Community
9:00 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Regional Golden Gloves Tournament Opens Tuesday

 A regional Golden Glove tournament is the first step towards national exposure. San Antonio's regional tournament starts Tuesday night at the Woodlawn Gymnasium.  

This boxer has a problem. He’s two pounds overweight.  It’s Saturday morning and downstairs more than a hundred people fill the main floor of the Eastside Boys and Girls Club.  It’s the weigh-in and registration for San Antonio’s 2012 Regional Golden Glove Tournament.  If Edward Ortiz doesn’t make 165 pounds, he won’t be boxing in this tournament, so he is working up a sweat.

“Sweat it off. Just got to sweat it out. Dry yourself off. Don’t drink. Don’t eat,” Ortiz says.

The three-division, week-long tournament is open to anyone, man or woman, 17 to 34 years old who qualifies under the U.S. Amateur Boxing Association. The tournament benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio.

“It is our second largest fundraiser of the year,” says Angie Mock, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club.

The proceeds she is talking about come from ticket sales at the preliminary and final bouts and also from VIP and corporate contributors, which they have over 30 of this year.

“The key is to really focus on the experience of the fighter. Look at this guy. They work hard. They work all year long to get to this point," Mock says.

Mike Ayala, who works at the Zarzamora Street Gym, is one of Ortiz’s coaches and a former regional Golden Gloves champion himself. His father owns the gym he helps coach at, and, to him, this is truly a community event. 

“It’s a big tournament. It's lost a little bit of popularity, but it's always been a which teams represented each area of town,” Ayala says.

At the end of the registration, 168 boxers representing different parts of San Antonio and South Texas were in.

“You know, you get some who will eventually develop and make it a career, but for most, it is just that they fought in ' The Gloves.' It's for the love of the sport.”

Edward Ortiz will get to feel the love after all. The boxer shed to 165 pounds.