aboard his grandfather’s boat.
Working hard day in and day out after school kept Marriner out of trouble, as his father had a “reputation in town”, and no one looked on him kindly.
“I knew if I went down this road it wouldn’t get me anywhere but trouble,” Marriner said. “(My dad) told me that from a very young age. I didn’t want to hurt my dad.
Marriner “thought a lot about boxing” in his youth, while his grandfather – who “raised me a lot” – watched boxing.
“I’ve always wanted to box, but I can’t say I’ve always been a fan of it,” Marriner said. “I watched a ton of it, but for some reason it was always in my head. I was shadowboxing my grandfather’s lobster boat, and one day he brought me a punching bag. I would hit it, but I knew there was a technique behind it, skill and a sport, so I knew I needed a coach.”
Marriner’s busy schedule growing up made it nearly impossible to have time for working out, as his time on the boat and mowing lawns in his early teens was a full-time job.
The daily routine persisted until his late twenties, when one day Marriner was at his regular gym – where he was given a key by the owner to be there after it closed because the men’s schedules didn’t match. never lined up – and had the urge to research boxing gyms in the Midcoast.
“I would always be boxing alone (at the gym), and for some reason I looked at my phone and typed ‘boxing near me’ and I knew the gym in Portland, but Wyman’s Boxing [of Stockton Springs] popped up,” recalls Marriner. “I called, but I didn’t get an answer. Mike Leary’s boxing gym also popped up, so I called him and got an answer. I told him my age and such, and he gave me Skeet Wyman’s number. I called Skeet and we immediately hit the phone.
Another challenge presented itself in Marriner’s boxing dreams, as the pandemic began in March 2020, but luck was on his side despite global upheaval.
“Skeet said if you come right now — even though the gym was closed due to COVID — we can talk,” Marriner said. “I was so excited that I got in my car and drove, but I forgot to (clean up) at the gym. On the way, the owner of the gym called and asked me if I I was fine because I never leave the gym messy when I leave, so he thought something had happened to me.
“Troy has been coming since March 28, 2020,” said Wyman, owner of Wyman’s Boxing Gym. “He called me a week after I closed the gym due to COVID-19, and wanted to come meet me and see the gym. I said, ‘Why don’t you wait until September. I hope it will pass. He was quite persistent in coming to meet me that day. I told him if he was so adamant about it, get on.
“I drove up and met the coach and honestly couldn’t believe it all,” Marriner said. “There was a lobster boat and bait there; it was like a match made in heaven.
When Marriner and Wyman got to work, Marriner’s body needed to be remodeled from a weightlifter to a boxer. With COVID-19 sidelining most people at home, Wyman and Marriner worked exclusively together from “April through June 2020,” Wyman said.
“I worked exclusively with Troy for about four or five months,” Wyman said. “There were no bad habits [with Troy]. Troy walked through my door as a big dude, and after being here two to three weeks, he was serious about it. I told him if he wanted to be a boxer, we had to lose all that extra bulk. Troy has gone from lifting weights to over 3,000 sit-ups, push-ups and crunches a week, as well as doing yoga.
“When I walked in I was 238 pounds, all muscle and a little fat, but bulky,” Marriner said. We got to work and on the first day I realized my cardio needed a lot of work. The first three months the gym was closed, so it was just me and Skeet, one-on-one. COVID kept me from fishing in early spring so it was perfect. I was working two to two and a half hours just me and Skeet.
Marriner admits getting in shape was “different” because he was tall, as he had to get in “boxing shape”, which included: bag work, jump rope and running; lots of running.
“Coach kept drilling into my head,” Marriner said. “I remember running my first mile and probably stopping eight times because all I was doing before was lifting weights. I said [Skeet] I was running every day, and eventually it got easier. That first mile, though, I still remember; I knew I was out of shape.
After Marriner had mastered running, sparring was next, which was another level of “boxing form” he was unprepared for.
“You think you’re in good shape, but once you start practicing it’s a totally different ball game again, and I knew I still wasn’t in great shape,” Marriner said. . “I’m a totally different animal than I was two years ago when I started.”
“He has come a long way; he’s improved tenfold since he’s been here,” Wyman said. “He’s always smiling, always in a good mood, and nothing gets him down.”
First cracks in the ring
Marriner’s hard work and determination with Wyman – as well as on his own – got him down to 195 pounds and ready for his first competitive fight at the Golden Gloves of Northern New England competition on July 17, 2021 in Somersworth, NH
Marriner came out swinging – literally – as he won the title in the heavyweight division.
“To get in the ring, and all the anticipation is something I have to get used to,” Marriner said. “Winning is a rush. I have never had such a feeling before. It really motivates you to keep going.
With his first win under his belt and a taste for victory, Marriner returned to training with Wyman and fought with New Hampshire’s Justin Rolfe – a professional boxer with a heavyweight title, multiple belts and 12 years of experience. experience.
“I wouldn’t be able to accomplish this [without Rolfe]”, Marriner said. “He’s good and he really pushes me. After every training session, I want to go back.
The opening month of 2022 gave Marriner another shot at victory, as he competed in the Northern New England Golden Gloves Tournament in Somersworth on January 15.
The plan was for Marriner to compete in the heavyweight division again, but his opponent went down with COVID, which moved Marriner to the super heavyweight division.
Marriner won his first fight, but lost the second, ultimately finishing second in a division he was undersized for.
“[Wyman] said I won, because the guy (I fought) was throwing up in the parking lot when I was fine,” Marriner said. “The judges ruled in his favour. It was a good time and a good experience.
Future boxing career
Marriner knows he’s behind the eight ball in boxing, having started later than the others. But that fact doesn’t limit his aspirations to win more titles and perhaps bring boxing back to Rockland.
“Actually, I’m 31 and I just want to be at the highest level possible,” Marriner said. “I would love to have my kitchen table full of trophies and win a belt. If we get to the point and go pro, that would be amazing.
“Troy said he’d like to do it and turn pro, and if that’s in the cards — and I don’t see why it wouldn’t be,” Wyman said. “He is talented enough. We’ll see how it plays out, but we’re far from it.
For now, however, Marriner is content with what each day brings.
“I take one day at a time and I don’t take the big picture,” he said. “Just give 100% that day. I’m lucky enough to make a good living making lobster, and if things continue like this and [I] carrying traps during the week and winning a trophy at the weekend, it doesn’t get better than that.
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