Daring Dan Mannarino gets in the ring with a professional kickboxer

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Our morning producer, Brynn, came up with the idea to send me to an unknown location each Friday in November to do some daunting task.

On Friday morning, my co-anchor Marysol told me to pack gym clothes and gave me two clues as to where I was headed in the 4 and 5 AM hours.  My first clue was “ fit for a king,” and the second was “it takes 40 minutes to get there.”

Needless to say, I had no idea where I was headed.  At 6 a.m, I walked off the set from anchoring duties, and got into a company vehicle driven by my photographer, Ron, who also didn’t know where I was headed besides the address.  We headed into the Queens-Midtown tunnel, and I soon realized we must be headed for Long Island.

Around 6:45, we pulled up to the location, Bellemore Kickboxing Academy. For whatever reason, I was not surprised it was something to this degree.

What I was surprised about was who I met inside, Josh Foley, the NY State Champion for kickboxing, who told me I was going to be learning how to box and then fight him inside the ring.

For about an hour, Josh taught me various degrees of punches and blocks.  I am not going to lie here, I have never been good with eye to hand coordination, so I was having a difficult time grasping the concept.

I also got about three hours sleep since I worked the Halloween parade the night before, so I was feeling easily winded.

At 8:40 a.m., it was time to get in the ring, and fight Josh live on the air. Let’s just say the past hour of lessons on how to punch and block went right out the window, and I went into straight defensive mode as Josh got a few good punches in.  While the anchors laughed from the studio,  I got a few good punches in also. It’s very easy to shout from the sidelines, but it’s totally different to be inside that ring face to face with a pro.

Josh went easy on me, and despite my best effort, he won. At least I can now say I tried boxing, and it just is not for me.

Tune in next Friday to find out where I end up next.

Tweet me your thoughts — @pix11dan

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