Gloves and claws: Eldersburg boxing club hosts inaugural event featuring both fights and crabs

Mad House Boxing Club, with G-Upnation, hosted the inaugural Spring Brawl and Crab Feast in Eldersburg on May 18, when the community was able to experience competitive boxing with participants from within and outside of Carroll County.

Throughout the event, people in the community were able to witness the talent, abilities and skills of young fighters who came from Baltimore, Pennsylvania and Carroll County.


The attendees also enjoyed all-you-can-eat Maryland crabs and other plates.

The brothers Jermaine and Marion Rouse are the owners of Mad House Boxing Gym. Jermaine said they were able to host the event in part with the help of Shawn Robinson.


Robinson coaches boxing in Baltimore and represents G-upnation, which is a movement to encourage youth to “Get up” and make a change in their lives through boxing with discipline, positivity, and self-esteem.

The event was a total success, Rouse said. They were able to sell 180 tickets ahead of time and about 50 at the door. Rouse said they are planning on making the event into a tradition.

“This is a great opportunity to keep our athletes active. These types of events open doors for them and they can be part of other tournaments,” Rouse said.

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Valentino Mozzano is the head boxing coach for competitive fighters at Mad House Boxing Gym and he was also part of the May 18 event. He said in an email interview that they hosted 19 boxing matches with young boxers who are ranked in the country and in the world.

“People who attended the event had an amazing time with lots of food and music and highly competitive boxing matches to enjoy. We got a lot of great feedback to do more events in the future,” Mozzano said.

Mad House Boxing Gym, which opened in 2014 in Eldersburg, is the only USA Boxing Club in Carroll County.

The purpose of hosting this event, Mozzano said, was to bring awareness of the gym to the other boxing clubs in the DMV area and also the local community.

He emphasized that Mad House’s mission “is to teach everyday life lessons through the sport of boxing and instill discipline, respect, and self esteem in each one of our youth athletes.”

Two young athletes from Carroll County showcase their talents in this boxing competition.

One of the athletes was Caroline Cruickshank, a 14-year-old, open class fighter from Northwest Middle School in Taneytown.

Caroline’s father, Alexander Cruickshank, expressed how excited he was to see his daughter participate in this boxing event.

“This is the best boxing event I’ve been to, and I’ve been to a lot of them,” he said.


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According to Cruickshank, his daughter started boxing at 10 years old and her nickname is “Crusher” — after her favorite boxer, Sergey Kovalev, who also has the same nickname.

He also said Caroline has had 15 fights in the past two years and she has fought some of the best girls in the country.

Caroline is also part of the South Atlantic Boxing Association Team, which is composed of the best boxers from Baltimore and the surrounding areas, he said.

Cruickshank said the team will be going to the USA Boxing Junior Olympics this June in Madison, Wisconsin.

“Caroline’s goal is to go to the United States Naval Academy to serve her country and box,” Cruickshank said. “All of the coaches at the gym, [including] Valentino, Jermaine and [Lewis] Zauhn have instilled in Caroline the values of hard work and humility.”

Cruickshank explained that Caroline and Nick Battaglia, another participant in the boxing matches, have been traveling around Pennsylvania and Virginia to attend different boxing events.

Battaglia, a 16-year-old from Westminster High School, competes year round in amateur boxing, and he started boxing when he was 11 years old.

He said in an email interview that he looks forward to turning pro someday.

Mad House Boxing's Nick Battaglia, a 16-year-old boxer from Finksburg, right, battles with Star City Boxing's Alexander DeAlba of Reading, Pa., during the Mad House Boxing & G-Upnation 1st Annual Spring Brawl on Saturday, May 18.
Mad House Boxing's Nick Battaglia, a 16-year-old boxer from Finksburg, right, battles with Star City Boxing's Alexander DeAlba of Reading, Pa., during the Mad House Boxing & G-Upnation 1st Annual Spring Brawl on Saturday, May 18. (Brian Krista / Carroll County Times)

According to Nick, he trains at Mad House with Mozzano and he was excited to represent both the gym and Carroll County at the Spring Brawl and Crab Feast.

“Participating in events like this help you to become a better boxer while working under pressure,” Nick said. “I am proud to represent Mad House Boxing and Carroll County and would definitely represent them in future events.”

His father, Tony Battaglia, went to support him at the Spring Brawl and Crab Feast.

“It was an awesome feeling to see so many kids who train so hard for these events to showcase their skills and be the best they can be,” Battaglia said in an email interview. “They strive to be the best and to see the dedication and discipline in these young athletes makes me proud for them.”

Battaglia also said his son was not always a boxer. Before, he played many different sports, but he was never as passionate about them as he is now with boxing.

He went on and explained that one of his coaches said he had the natural ability to fight and wanted him to train with a coach who could take him to the level of competing.

Battaglia and his son started to look for a boxing coach, and they found out about Coach Mozzano at Mad House.

“He believed in Nick and worked hard with him to get him to this level,” Battaglia said about Mozzano. “Nick has been told by many coaches that he has the talent to be a Pro and to keep working hard.”

Mozzano is proud of the outcome of the Spring Brawl and Crab Feast, and he is positive that they will make this an annual event for everyone in the Carroll County community to enjoy.

“I believe people should participate and attend these events because it’s a great atmosphere for the kids and family and the entertainment of watching competitive boxing live with highly skilled and talented young athletes is unmatched to anything else out there,” Mozzano said.

Mad House Boxing Club and Sports Performance Gym is located at 1332 Londontown Blvd. in Eldersburg. For more information about the facility’s programs and events, contact their office at 443-201-8520, or visit madhouseboxingclub.com or www.facebook.com/madhouseboxing.

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