Young Chicago boxer robbed of car, gloves, championship belt

CHICAGO -- A young championship boxer was robbed of his car and valuables Saturday night.

19-year-old Joe Maloney was on in the 2600 block of West 35th Street Saturday on his way to boxing practice. He says a blue SUV slammed into his car. When he checked his vehicle, he found no damage so he told the driver to  forget about it.

But the driver and his two passengers had other ideas.

“All of a sudden he said ‘Now!’” Joe said.  “The passenger took out a gun and said, ‘Drop your keys. Drop your keys.’ … I dropped the keys. He put the gun away. I went to reach for my phone and then the guy in the backseat took out another gun. Next thing you know he went off with my car.”

Maloney’s car is a white, 2005 Lincoln LS.  There is a White Sox sticker on the back driver side window and a Blackhawks sticker on the back passenger side window.  It has  Illinois plate that reads Z275254

The car was a gift from his grandpa.  For Joe, it’s priceless along with the possessions that were inside the car.

“I had a pair of the Red Rays,” he said.  “They were $200 a pair. Those are the ones that are gone. One for sparring – those are 16 ounces, and then one for 10 ounces, which is to hit the bag.”

The gloves were in the car along with Joe’s championship belt he won at the 2014 Title Boxing National Championship.

For Maloney, boxing is an escape and motivation.

He has been in the ring since he was 11. He has battled numerous health issues.  Most recently, Joe had a stroke in January.

“I had a bad headache,” he said.  “My head hurt so bad that I fell asleep in my bed. I woke up and I couldn’t move. My blood pressure was 200 over 110.”

The stroke forced Joe to take a leave from his studies at Moraine Valley.

Joe has also battled the rare Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.  But these major health worries have not slowed this champion.

“Actually, it gives me more motivation, especially when you’re lying in the hospital bead,” he said. “I hate that feeling. … It just makes me think when I’m in the ring, how lucky I am to actually fight. It just gives me a good feeling. It makes me train harder knowing I could be in a wheelchair all my life or make something out of nothing.”

Anyone with information about the missing car should call police.