‘Gifted’ young blood out of Grealish Boxing Club

Jacob Aguiar, Special to the Reporter
Aug. 14, 2014

Jose Terrato, left, with trainer Brian Powers.                                                 Photo by Jacob AguiarJose Terrato, left, with trainer Brian Powers. Photo by Jacob Aguiar

Jose Terrato is one of those kids that absorbs everything.

“In his corner, you never have to repeat yourself. You say it once and he does it,” said Nikki Grealish, manager of her family’s namesake boxing club on Freeport Street.

Terrato has boxed out of the Grealish Boxing Club for a little over a year and has already fought six times with a current winning record of 4 wins and 2 losses.  His trainers boast the 16 year-old is a great all-around fighter, able to work elusively from the outside or up close and aggressive. He tries to control the action early and learn what type of fighter he is facing, but when circumstances are right, he prefers to stay in the pocket.

“I like to hit’um with a one-two to the head and a left hook to the body. If I sense that I am able to, I like to push my opponent into a brawl by cutting off the ring and throwing a lot of combinations,” Terrato told the Reporter.

“I love it, I have wanted to do it since I was eight years old,” said Terrato, who also also excels in the classroom at Madison Park High School. He is also in the ROTC program and consistently makes the honor roll.

“My mom always says that school comes first. I can train as much as I want as long as I keep doing well in school.”

Terrato developed his love for boxing while watching it on T.V. with his father and was able to perfect it at gyms in the U.S. in Puerto Rico. While he was growing up, his family moved between the U.S. and Puerto Rico, but boxing was always able to remain a constant in his life between the two countries. At first, it was difficult for Terrato to find a reputable and affordable gym in the US until a chance sighting drew him into the Freeport Street location where he met the patriarch of the Grealish clan.

“We were driving by and we saw the gym. At first, we thought it was closed but we came in and I met Martin Grealish and that’s how it started,” Terrato said. Martin Grealish, a 68-year-old native of Co. Galway, Ireland, leads the gym’s daily training alongside his son, Gerry, a Boston firefighter.

Though the encounter was only a year ago, Terrato’s subsequent work with trainer Brian Powers has revealed the mind of a seasoned fighter.  “He just doesn’t do the combinations and forget them. He really learns them. I saw it in the last fight he had. He used a lot of what we had been working on and it came together nicely,” Powers said.

Much of Terrato’s drive comes from his family.

“My mother and father have always worked hard to make a good life for me and my brother,” Terrato said. “In Puerto Rico and here, we have been living in rough places but we try to succeed in life by working hard.” His six-year-old brother, who has an intellectual disability, is also a big factor. “He has Global Developmental Delay, and I want to be there for him and be able to help him out,” Terrato said.

Terrato’s inspiration, quick thinking, and natural talent are a potent combination, especially at Grealish’s club.

“Terrato is a naturally gifted kid,” Nikki Grealish said. “The goal is to get him into some national tournaments but everything comes from money.

“We don’t charge much in here and it is hard for us to fund trips to competitions. He can really be somebody in there. He is just an incredible kid inside the ring and out. He is like family, he really is.”