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“I had a good experience with my professors early on,” says Tommy. “My first semester I met some pretty great people. My first two classes were beginning level courses, my professors were nurturing, and they seemed to understand what I was going through. Their encouragement really helped me succeed.”
Hometown: Waltham, Massachusetts
Major: Business Administration
By the time Tommy Duquette was 14, he was a boxer. He would hang around with his cousin, who got in a lot of fights in high school and was encouraged to go to boxing school. Tommy was hooked.
His first fight came when he was 16, launching a career in which he became one of the best fighters in the world in his weight class. At 141 pounds he was one of the best in the world, a four-time New England Champion, a three-time Northeast Regional Champion, the 2004 Ringside World Champion Gold Medalist, and a 2011 USA Boxing National Championships silver medalist. From 2010-2012 Tommy was a member of the U.S. National Team, earning the second seed at the 2012 Olympic Trials.
With a trip to the London Olympics on the line at the Trials in Mobile, Alabama, Tommy lost his first fight to Duran Caferro of Montana by a razor thin margin of 21-20. A three-round, double elimination format, Tommy faced Jamel Herring of North Carolina in his second fight. The match ended in a tie, with Herring moving on thanks to the tiebreaker – number of punches thrown. Herring defeated Caferro in the title fight.
Tommy finished his career with 105 wins in 131 bouts.
“When I started in boxing, turning pro was the goal,” says Tommy. “I actually got some pretty amazing offers from serious promoters, but I decided a few years back that boxing wasn’t something I wanted to do for a living.”
Instead, he decided to go back to school. He wound up following in his mother’s footsteps, who had earned her associate degree at MassBay when Tommy was a kid. “I remember going with her to the school,” he says, “and I had fond memories of the place.”
Tommy turned his competitiveness from the ring to the classroom. “I hated high school, and I didn’t do well,” he explains. But when he decided to come to MassBay, “I turned school into a competition like boxing was for me. I figured I’d just compete with the other kids in my classes, and that’s what helped me succeed.”
And succeed he did. He started with two classes in 2007, three years after graduating from Waltham High School. With his new approach to school, Tommy flourished. He got A’s in his first two classes. So he signed up for three more, and got A’s in those too. Ultimately, he finished his MassBay career with a 3.95 GPA in the Business Administration program. He transferred nearly all of his 58 credits to Babson College, where he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management in the fall of 2012.
“I had a good experience with my professors early on,” says Tommy. “My first semester I met some pretty great people. My first two classes were beginning level courses, my professors were nurturing, and they seemed to understand what I was going through. Their encouragement really helped me succeed.” Tommy remains especially grateful to Meredith Watts, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, who helped him with a summer pre-calculus class. “I needed more math to get into Babson, and I needed a B or better in that class,” he recalls. “Professor Watts knew the situation, and she wound up tutoring me once or twice every day. I wound up getting an A.”
The competitiveness and drive Tommy displayed in the boxing ring carried over at Babson, where he finished with a 3.6 GPA. He’s applying now to MBA programs, working as a personal trainer, and considering starting a technology-based company. For now, his boxing career is over, “I think so. Maybe not though. It’s still such a big part of my life.” Like everything he does, if a return to the ring is in the future, you can bet Tommy Duquette will walk out a winner.
Tommy Duquette earned 58 credits at MassBay before transferring to Babson College where he earned a Bachelor’s in Business Management. A world-class boxer, Tommy is exploring master’s degree programs and career options.
Tommy with Boston native &
boxing enthusiast Mark Wahlberg
Tommy with Jamel Herring,
a co-Captain on the
2012 USA Olympic Boxing Team