Some of New York’s best amateur fighters showed their stuff in The Metro Semifinals at The Lab in Brooklyn last Thursday night. The annual Metro tournament, a warm up to the New York Daily News Golden Gloves, showcases some of the top amateur talent in New York and hints at the possible pool of future pro talent.
The card last Thursday was predominantly women. In the 110 lb. division Anna Marandi defeated Elizabeth Cornejo. Marandi, the more experienced boxer and the 2003 NY Golden Gloves winner, stopped Cornejo in the third round. Marandi will face Ruth O’Sullivan in the finals. O’Sullivan is the 2005 Golden Gloves champ at 106 lbs. Marandi and O’Sullivan are not new to fighting each other as they already fought a couple of times before. Marandi defeated O’Sullivan to win her Golden Gloves title in 2003. Both fighters have very different styles, O’Sullivan being a clean point boxer and Marandi liking to duke it out. The fight should be an interesting style match-up.
In the 119 lb. weight division, Cynthia Roszkowski won the title by walkover. The 119 lb. weight division, normally one of the most competitive, was surprisingly low on competition this year after June Chin and Angela Querol both pulled out at the last minute. Roszkowski is a member of Team Freeform and a teammate of yours truly, last year’s champ.
The 125 lb. women’s fight was an anticipated bout. Ronica Jeffrey, this year’s Golden Gloves champion, quickly stopped Walley Wall in the first round. Jeffrey, a skillful and powerful puncher with a reputation for stoppage already beat Wall earlier this year.
Jeffrey defeated now pro Maureen Shea, Hillary Swank’s sparring partner for Million Dollar Baby, at Madison Garden for her Golden Gloves title in April. Shea was expected to win and Jeffrey grabbed the respect of the amateur boxing world that night when she defeated Shea in an all out battle.
Many amateur fans now look forward to seeing her box and there will be no exception in December for the Metro finals where she will face Maimunah Holland. Holland, an experienced national competitor, fought a hard fight in the Garden in 2004 at 132 lbs., where she lost to Melissa Hernandez. Holland, a Tiger Shullman martial arts instructor, will be good competition for Jeffrey in what is expected to be the most anticipated and competitive bout of the women’s finals. Both women say they are training hard and looking forward to fighting a good opponent to win the title.
“I feel great at 125,” said Holland, who normally brings an entourage of Tiger Shullman trainees to her bouts. “I also have some new things I’ve been working on up my sleeve.”
“I don’t normally worry much about who my opponent is before the fight,” said Jeffrey. “I just get in there and box.”
Again this fight will be an interesting match-up of two very different styles and a preview of what is to come for the 2006 Golden Gloves in this exciting division.
Nationally ranked Raven Roytblat of Gleason’s Gym defeated Tracy Hutt in the 138 division. Roytblat will face Melissa Bopp in the finals. Bopp is also a kickboxer and a Tiger Shullman student.
In the men’s open divisions there were three bouts. Sadam Ali defeated Eddie Irrizary and will face Louis DelValle in the final. DelValle is the talented 2004 National Golden Gloves and current New York Daily News Champ but he was defeated in the finals of the National PAL’s this year by Ali. Both fighters are young and technical and this should be a good bout.
In the 152 lb. division there were two bouts. Ashanti Hendrickson defeated Stephen Scott and Leon Green defeated Edson Daniel. Both experienced, Hendrickson and Green train at the same gym in Long Island and are friends. Green is coming up from the 141 lb. class.
The Metro finals will cumulate on December 3rd, the10th, and the 16th. For details and card information, go to usaboxingmetro.com.
You never know, at a local New York amateur card you may get the opportunity to watch future professional boxing greats while they are still amateur…imagine you had gotten the chance to view Jab Judah when he fought as an amateur in New York…or Sugar Ray Robinson back in the day….
Coming soon we will post footage of the semifinals, spotlighting the 125 lb. women’s fight. We will post exclusive video interviews with both Ronica Jeffrey and Mainunah Holland who will face each other in the much-anticipated finals on December 10th. Boxingtalk.com’s women’s boxing correspondent will be there to cover and support this fight and other women’s amateur bouts. Not only do we cover the best high profile professional boxing, but we are also here to give women’s amateur boxing the long needed attention and coverage it deserves.
Video footage to follow.