The Theatre at Madison Square Garden held the first night of finals for New York's 80th Annual Daily News Golden Gloves Finals this past Thursday. The nearly sold-out Theatre held seventeen bouts in the open, novice and women’s divisions. John Duddy, Emile Griffith, Zab Judah and Maureen Shea were just some of the professional fighters in attendance to watch the amateur finalists.
Brooklyn resident Schavez Peters of Gleason’s Gym used quick footwork against Luis Ramirez of Yonkers PAL in their 119-pound novice championship fight. Peters was deducted a point in the third round for a low blow and the fighters ended the round with good action trading toe to toe in the last 15 seconds of the round. Peter’s footwork and more accurate punches earned him a 5-0 decision.
The 132-pound open championship was a highly anticipated bout between two champions from the 2006 Golden Gloves Finals. Sadam Ali of Havoc Boxing won both the Daily News and National Golden Gloves in 2006 while his opponent Bryan O’Connor of Webster PAL won the 2006 novice championship. Ali won a 5-0 decision by using superior hand speed and hard hitting combinations.
Sadam Ali puts pressure on Bryan O’Connor in 132-pound open championship
Sadam Ali wins 5-0 decision in 132-pound open championship against Bryan O’Connor
The 152-pound open division put on the most exciting fight of the night. Ronney Vargas of Webster PAL and two-time Golden Glove champion faced Ashante Hendrickson of Veteran’s Memorial Gym. Hendrickson used his speed early in the first round but was met by shots to the body. The first two rounds had a lot of action with both boxers landing several shots. Vargas began to take over in the third round ,staggering Hendrickson, who received a standing 8 count.
Ronney Vargas (gold) and Ashante Hendrickson (blue) exchange blows in the 152-pound open championship
Ronney Vargas (gold) steps back from Ashante Hendrickson’s (blue) hook in the 152-pound open championship
Vargas continued to land strong power shots through the fourth round and caught Hendrickson with a right uppercut at the end of the round that nearly put him through the ropes. Vargas won his third Golden Gloves championship with a 5-0 decision and is looking to fight professionally later this year.
Ronney Vargas (gold) after connecting a straight right to Ashante Hendrickson (blue) in the 152-pound open championship
Ronney Vargas (gold) wins the 152-pound open championship
Currently ranked the number one amateur on the U.S. in his class and two-time Golden Glove champion Luis Del Valle of Newburgh BC faced a game but overmatched Alfredo Baeza in the 125-pound open championship. Del Valle put on a great performance knocking down Baeza in the third round and scoring a standing 8 count in the fourth round.
Luis Del Valle (gold) presses the action against Alfredo Baeza (blue) in the 125-pound open championship
Luis Del Valle (gold) lands an uppercut against Alfredo Baeza (blue) in the 125-pound open championship
Del Valle received a 5-0 decision and remains a favorite to compete on the U.S. Olympic team in Beijing in 2008.
Luis Del Valle (gold) avoids a jab from Alfredo Baeza (blue) in the 125-pound open championship
Luis Del Valle (gold) trades blows with Alfredo Baeza (blue) in the 125-pound open championship
Also ranked number one in the US and defending Golden Glove champion Adam Willett of Veteran’s Memorial Gym faced 2005 Golden Gloves finalist Sal Potente of Mt. Vernon BC. Willett came out strong in the first round in his southpaw stance with a hard jab that snapped back Potente’s head. Near the end of the first round it became clear that Willett had injured his left arm.
His corner tried to work his shoulder in-between rounds but Willett was not able to throw his left for the remainder of the fight. The referee would stop the fight twice for the ring doctor to confirm it was ok for him to continue. Although he fought valiantly throwing his jab and hook sparingly it was not enough to earn him the decision which he lost 1-4.
Coach Mike Murphy of Veteran’s Memorial Gym works on the arm of Adam Willett (blue) in-between rounds of the Heavyweight open championship
Adam Willett (blue) grimaces in pain from his left arm in-between rounds of the Heavyweight open championship
Full results from the April 19, 2007 New York 80th Annual Daily News Golden Gloves:
Angelique Bovee (unattached) DEC 5-0
Dariana Casado (Team Free Form)
Schavez Peters (Gleasons’s Gym) DEC 5-0
Luis Ramirez ( Yonkers PAL)
Alexis Asher (Gleason’s Gym) DEC 4-1
Amanda Walsh (unattached)
Sadam Ali (Havoc Boxing) DEC 5-0
Bryan O’Connor (Webster PAL)
Christina Cruz (Team Gibborim) DEC 5-0
Sofia Gegovic (Tiger Schulmann)
Ronney Vargas (Webster PAL) DEC 5-0
Ashante Hendrickson (Veteran’s Memorial Gym)
Randy Truinfel (Brotherhood BC) DEC 3-2
Mikkel Les Pierre (Gleason’s Gym)
Luis Del Valle ( Newburgh BC ) DEC 5-0
Alfredo Baeza (Webster PAL)
Raul Nunico (unattached) DEC 3-2
Sean Mockler ( Suffolk PAL)
Sonya Lamonakis (Gleason’s Gym) DEC 5-0
Shanell Mathes (Trinity Boxing)
Sal Potente ( Mt. Vernon BC ) DEC 4-1
Adam Willett (Veteran’s Memorial Gym)
Jay Rodriguez ( Starrett City BC ) DEC 4-1
Edward J Kennedy ( Zaragoza BC )
Julion Ramphal (Webster PAL) DEC 4-1
Jose Rivera ( Omni BC )
Maimunah Holland (Tiger Schulmann) DEC 5-0
Kaori Oiwa (D’Awesome BC)
Chazz McDowell ( Yonkers PAL) DEC 5-0
Joseph Arroyo, Jr (Morris Park BC)
Dawne Thomas (Westbury PBC) DEC 5-0
Jennifer Egan (Gleason’s Gym)
Tor Hammer ( Kingsway BC ) DEC 4-1
Jarrell Miller (Gleason’s Gym)
Watch for NY Daily News Golden Gloves â€“ Part III featuring the comments and photos from the Finals from April 20, 2007.