Summary: Staten Island boxing has a rich history and continues to produce talented boxers, coaches, and enthusiasts. From its early days in the late 19th century to the present day, boxing has played an important role in the sports culture of Staten Island. This article explores the various aspects of Staten Island boxing, including its history, notable boxers, gyms, coaches, and events.
1. The Early Days
Boxing became popular on Staten Island in the late 19th century, with organized fights held in the town of Port Richmond as early as 1880. The sport continued to grow in popularity over the years, with local gyms and clubs opening to train boxers. One of the most well-known boxers to come out of Staten Island during this time was James J. Corbett, who went on to become the heavyweight champion of the world in 1892.
Despite its popularity, boxing faced opposition from religious and civic groups who saw it as a violent and dangerous activity. In 1896, the state of New York banned boxing, but the ban was lifted in 1911 when the sport became regulated by the state athletic commission.
During the first half of the 20th century, boxing remained a popular pastime on Staten Island. Amateur and professional fights were held regularly, and the borough produced several talented boxers who went on to achieve success on the national and international stage.
2. Notable Boxers
Over the years, Staten Island has produced several notable boxers who have achieved success at the amateur and professional levels. One of the most famous is Kenny Gould, who won the 1959 Golden Gloves championship at Madison Square Garden. Gould went on to fight professionally and retired with a record of 48 wins, 15 losses, and 1 draw.
Another notable boxer from Staten Island is Nicky DeMarco, who competed in the 1950s and 1960s. DeMarco won the New York Golden Gloves championship in 1959 and went on to have a successful professional career, with a record of 29 wins, 4 losses, and 1 draw. He also fought for the world welterweight title in 1962 but lost to Emile Griffith.
More recently, Staten Island native Marcus Browne has made a name for himself in the boxing world. Browne won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics and has since become a top contender in the light heavyweight division. He currently holds a professional record of 24 wins and 1 loss.
3. Gyms and Coaches
Staten Island is home to several gyms and trainers who specialize in boxing. One of the most well-known is John’s Boxing Gym, which opened in 2006 and has since trained many amateur and professional fighters. Owner John Duddy is a former professional boxer himself and brings a wealth of experience to his coaching.
Another popular gym is Global Boxing Gym, which offers classes for both children and adults. The gym has a team of experienced trainers who work with students to improve their skills and build their confidence.
Staten Island also has several trainers who offer private coaching, including Cris Williams and Ray Rodriguez. Williams has been coaching for over 20 years and has worked with several professional boxers, while Rodriguez specializes in training young fighters and helping them develop their skills.
4. Events and Organizations
Staten Island is home to several boxing events and organizations that bring together enthusiasts from across the borough and beyond. One of the most popular is the Atlas Cops & Kids Boxing Program, which provides training and mentoring for at-risk youth. The program has been successful in helping young people build self-esteem and develop positive life skills.
Another popular event is the annual New York Daily News Golden Gloves tournament, which has been held in New York City since 1927. The tournament attracts amateur boxers from across the state and has produced several notable champions over the years.
In addition to these events and organizations, Staten Island also has several boxing clubs that offer opportunities for enthusiasts to train, spar, and compete. These include the Victory Athletic Association, the Richmond Athletic Association, and the On the Rise Boxing Club.
5. The Future of Staten Island Boxing
Despite facing challenges over the years, boxing remains an important part of the sports culture of Staten Island. With several talented boxers, experienced trainers, and enthusiastic fans, the borough has a bright future in the sport. As more young people become interested in boxing, there will be even more opportunities for growth and success.
However, it is important for the sport to continue to evolve and adapt to changing times. With concerns about brain injuries and long-term health effects, there is a growing movement towards safer forms of boxing, such as amateur and Olympic-style boxing. By embracing these changes and continuing to prioritize safety and skill-building, Staten Island can continue to produce talented and successful boxers for generations to come.
Staten Island boxing has a rich history and continues to play an important role in the sports culture of the borough. From its early days in the late 19th century to the present day, boxing has produced talented boxers, coaches, and enthusiasts who have made significant contributions to the sport. Whether in gyms, tournaments, or community programs, boxing continues to inspire and motivate young people and adults alike. As the sport evolves and adapts to changing times, Staten Island will continue to be a home for talented boxers and dedicated fans.