© Jim Everett / Saddo Boxing
April saw the conclusion of the 81st Annual Daily News Golden Gloves, a tournament that began at the end of January. Each year the famed amateur tournament holds the finals at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden, a highlight that many professionals never get the opportunity to experience.
Over the course of two nights the finals put on a total of 33 bouts in the various novice, open and women’s weight classes. In attendance were several past champions including: Jake LaMotta, Mark Breland, Iran Barkley, Emile Griffith, Junior Jones and Monte Barrett.
Also in attendance was two-time National and two-time New York City Golden Glove Champion, Sadam Ali who will be representing the United States in Beijing, China at the 2008 Olympics this August.
Mastic resident Joseph Smith of Veteran’s Memorial Gym made his way to the 178-pound novice finals via 3 knockouts, 1 decision and 1 bye to face Long Beach native Sean Monaghan of Freeport PAL who had a record of 3 decisions, 1 knockout and 1 bye. Both fighters threw hard power punches during the bout but it was Smith who was poised and relaxed as he used superior boxing skills and combinations to outpoint Monaghan by a unanimous 5-0 decision.
The hard punching action was not limited to the men’s division as Dariana Casado of Team Free From and Ebonny Fowler of Gleason’s Gym exchanged bombs during the 145-pound women’s final. The fighters showed tremendous skill in the ring by landing accurate shots but it was Casado’s stiff jab that snapped back the head of Fowler on several occasions winning a 5-0 unanimous decision.
The 178-pound open division put on one of the most anticipated fights of the finals. Three-time and defending champion from Richmond Hill, Will Rosinsky of Starrett City BC, faced 2006 novice champion Peter Lawson of Gleason’s Gym who hails from Jamaica, Queens Rosinsky paced the ring staring down Lawson before the fight resembling a wild animal stalking its prey. From the opening bell Rosinsky out-boxed and out-powered the game Lawson winning a 5-0 unanimous decision.
Brooklyn native Chinazo Rena Anakwe of Team Free Form faced Kathleen Walsh from Ronkonkoma, LI of Heavy Hitter BC in the 138-pound women’s final. Anakwe came out swinging and pressing the action early in the fight but seemed to tire which Walsh took advantage of by landing one-two combinations. The back and forth action peaked in the last round as Walsh was bleeding from her nose and Anakwe seemed to get a second wind to pull out a 4-1 decision victory.
Some of the strong emotions that the fighters experience were most evident during the announcement of the winners in some of the closer fights where the winner could be seen jumping in the air and celebrating and the opponent standing with their heads held low in disappointment. Although one fighter has to win and another loses in the finals, each of the fighters that make it should be proud of their accomplishments and know that they have fought on one of the greatest stages any boxer could experience at Madison Square Garden.
Full results from the April 17, 2008 New York 81st Annual Daily News Golden Gloves:
Camille Currie, Gleason's Gym def. Lisa Tracy, unattached (3-2)
Timothy Ramirez, Morris Park BC, def. Jordan Rodriguez, Ardon Sweet Science (3-2)
Marcus Browne, NYC PAL, def. Shaka Davidson, Kenna's Gym (RSC 3)
Steven Martinez, NYC PAL, def. Travis Peterkin, Kingsway BC (5-0)
Keisher McLeod-Wells, Team Free Form, def. Alexis Asher, Gleason's Gym (4-1)
Joseph Smith Jr., Veterans Memorial, def. Sean Monaghan, Freeport PAL (5-0)
Nisa Rodriguez, Betances BC, def. Justine Herrera, Gleason's Gym (5-0)
Shem Pagan, Mendez Boxing, def. Vassiliy Zherebnenko, Brighton BC (5-0)
Frankie Garriga, Morris Park BC, def. Christian Arreaga, Brotherhood Boxing (5-0)
Christina Cruz, Gleason's Gym, def. Christina Rosa, Westbury PAL (4-1)
Raul Lopez, NYC PAL, def. Jose Rivera, Omni Fitness (4-1)
William Whitt, Ardon Sweet Science, def. Paul Diaz-Larui, Church St. (5-0)
Christina Jensen, Veterans Memorial, def. Jennifer Egan, Gleason's Gym (3-2)
Emmanuel Gonzalez, Betances BC, def. Marcos Hernandez, Gleason's Gym (Ret. 1)
Super Heavyweight Novice
Daniel Torres, Black Hand Combat, def. Davone Jones, Gleason's Gym (4-1)
Iris Murillo, Heavy Hitters BC, def. Tressan Dugan, NYC PAL (4-1)
Mitchell Balker, Mendez Boxing, def. Norman Neely, NYC PAL (3-2)
Full results from the April 18, 2008 New York 81st Annual Daily News Golden Gloves:
Dariana Casado, Team Free Form, def. Ebonny Fowler, Gleason's Gym (5-0)
Anthony Caramanno, NYC PAL, def. Allen Littlejohn, Suffolk PAL (3-2)
Walter Velazquez, Ardon Sweet Science, def. Marlon Baird II, Gleason's Gym (4-1)
Livingstone Joseph, NYC PAL, def. Mike Brooks, Freeport PAL (4-1)
Laura Ramirez, NYC PAL, def. Ruth O'Sullivan, Gleason's Gym (4-1)
Anthony Karperis, unattached, def. Marlon Charlton, NYC PAL (4-1)
Sonya Lamonakis, Gleason's Gym, def. Shayna Hargraves, Gleason's Gym (5-0)
Will Rosinsky, Starrett City BC, def. P.J. Lawson, Gleason's Gym (5-0)
Amanda Walsh, unattached, def. Yuko Yamamoto, Gleason's Gym (4-1)
Schavez Peters, Gleason's Gym, def. Cristian Concepcion, John's Gym (5-0)
Amanda Serrano, unattached, def. Jody-Ann Weller, New York Boxing Gym (5-0)
Phillip Jackson-Benson, Gleason's Gym, def. Michael O'Connor, NYC PAL (RSC 2)
Hassan Harb, Dragone BC, def. Dominique James, Gleason's Gym (5-0)
Chinazo Rena Anakwe, Team Free Form, def. Kathleen Walsh, Heavy Hitters BC (4-1)
Ngoli Okafor, Mendez Boxing, def. Jerry Gaspard, Church St. Gym (5-0)
Super Heavyweight Open
Tor Hamer, Gleason's Gym, def. Adam Kownacki, Gleason's Gym (3-2)