It just seems like yesterday that I was a young child waiting for the arrival of Christmas morning, a day which seemed to take an eternity to come around from one year to the next as you wait in anticipation of opening up presents.
Now as an adult with a 6-year-old daughter I look forward to this day as much as I did as a child knowing the excitement that I will get out of watching her open all the presents she's been asking for these past few months.
As I look back on my youth I can target my 8th Christmas which took me from liking the sport of boxing to loving the sweet science.
In 1989 I received a few gift certificates to Toys R Us on Christmas from aunts and uncles and my mom, who was always a big Ray Boom Boom Mancini and Sugar Ray Leonard fan took me to the now-defunct toy store the next evening to find something for myself.
As we roamed the aisles looking at He-Man figures and Nintendo games I settled on a small tabletop Tiger Electronics Sugar Ray Leonard boxing game that my mom had picked up and shown me.
From the second I got my new prized possession home it altered my life.
As I grabbed the small controller sticks mounted onto each side of the device I would pretend that I was actually in the ring looking to become Youngstown's fifth world champion, a feat that would happen by Kelly Pavlik years later in 2007.
Having this game become a huge part of my youth as it was the first major purchase I made for myself in my lifetime seriously made me the boxing fan I am today.
This past year I saw an amazing growth of Youngstown Boxing News.
I started the year with roughly 250 likes on my facebook page have grown to 600 plus and will be closing in 700 in only a matter of time with a chance to reach my ultimate goal of 1,000 facebook likes by 2020.
This past year I covered 7 pro boxing events and more than a handful of amateur events, including taking my daughter to her first boxing show in May to see Danny Rosenberger a huge victory at The Meadows Casino located just outside of Pittsburgh.
The coverage I have provided with Youngstown Boxing News did not stop with boxing events however I was able to help Craig Snyder promote his Boxers of Youngstown book through my website by letting fans know of book signings and such.
This website did not stop growing at putting pen to paper however as I teamed up with Vinny O'Neill back in July and joined the fast-growing family at Western Reserve Radio to bring fans a bi-weekly radio show, Fight Night In Youngstown.
Through Fight Night In Youngstown, Vinny and I were able to team up with Kelly Pavlik and James Dominguez and have the guys from The Punchline come on our show and a few months later filled in for Dominguez on The Punchline and co-hosted the critically acclaimed show alongside Pavlik.
What a year it has been, but the icing on the cake came in November when I got to see someone who has become one of my best friends make his return to the ring at age 39 and steal the show as Vinny O'Neill scored a unanimous decision victory over James Lester on Thanksgiving Eve at the Palermo Center in Campbell.
From my family to yours, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and I am so thankful for everyone's support of the sport of boxing and my website.