The Ring Masters Championships is off to a triumphant start. In just its second year, Metro’s premier tournament has drawn a field of over 700 boxers from 70 clubs throughout the metropolitan area, all vying for the right to slug it out in Madison Square Garden for the title “Ring Master.”
Opening night on February 7 at Amazura Night Club and Concert Hall featured a Metro first: Two simultaneous rings! Nonstop action in the 123, 132, and 141-pound senior novice divisions thrilled the standing-room-only crowd, which featured New York boxing luminaries like Brian Ceballo, Patrick Day, and Chris “Bhopp” Colbert, cheering on the next generation. Andrew Bueno of Eastern Queens BC took home the King of Sting Power Punch award. The Dana Ford Fight of the Night went to Khamall Dunkley, Freeport PAL vs Kerry Duperval, Westbury BC.
Action continued on February 8 in the 152-pound senior novice division at Church Street Boxing in the heart of the financial district, which holds bragging rights as the “Largest Fight Gym in NYC.” It was a great night for the fighters from Gleason’s Gym, as Justin Travieso won the King of Sting Power Punch award, and the Dana Ford Fight of the Night saw gymmate Alejandro Torres defeat John Argueta, Unattached. (Full fight here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dahf7IoO5I8 )
On February 9, Gleason’s played host to the 165-pound novice preliminaries at their world famous headquarters overlooking the bridges and rooftops of DUMBO, Brooklyn. The Dana Ford Fight of the Night was won by Peter Ramos of the New Bed Stuy BC vs Niall Curran, Unattached. The King of Sting Power Punch award went to Michael Antuofermo of Freeport PAL, an all-county wrestler trying to follow in the footsteps of his great uncle Vito Antuofermo, former middleweight champion of the world.
“He’s got a famous last name, so I gotta make sure he can fight!” said Coach Joe Higgins. “I’m trying to get him to be a little ferocious on the inside and shorten up his punches, just like his uncle did.”
Valentine’s Day weekend brought lots to love as WTF (Work Train Fight) hosted the action in their glamorous Noho gym. The 141-pound senior novices returned to the ring, joined by the big boys: the 201 and 201+ senior novices.
“It was great energy,” said featherweight Rebecca Guzman of Champs. “They had a DJ spinning and they were giving out gloves and tee-shirts from the sponsors. The heavyweights were going at it so hard that a ref went to the canvass!”
With so much firepower, it was a tight race for the King of Sting Power Punch, won by superheavyweight police officer Laron Rhodie, fighting unattached. The Dana Ford Fight of the night went to the skillful 141-pound matchup won by WTF’s Chris Sealy against Jensey Diaz of Brotherhood Boxing.
The action moved to Mount Vernon on February 16 as Main Street Boxing Club hosted the 123 and 178-pound senior novices. Coach Michael Stellate’s welcoming space atop a hardcore muscle gym is a perfect example of the way Metro’s member clubs build communities that uplift our youth. Fight of the Night honors went to light heavyweights Nick Ferrandino of Champs vs Louis Maietta of Morris Park, but the packed crowd really roared when their hometown hero Koray Turhan captured the Sting Power Punch Award with a first-round stoppage.
“It’s like a second family here,” said Turhan, 22, who works as an EMT for the FDNY. “Sometimes after a hard day at work, I don’t want to train, but I know I can come here and forget about the world. Coach is like a father to me. He’s everything.”
The tournament continues at NYAC, Thursday evening with 152 Novice/Open, and Friday at International Boxing and Fitness in Ridgewood, Queens with all open class boxers at 141, 165, 178 Senior Open, and our weekend ends with a show at Hempstead Boxing at Kennedy Park on Sunday at 4 pm.
Many thanks to all our sponsors, clubs, coaches, officials, and the fans who have already turned out to support Metro’s best.
And if you haven’t come out yet, what are you waiting for? Action continues this Thursday at the historic New York Athletic Club. Schedule, full results, and updated brackets are here: https://citylimits.org/boxing19/