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Chicagoan Coached Boxer Who Faced Boston Bombing Suspect

John Cody John Cody
John Cody is a veteran reporter for Newsradio 780.
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CHICAGO (CBS) A Chicago attorney coached a boxer who faced one of the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings four years ago.

Mike Joyce, who runs three boxing clubs for the Police Athletic League, said 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev was 200 pounds at the time, when he faced Chicagoan Lamar Fenner in the 2009 Golden Gloves heavyweight championship.

Joyce told WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody that Tsarnaev fought in a stand-up, straight-forward European boxing style, but lost on points to the much smaller Fenner.

He said he was shocked to learn Tsarnaev was one of the two suspects in the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday.

“Even though boxing is an individual sport, it’s also a fraternity, so you’re practicing with your teammates, and you’re competing in a very difficult sport, and you have respect for your opponents at all times,” Joyce said.

Joyce said Tsarnaev’s behavior offered suggestions of possible racial prejudice against his black opponent, but nothing remotely resembling overt anti-Americanism.

“No, I mean it baffles the mind that somebody could be so sick,” he said.

Fenner, the victorious boxer in the match, died late last year.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with authorities in Watertown.  Earlier he and his younger brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, had shot and killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer.

The two also injured a transit officer in a firefight, and threw explosive devices at police during their getaway attempt.

Dzhokhar remained at large on Friday, and Boston was in lockdown as the FBI and police searched for him.