Two killed in tragic accident
By Alex Pierpaoli
originally published 12/22/06 on KOFantasyBoxing.com
The boxer-trainer relationship is most similar to that of father and son; both work hard to bring the best out of each other at all times and when one member of the partnership hurts both men feel it. When tragedy strikes it’s like losing a part of one’s self. Such is the case for former fighter and current trainer Sean “Fitzy” Fitzgerald whose junior middleweight charge, Enrique Palau lost his life earlier this week in a fatal car accident just a few days after notching his seventh straight win as a professional. Fitzgerald spoke with KOFantasyBoxing about the senseless and tragic death.
“It’s terrible,” said Fitzgerald. “His mother is devastated.”
Palau, 27, and Amanda Snaras , 25, a “childhood friend” of Enrique’s, were both killed early Wednesday morning on their way home from a Christmas Party when the car Palau was driving struck a rock wall at the end of Grafton Street in Worcester, MA. Palau leaves behind two children, ages four and one.
“The woman he was with she had two children too so it’s a double tragedy.” Fitzgerald, still very distraught over the accident, described what a blow this has been to so many people close to both victims. “I was his trainer but I’ve also been a father figure to him.”
Palau, who had spent five years in prison for armed robbery, turned his life around once paired with Fitzgerald and exposed to the disciplined life of a prize-fighter. Palau had won amateur titles and was on his way to becoming a regional star after seven straight victories his first year as a professional. On December fifteenth he fought at The Castle in Boston, a fight to be aired on January second on NESN.
“Anytime you go from getting in trouble like that and then having the gang unit of the police department behind you and pulling for you, being involved actively in your life and helping you out, it always takes you higherﾅThis kid made a hundred percent turn around. And now he’s snuffed out and I don’t understand it. If he died when he was not boxing and being a punk it’s different. I’m just happy that he turned his life around and now he’ll go out like a hero.”
“I’ve got kids in my gym, high school kids, sophomores and juniors that are really upset. They looked up to Enrique,” Fitzgerald explained.
“He had a big heart. He believed in his ability. He had really big balls and good power. But unfortunately things happen for a reason. I don’t know why God did it though.”
NESN will have details about a trust fund for Palau’s family on the January second broadcast of their Battle-Zone Boxing Show which will feature Palau’s final bout with Hollister Elliott. Once available KOFantasyBoxing will post details about where donations or well-wishes can be sent.
This writer spoke to Enrique Palau just a few days before his most recent bout and after the interview I was left with such a positive vibe from the young man. His motivation and enthusiasm were infectious and it was a shock to hear of his untimely death.
KOFantasyBoxing extends their condolences to the Palau and Snaras families, Sean Fitzgerald and all those affected by this tragic accident.
Send comments or questions to Alex Pierpaoli at: KOFantasyBoxing@gmail.com