Golden Gloves notes: Pressure's on for Olympians
by David Mayo | The Grand Rapids Press
Saturday May 10, 2008, 11:59 PM
Email Webmaster
Website By:
Racecol Web Solutions
Odds & ends from Saturday night at DeVos Place for the National Golden Gloves
Tournament of Champions:
Olympic team seeks gold
U.S. Olympic boxing coach Dan Campbell was in attendance, and acknowledged the
anticipation is growing as the August Beijing Games draw closer. The U.S. hasn't struck
Olympic gold since David Reid's punch for the ages in 1996, at Atlanta. "There's a lot of
pressure, not much sleep, a lot of traveling, not eating right," said Campbell, USA Boxing's
national director of coaching, from Colorado Springs, Colo. "But I knew that going into this. I
got a lot of counsel from former Olympic coaches, who are all friends of mine, and I stay in
touch with them, and I really listen to their guidance. I think it's going to take us a long way,
because I've tried to put my ego aside and listen to the guys who've been there."
Just a nice visit
The week back at the site of its old Welsh Auditorium home struck a nostalgic chord with
local Golden Gloves organizers. But don't expect to see a Michigan Golden Gloves event
here any time soon. "We're in our ideal venue right now," said Dave Packer, executive
director of the local franchise. "This was a wonderful experience. But we can't pass along
this cost for our local tournament. It's too expensive." Even with a rent break, Packer said he
is uncertain what final costs at DeVos Place will be, though they could exceed $40,000.
Ringside tickets were $50 base price Saturday, compared to $20 for a state final. A national
tournament is not out of the question, though. "They love the city, everything was close and
convenient. They're already bugging me to bring it back," Packer said.
Feeling salty
Charles "Chick" Paris, of Magna, Utah, has been director of Rocky Mountain Golden Gloves
since 1960. His franchise has hosted one National Golden Gloves, in 1968. Forty-one years
later, the tournament returns, to the venerable Salt Palace. "We're going to put on a great
tournament there," said the 82-year-old Paris. "We've got a good facility. The Salt Palace,
the renovation of that is only five years old, the hotel is only three blocks away, there'll be a
headquarters right downtown in Salt Lake City, and we'll line up some good tours." The
Utah Sports Commission was here to help pitch the franchise's successful bid Thursday.
The tournament is scheduled May 4-9, 2009.
Fast facts
• Renowned local artist Paul Collins designed the program cover free of charge. He
explained, in a memo printed on the inside back cover, that he "witnessed dramatic
transformations" in Golden Gloves boxers he knew during the 1960s. One of those was his
boyhood friend, Buster Mathis Sr. • Former lightweight champion Sean O'Grady worked
WKTV's telecast as an analyst, but he doesn't have any Golden Gloves memories. He
turned professional at 15. "That's what my family did for money," said the Oklahoman.
"The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline. Boxing formulates self-discipline, if you do it
--Ray Rodgers, Golden Gloves of America president. "I was always fighting in the U.S.
Championships, and then fighting out of the country. I always felt that's who my competition
was against."
--2008 U.S. Olympic flyweight Rau'shee Warren, of Cincinnati, explaining why he never
competed in Golden Gloves.
By the numbers
5 -- National Golden Gloves tournaments conducted in Kansas City, Mo., most of any city
except original host Chicago.
1968 -- The only year Salt Lake City hosted National Golden Gloves. The 82nd tournament
will be at the Salt Palace next year.