Boxing Patriarch Battling Cancer & Surgery
The “Chatter Box” would like to dedicate this Valentine’s Day column to give a special shout out to one of boxing’s veteran trainers, Joe Gamache Sr. The patriarch of the famed boxing family has been fighting cancer for over four years and will be going in for surgery THIS Monday, February 18, 2013.
Litchfield, Maine’s Gamache Sr. is a boxing trainer/promoter for the Gamache Boxing Club out of the Lewiston Armory. He is also best known as the father of former world champion Joey Gamache Jr. (55-4, 38 KOs). Junior won multiple titles in the sport including WBA, NABF and IBF belts. Joey faced off against Julio Cesar Chavez, Jeff Mayweather and many others before retiring after his his 2000 controversial bout versus Arturo Gatti.
BOXING IS THE GAMACHE FAMILY BUSINESS. And the “hurt business” became their way of life–and it is their legacy.
Three-time world titleholder Joey is a native son and was a popular hometown favorite in Maine. The ex-world titlist now lives in New York but will always be remembered in the Lewiston town and beyond. And the fighting tradition continues among this tribe. Joe Sr.’s two grandsons box; Ryan Gamache has laced up in the professional ranks along with Stevie Gamache (Joey’s son), who is a current 4-0 pro.
Joe Sr.’s daughter Terry Gamache is also a loyal member of the boxing fraternity. The Auburn trainer has been an official, a boxing promoter, a coach at the Gamache Boxing Club and more. She is also a working cutman/cornerman and the owner of Gamache’s Mobile Airbrush Tanning. And did I mention she’s also a “championship mom” with five kids, Jeff, Ryan, Tia, Lexi and Kyra. Terry’s son Ryan has already gone pro and her other son, Jeff Gamache, will be turning pro this year. Her daughters also box to stay in shape.
This family does not rest on their laurels. Team Gamache stayed active in the fight game for decades.
Terry was recently visiting with her dad and as they were talking about boxing (their favorite topic, of course!), her father reminisced about one of his very favorite fighters in particular.
“My dad was talking about Bobby Chacon and about how good he was!” the pretty brunette relayed to me. “He said he wishes he could get an autographed picture of him–he collects autographs!”
As his devoted daughter, she asked me if I could help surprise her father with a special photo and autograph from two-time world champion Bobby “Schoolboy” Chacon?
“My dad is going into the hospital for surgery on February 18,” Terry explained. “My dad has colon cancer and has been battling it for almost four years. He was just in the hospital recently; he has battled two bouts of cancer and will be going in for surgery on Monday for corrective surgery due to the colon cancer.”
How could I say no? So she and I went into stealth mode to surprise Joe Sr. with a very special “Get Well” greeting from former champ Bobby Chacon himself.
Joe Sr. will open his mail box to find a heartfelt message from the SoCal champ. I had the scrappy “Schoolboy” sign a couple of autographs for Gamache and also had him give a hearty shout out with an exclusive message from the West Coast–all the way to Kennebec County!
Bobby wanted to wish his biggest fan a successful surgery and a quick recovery. “To ‘Big Bad Joe,'” Bobby said as he signed an 8×10 for the Gamache trainer, “KEEP ON PUNCHING!”
“Thank you so much for thinking of my dad,” Terry commented when I told her “mission accomplished” on our plan to cheer up her father. “My brother Joey also said to tell you thanks for thinking of us! This means a lot to my dad and my family.”
Joe Gamache Sr.’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will be in his corner come Monday as he undergoes his latest surgery.
And the champs and the boxing community will be thinking of the famed Maine trainer in sending prayers and well wishes his way.
Wishing the senior Gamache a speedy recovery as he fights back against cancer–KEEP ON PUNCHING, JOE!
Photo by Michele Chong/ Additional photos courtesy of the Gamache Family
Calling All Boxing Fans
Boxing Fans, It's Edgar, Founder & Publisher of MyBoxingFans.com, and I personally want to ask you to subscribe to our email newsletter its completely Free! Just enter your name and email below: