Originally created 01/06/02

Area boxers overshadowed in tournament



With nine representatives in the 22 matches held Saturday night at the Augusta Boys Club, Richmond and Aiken county boxers were prevalent in the eight-state East Coast Silver Gloves Boxing Championships. But it was the Maryland-Washington, D.C. area that ended up dominating in the finals.

Boxers from Maryland and the District of Columbia won six of the first 10 championship bouts, including Earl Cole's 2nd round win by retirement in the age 12-13, 90-pound division.

South Carolina State Silver Gloves Director and North Augusta Boxing Club co-founder Jo-Anne Newman said more resources are available to boxers from that area.

"They get so much more competition in the northern states than here because they have more boxing clubs," Newman said. "We have to take our boxers to other states to get them the experience they need. Some of these kids start out when they're like seven years old and by the time they get to Silver Gloves, they have so much more experience. They also have good coaching."

A boxer rom out side the Mary;land-Washington area did not win until the seventh match, when Michael Soto of Florida defeated Gregory Flowers by decision. Several boxers from Florida also shined early, winning six of their first seven championship matches.

Area South Carolina boxers struggled in the finals, with each of the state's first five competitors losing. Georgia fighters fared no better, losing their first three bouts. Larry Recio of Largo, Md. defeated Augusta's Chris Ardis by decision in the age 10-11, 70-pound division championship.

Augusta Boxing Club Director Tom Moraetes now plans to shift his attention to the National Police Athletic Championships. He is still awaiting a final decision as to whether the tournament will be held in Augusta.

"At this point, they're not happening (in Augusta), but they're not off the table," Moraetes said. "We've got to know something in the next week to 10 days."

Reach Lane Kramer at (706) 823-3425