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GUILDERLAND: Taking it to the next level

Michael Faragon is entering the major league of boxing.

The Guilderland resident signed an agreement last week to join Shelly Finkel's agency and will sign another contract this week with Oscar De La Hoya's promotional group, Golden Boy Promotions.

Not bad for an amateur fighter who turns 20 years old this week.

It's really not that much of a surprise, said Faragon, who concluded his amateur career with an 87-15 record and a No. 1 ranking among all light welterweights. "I worked very hard, and I knew it would pay off."

"He's in a great position," said Andy Faragon, Michael's father, manager and trainer. "He's working with the two biggest people in boxing."

Signing with Finkel and De La Hoya gives Faragon the opportunity to fight on prominent cards, but Andy said he won't be rushed into the ring.

"We're looking at a four- to five-year window to give him his experience," said Andy. "Hopefully if Shelly Finkel does his job, I do my job and Mike does his job, he'll be fighting for a world title in four to five years."

"The first couple of years will probably be kind of slow," said Michael. "We'll have to pick our bouts carefully. You have to fight your way up the ranks."

The agreement will also give Faragon some local bouts to cut his professional teeth with. Andy said his son is supposed to be part of a future fight night sponsored by local promoter Lisa Elovich. And if he gains a large Capital District following, Faragon could bring some big fight cards to the region.

"Shelly told us that if his following continues to grow, he could have a shot at fighting something big at the TU Center," Andy said.

The decision to turn pro came after Faragon missed qualifying for the United States Olympic team trials earlier this year.

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