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GUILDERLAND: Taking it to the next level

"That's what we've been training for since I was 10 years old," said Faragon. "I had a pro style, and I thought that would help me. But I guess it didn't work out."

"There's people who thought I should have turned Mike pro last year," added Andy. "The Olympics was Mike's dream, and it was his chance to fight against the best in the world."

Faragon's pro style helped him garner attention from promoters, though. Several including Finkel were in contact with him as he rose to the top of the amateur ranks.

It's Faragon's pro style that should also help him make a quick adjustment from the amateur ranks.

"We've spent a lot of time working on his defense, so he's not just a guy taking shots and giving shots," said Andy. "You're always going to have to work on it. Mike has a tendency to turn (a bout) into a war at times, and he's going to have to control that."

Faragon will get some outside help as he gets ready for his first pro bout. He is going to spar with former world champion "Sugar" Shane Mosley for eight weeks.

"That's what I've waited for. That's only going to bring out the best in me," said Faragon of sparring with Mosley, who has won championships as a lightweight, a welterweight and a junior middleweight.

Whether Faragon will have a career as long or as successful as Mosley's career remains to be seen. The important thing, said Andy, is that boxing gives him the financial security he needs.

"When Mike was younger and we talked bout his career, we said we wanted him to be financially set and retire by the age of 35," said Andy.

In the interim, Faragon said he's considering continuing his education to have something to fall back on after his career is over.

"I've been thinking about taking some classes, and after boxing, the opportunities will open up for me," he said. "I'd like to own my own gym someday."

First, though, Michael Faragon would like to own a world championship.

"Some boxers drag out their careers too long, but I want to be in it long enough to win a world title and be around to defend it," he said.""

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