To me, collecting stamps, or trolling eBay for knickknacks, is a hobby. Professional boxing is the furthest thing from a hobby. But super middleweight Will Rosinsky of Ozone Park, Queens, sees it differently.
"Boxing is my hobby," the 27-year-old fighter told me on the phone five days before he gets the biggest and best shot of his career, against ex-middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik on HBO.
I paused and tried to wrap my brain around that. I couldn't. So, I asked him to explain.
"I was taught to have options," said the right-hander with the 16-1 (9 KOs) record, who is coming off a decision win on June 14 against Aaron Pryor Jr. "Boxing is a hobby I take very seriously. It doesn't mean I do it part time."
Rosinsky's day job is as an EMT, working the toughest streets of NYC, in East New York. "When I get the right amount of time off, I give boxing full attention," he said. "I'm not doing it half-ass."
Not long ago, Rosinsky answered a call in East NY. A teenager had been shot nine times. "It was gory," Rosinsky said. "We did our best, took him to the hospital."
The kid didn't make it. "It is a little harder to deal with when he's so young," Rosinsky said. "It's tough to deal with, but you do the best job you can. It's a tough area, East New York, but someones gotta do it."
That gives you a better sense of how this guy can view boxing as a hobby, right? To take your job home with you when you see kids getting pumped full of holes -- in a neighborhood that is largely left to its own devices in the richest nation on the planet -- is a recipe for burnout. So Rosinsky doesn't. He processes the tough calls with fiancée and throws himself into his boxing.
So, this is "just" a hobby.
Does Rosinsky truly believe, as a hobbyist, he can defeat Pavlik (39-2 with 34 KOs; age 30)? The comebacking Ohioan moved to California earlier this year to get away from bad influences and learn new habits from a new trainer (Robert Garcia) and new friends (ones who don't encourage him to party down instead of train).
"I am damn near one hundred percent sure," Rosinsky said of the opportunity, which takes place at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. "But you have to be honest. It will be a tough fight. I'm ready for it.
"Pavlik's last fight (TKO7 win over Scott Sigmon on June 8), I wasn't really impressed," Rosinsky said. "I think I can beat a guy with a big name, make a lot of noise in weight class. I saw ring rust, I felt he was slower, and I couldn't see how powerful he was, because Sigmon was not hurt once. It almost looked like Pavlik didn't bring the same desire back when he was trying to prove a point.
"I see Pavlik as beatable, a great name on my résumé, and all reward, no risk for me. I'm the underdog. He's all risk, no reward, because people ask, 'Who is Will Rosinsky?'"