The fans see the winning boxer basking in glory with his arms raised high.
What they don’t see is a lonely, bored 25-year-old driving to the gym at 11 pm for his third workout of the day.
“I’m not going to lie. It becomes boring sometimes,” admits Chicago super middleweight Ninos Abraham (5-0, 2 KOs). “How fun is driving to the gym at this hour? It’s not like I drive here three times a week. I’m going to the gym six nights a week. I’ve got no time for family or my girlfriend. But I look at it as all being worth it in the end when I become a world champion.”
Abraham is in final preparations to appear on the Hitz Boxing Fight Night event on Saturday, April 9, at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana. He is scheduled to face Indiana veteran Nathan Wilkes.
“Boxing is my full-time job. I go for a run in the morning at 6:30 am, four miles, then I do intervals uphill then crunches and push ups. Then I come home and go back to bed. At noon, I go to the boxing gym, come home, do laundry and go back to bed. At night, I head to the gym for more cardio and strength training.”
Abraham is a proud Assyrian American. “People say Assyrian what’s that? I have to tell them remember the Babylonians? That’s who we are. I speak a dialect of the Aramaic language. I speak what Jesus spoke. Remember that movie Passion of the Christ? I understood a lot of that movie without the subtitles!”
It was an uncle who got the young Ninos interested in boxing. “I started at eight years old. My uncle was boxer who was wining tournaments and getting trophies. One time I asked him for his trophy and he told me ‘I could give it to you, but it’d mean nothing. You have to go get your own.’ My father took me to a boxing gym and within two weeks I had my first fight and lost. I ended up fighting that guy five more times and I beat him every time after that.”
Abraham had a fantastic amateur career, going 160-25. He was a three-time 152-lb Open Chicago Golden Gloves Champion and fought in many national tournaments for the US.
The disciplined young man of today didn’t always take boxing this seriously. Bad management and financial pressure forced him to put his passion on hold a great deal. Then one day he met a fellow Assyrian who made him an offer.
“I have a manger now,” he says proudly. “Albert Khouri is a guy I know who is also Assyrian. He’s always watched me as a young amateur and liked how I fight and the person I am. He saw how down I was and unhappy and asked me what’s the problem? I told him I don’t think I can box anymore. You can’t have a regular job and put 110% into boxing and become a world champ. He said listen, if you give me everything, I will manage you and help you out. Now I’m on a weekly salary so I can pay my bills and just train.”
It’s all starting to come together for Ninos Abraham. He may not enjoy the monotony of training, but he wouldn’t want his life any other way. “This is what I love. I love the emotions, the fame, and the exposure. I love the entertaining and I want to do something for my Assyrian people and put them back on the sporting map. I do a reality check now and then and ask myself if I really think I’ll make it and I know I can do it. That’s the only reason I’m spending so much time on this game.
Also scheduled to appear are: Yakubu “Black Mamba” Amidu (19-2-1, 16 KOs); Chicago light welterweight Russell Fiore (4-0-1, 4 KOs); Chicago super middleweight Ninos Abraham (5-0, 2 KOs); Chicago heavyweight Dave Latoria (7-0, 3 KOs); Chicago junior lightweight Paulie Settepani making his pro debut; and Hammond welterweight Ruben “Modern Day Warrior” Galvan (27-15-4, 10 KOs) in separate bouts.
Must be 21 or older to attend shows. Must be 21 or older to gamble.
WHERE: THE VENUE AT HORSESHOE CASINO
777 Casino Center Dr., Hammond, IN, 46320
Horseshoe Box Office: 219-473-6060
ABOUT CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT CORPORATION
Caesars Entertainment Corporation is the world’s largest casino entertainment company. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, more than 70 years ago, Caesars has grown through development of new resorts, expansions and acquisitions, and now operates casinos on four continents. The company’s resorts operate primarily under the Harrah’s®, Caesars® and Horseshoe® brand names. Caesars also owns the World Series of Poker® and the London Clubs International family of casinos. Caesars Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its guests through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. Caesars is committed to environmental sustainability and energy conservation and recognizes the importance of being a responsible steward of the environment. For more information, please visit www.caesars.com.
ABOUT HORSESHOE CASINO
The all new $500 million Horseshoe Casino, a Caesars Entertainment Corporation, just 20 minutes from downtown Chicago is the premier entertainment and gambling destination in Chicagoland. Where legendary gaming lives on, Horseshoe boasts more than 350,000 square feet with over 3,000 slot machines, over 100 table games, one of the largest poker rooms in the Midwest, and more. The Venue at Horseshoe Casino is proud to offer the ultimate concert and entertainment destination and premier experience in a flexible space that can hold up to 3,300 guests. Dining elegance is not overlooked and guests can choose from a variety of dining options including; Jack Binion’s Steak House which overlooks Lake Michigan and recent winner of the 2009 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, around-the-globe variety at the Village Square Buffet, and a taste of Chicago at Benny’s Pub and Eatery.