Maspeth has its very own boxing sensation by way of Arklow, County Wicklow, Ireland. His name is James Moore and since turning pro, he remains undefeated at 14-0 with 10 knockouts in the junior middleweight class.
Moore, 29, was captain of the Irish national amateur team and won three national senior titles in Ireland. He also earned a bronze medal at the 2001 World Amateur Championships in Belfast. He arrived in America in 2005 with hopes of turning pro and became fast friends with fellow stablemate, John Duddy. They lived next door to each other in Middle Village until earlier this year when James moved to Maspeth. They remain close friends.
James punches hard ‒ so hard that many of his bouts don't make it past the first few rounds. His most recent victory against Thomas Davis (11-5-2) at Plattduetsche Park Restaurant in Franklin Square this past Thanksgiving Eve lasted only 1:23 into the second round before the referee stopped the match. With this victory came the New York State Junior Middleweight Championship belt. I like my matches short, Moore quipped after his latest tussle in the ring.
Described in reports as a devastating body puncher who is as much of a thinking man's fighter as he is a bomber, James is feared so much in his division that it makes it difficult for his manager to find opponents for him. More frequently than not, a replacement rival has to be found at the last minute, which James takes in stride.
His typical schedule starts with a 6 mile jog every morning. After lunch, he heads to the gym for a workout. When he's at training camp, the routine gets even more grueling.
Inside the ring he's all fight, but outside the ring, James' persona transforms into one that's very warm, friendly and down-to-earth. He lives happily with his wife, Leann, and puppy, Bailey, in a top-floor apartment in Maspeth.
James and Leann met several years ago back home in Ireland and started dating. She followed him to America in 2005. They tied the knot this past August, and then adopted Bailey. James and Leann return to Ireland twice a year to see family and friends. But their relatives also sometimes make the trip across the pond to visit them here. It was hard to leave everyone behind but my family was supportive, James recalled.
As for neighborhood hangouts, James has a few. My favorite places in the area to relax are Maurice and Juniper Valley Parks – they're great, Moore said. As for restaurants, I like The Cornerstone and Talk of the Town on Grand Avenue. He also enjoys socializing with friends at area pubs.
Moore's ultimate goal is to win a world championship, which he says he hopes to accomplish by the end of 2008.
Patrick Corcoran, who is both a friend and fan of the boxer, believes he will be successful in his quest. He's the best there is, Corcoran says. He'll definitely do it. He's one heck of a guy.
Best of luck, Jimmy, Maspeth is in your corner.