SKOWHEGAN — After seven previous bouts in the boxing ring, Thomas Curtis of Spruce Head finally stepped between the ropes in his home state.

Curtis, a 2016 Oceanside High School graduate and three-sport athlete during his time with the Mariners, was part of a card of roughly 15 fights on Saturday, June 11 at the Skowhegan Recreation Center.

The 24-year-old Curtis, who fights out of Rolfe Boxing Club in Waterville, lost his bout by decision. Curtis said he could not recall the name of his opponent, but “he was a solid fighter and I have a lot of respect for him.”

Curtis is 3-5 through eight amateur fights.

“I learned a lot about myself during that fight,” he said. “I was stunned pretty bad in the first round, but I looked around and saw my family sitting together taking up a full row and knew there was no quit in me. I gave everything I had, at points giving too much, and really lunging with my shots, but it was a learning experience and most guys would have given up in the first round.”

He added that fighting in Maine “was pretty amazing.”

“I may not have gotten a win, but to still see everyone’s faces and hearing the roar of the crowd when I knocked him down in the second [which the ref called a slip] was like something out of a movie.”

Curtis said he plans to take time off until August and then “really grind in the gym and on the track to get ready for the next fight.”

Prior to Saturday’s fight, Curtis defeated Kirk Kouchnerkavich at “Battle of the Beach III” on June 4 — an event put on by the Massachusetts State Police — in Revere, Mass.

Curtis also lost by technical knockout (TKO) to Zordan Holman in mid-January at the Northern New England Golden Gloves in Somersworth, N.H.

“That show was crazy,” said Curtis of his June 4th victory. “Very professional atmosphere with the lights and everything. I took from January to April off to work on things and give my body a break.”

Curtis, who fights in the super-heavyweight division, lost 50 pounds over that span of time and is down 90 pounds to 275 the past year.

“I am in the best shape of my life now and it’s showing,” he said. “Boxing has changed my life in so many ways.”

Justin Rolfe, a professional boxer who has won the New England heavyweight championship and Atlantic Boxing Federation heavyweight title, is Curtis’ head coach.

“I’m extremely excited to get into the ring in my home state,” said Curtis before the recent match. “Justin [Rolfe] and I have been trying to make this happen for quite a while now and we know it’ll bring out a big crowd. Ever since the ‘King of the Ring’ tournament where I won fighter of the night I’ve been asked over and over when we would make this happen.

“It’s kind of like a homecoming football game for me. My family, friends, kids I’ve coached and my team will all be in the crowd. It’s something that when you start in a sport like boxing you dream of. Win or lose it’ll be one of those memories on my career that I’ll never forget.”

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