Teacher discusses boxing career and return to Indianapolis


English teacher Michael Gawdzik poses in his classroom. Gawdzik had a short-lived boxing career in South Korea.

Owen Wright, Reporter

This week Owen Wright went “Off The Clock” with Michael Gawdzik. Gawdzik is a new member of the English department. In the past Gawdzik lived abroad and boxed at a competitive level. 

Q: Where did you live outside of the U.S? 

A: Seoul, South Korea. 

Q: Why did you move to South Korea? 

A: I had come to South Korea to get as far from Indianapolis as possible. It was 2013, I was fresh out of college, looking for adventure and had just spent months listening to old teachers complain incessantly about the state of Indiana education. It was a sermon I wanted no part in writing. What I wanted was to get rid of everything, leave the country, burn my couch, break up with my girlfriend, crush my bike, disembowel my bed and stomp on all the frozen loaves of bread in my freezer. I wanted to get in a fight and see what I was made of.

Q: How long did you box? 

A: I boxed for six months while living in South Korea.

Q: How did you get involved with boxing? 

A: My apartment was right across the street from a boxing gym, so every morning when I would go to work and when I would come home, I would hear the ring bell ding. Growing up I was pretty scrawny and was terrified of physical confrontation. Having an older brother who beat me up regularly didn’t help either. I decided that I would face my fear and learn how to box, and, if I sucked, I wouldn’t tell anyone about it stateside.