On March 15 and 16, the Bob Lynch Boxing Foundation will host Golden Gloves Wisconsin, the top statewide amateur boxing tournament, in Middleton. Bob Lynch Boxing has been revitalizing boxing locally and has hosted fun, energetic events such as White Collar Boxing, which was a major hit last November.
Golden Gloves Wisconsin will feature up-and-coming fighters across multiple weight classes. There will be a youth tournament for ages fifteen to seventeen, a novice division for less experienced fighters and an open division for the top fighters. All divisions will host both a men’s and women’s tournament.
The “Open” fights are for fighters with 11 or more bouts of experience and are the more elite-level bouts. The open senior champions from each weight class will advance to the National Golden Gloves tournament from May 6-11 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Bob Lynch boxing was awarded control of Wisconsin Golden Gloves this past year after it had been run by a local family for the past few decades. Since then, the Bob Lynch Boxing Foundation has put tons of effort into trying to bolster boxing as a sport for the next generation.
“Bob Lynch is really going to try to focus on the boxers,” organizer Andrea Nelson told Madison365. “We’re making it an exciting event and opportunity for the boxers, something they’re gonna look forward to every year competing in. We’re putting a lot of effort into creating buzz about it, treating it like the prestigious event that we want it to be.”
Wisconsin Golden Gloves will be at the Marriott West on John Q. Hammons drive in Middleton. Nelson says they may have some elimination bouts on March 14 but that hasn’t been determined yet. The main bouts will be on March 15 and 16.
The Novice (generally beginners or fighters with less than 10 bouts of experience) will have elimination and semi-final bouts at 3pm on the 15th and the finals at 3pm on the 16th. The Open fighters will have their elimination and semi-final bouts at 6pm on the same days.
Wisconsin has several nationally ranked fighters at the Elite level. Kenosha’s Luis Alvarado, 19, won the 2017 Youth Open and took third place in the 2018 Elite National Championships. Alvarado is now ranked fifth in the country as a super heavyweight and Nelson says he will likely face up-and-coming super heavyweight Demtrious Reed.
2016 state Golden Gloves champion Marcus Johnson will also be competing on the men’s side while Nelson says Bob Lynch Boxing will do its best to find an opponent for Briana Che, who is ranked number four nationally at 165 lbs. Che, who works as a strength and conditioning coach at the University of Wisconsin, is also going to be trying out the the USA Olympic Boxing team.
Nelson says Che may not get the opportunity to showcase her talents at the Marriott West because she is scheduled to go to Reno, Nevada,F for an Olympic trial — not to mention, organizers may not find an opponent will to jump into the ring with her. But, absent an opponent, Che will advance to the national tournament in her weight class and have an opportunity to win the national championship before embarking on her Olympic dream.
“We’re really going to try to make going to nationals an exciting adventure,” Nelson told Madison365. “Some of these kids have never been out of the state. On May 4 we’ll go to Chattanooga. We’ve reserved an AirBNB on the Tennessee River for the week. We’re providing uniforms, we’ll feed them. We’re just trying to make a really good showing for Wisconsin.”
Golden Gloves has not been immune to some of the issues boxing as a whole has faced in recent years. Boxing promoters have faced struggles with fan attendance and some overall disillusionment about boxing as a sport.
But recently the sport has begun to turn a corner and events like Wisconsin Golden Gloves is a big reason why. Bob Lynch Boxing events are exciting, fast-paced and have been thrilling for fans who have attended.
The fighters themselves put the work in and have as well. For anyone who wants to enter the Wisconsin Golden Gloves, registration will be open until March 2. Prospective fighters should contact the Bob Lynch Boxing Foundation.
For anyone wishing to attend what is sure to be an exciting event, tickets are available now for $20-$200. The event starts at 3pm on Friday, March 15.
As for Andrea Nelson, she remains steadfast that Bob Lynch Boxing is on the right track.
“It’s going to be an awesome show. I have faith that if we treat it right and put our best foot forward, it’s going to get more popular as we go along,” she said.