Schenectady, New York’s Michael “Baby Face” Faragon (19-1, 9 KOs) will return to boxing after a five-year absence. The announcement was made by Greg Cohen Promotions, who promoted Faragon in the first phase of his career, 2007-20014. Faragon has a fight booked for August 9th at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota against Missouri’s Demetrius Wilson (2-14-1). After a long and painful recovery from a severe foot injury that forced him to leave the sport five years ago, the 32 year-old Faragon says he will be returning to the sport he loves with renewed enthusiasm and a different perspective.
"I had a pretty bad injury on my foot and had to have it reconstructed,” revealed Faragon. “I was in a cast for about six months and I had to do some intense physical therapy. I twisted it awkwardly sparring and fell on it weird and it became this reoccurring problem that would have just kept getting worse. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to fight again.”
A two-time Golden Gloves, Western Olympic trials and junior national champion who was once ranked the number one amateur light welterweight in the United States, Faragon says he suffered through depression and weight gain after being forced to leave boxing. "I had been boxing my whole life and then I was faced with an identity crisis. I thought I was done. I took a job and worked sixty to seventy hours a week in construction. I would watch boxing knowing I could compete at the top level and watching guys I came up with being successful, knowing boxing was not an option for me anymore. Years went by and I think I just needed to go through some hardships.”
Then the foot began to heal and Faragon noticed his full mobility coming back… the itch returned. “I was wanting to come back, so I told myself if I got down to a certain weight, not by even trying to lose weight, but just by living right, that I would fight again. I got down to that weight. Then, I ended up moving to Minnesota when my girlfriend got a really good job offer. I ran into my old promoter Greg Cohen at the Rob Brant fight. I told him I was ready to come back and he said he liked the idea.”
Faragon fights with power in either hand, but is best-known for his agility and poise, especially on the inside. “I’ve definitely still got it. And I’m bringing a lot more knowledge and perspective to the sport with me. I’ve been a trainer and I manage a boxing gym. Being on the other side of the sport has helped me see a lot of things differently.”
Faragon says he’ll carefully assess his abilities in the four-rounder against Wilson. “I’ll be looking to gauge where I’m at. I think it will all be fine. I’m running miles on my foot. It’s recovered well and I’m feeling good mentally and physically. In life you must have some patience. Things don’t always work out the way you think they will but maybe I had to go through all this to come out better than ever. I guess we will find out.”
“Mikey has tremendous gifts as a fighter,” said Greg Cohen. “He was headed for a world championship challenge before the injury. He tried to come back too soon and wasn’t the same. That’s the only reason he even lost a fight. He hasn’t been taking beatings for the past five years, so he’s not dealing with wear and tear. I believe he’ll be back to his normal self within just a few return fights. I’m happy to be working with him again. He’s an engaging guy with exceptional talent.”