(LAS VEGAS, NEV.) – A week of outstanding action culminated in 10 championship bouts at the 2014 National Golden Gloves at the Paradise Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev., on Saturday. Twenty athletes from 14 different states took the ring in search of a highly-coveted National Golden Gloves title but only 10 would leave the squared circle as 2014 champions. The final round featured several youngsters announcing their arrival to the veterans with six teenagers winning national championships.
The new generation took control early in the night as 17-year-old Christian Carto (Deptford, N.J.) won the first championship of the tournament. Carto took on two-time USA Boxing National Champion Leroy Davila (New Brunswick, N.J.) in the light flyweight title bout. The two competed in three technical rounds of boxing and at the end of nine minutes, Carto took to the 2014 National Golden Gloves light flyweight title by a 3-2 split decision.
Seventeen-year-olds would win the next two title bouts as well. 2013 Youth National Champion Antonio Vargas (Kissimmee, Fla.) earned his first National Golden Gloves title in a flyweight match-up with fellow 17-year-old Mikhail Montgomery (Macon, Ga.). The two battled in an action-packed bout with punches flying throughout the nine minutes. Vargas took the title with a unanimous decision over Montgomery.
The bantamweight championship bout showcased another outstanding bout with defending champion Gary Antonio Russell (Capitol Heights, Md.) and Ruben Villa (Salinas, Calif.) facing off. The momentum swung throughout the three minutes with both boxers landing strong shots. Once again, it was a 17-year-old boxer taking the title with Villa claiming the bantamweight championship by 4-1 decision.
While the first half of the two pairs of brothers fell in the earlier bouts, a Montgomery brother claimed his first National Golden Gloves title in the lightweight division. 2013 National Golden Gloves silver medalist Maliek Montgomery (Macon, Ga.) moved up to the top spot on the medal podium with a 4-1 decision over William Foster (New Haven, Conn.) in their lightweight championship bout.
History was made in the light welterweight division as 17-year-old Gary Antuanne Russell (Capitol Heights, Md.) became the fourth Russell brother to win a National Golden Gloves championship. Russell took on fellow youngster Jaron Ennis (Philadelphia, Pa.) in the bout of the night. Russell came out swinging in the first round, giving the 16-year-old Ennis a standing eight count late in the round. Yet Ennis wasn’t deterred and continued to throw strong combinations of his own. At the end of three rounds, Russell clinched his place in the record books with a 4-1 decision over Ennis. The Russells (all named Gary) are the first foursome of brothers ever to win National Golden Gloves championships. Gary Allan Russell, Jr., won his title in 2005; Gary Allan Russell III took the crown in 2010; and Gary Antonio Russell won the event in 2013.
Hometown favorite Quontez McRath (Las Vegas, Nev.) competed in his first National Golden Gloves championship bout in the welterweight division, battling Samuel Valentin (Land O’ Lakes, Fla.). Despite the strong support from McRath’s Las Vegas friends and fans, Valentin won the welterweight championship by a 4-1 margin.
The middleweight championship bout featured a showdown between reigning Golden Gloves titlist Marquis Moore (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and two-time USA Boxing National Champion LeShawn Rodriques (Shirley, N.Y.). It was the defending champion who won the night in this bout with Moore winning a 3-2 split decision and his second straight Golden Gloves title.
In contrast with the middleweight bout, both boxers in the light heavyweight bout were chasing their first national title. Malcom McAllister (Long Beach, Calif.) and Tory Williams (Hammond, La.) battled in a great three rounds, but there could only be one winner. McAllister won the light heavyweight championship with a 4-1 decision over Williams.
Former National Golden Gloves champion DeRae Crane (Colorado Springs, Colo.) added another title to his resume, but in a new weight division. Crane took the heavyweight championship with a unanimous decision victory over Shawndell Winter (Chicago, Ill.) in their final round match-up.
The super heavyweight bout featured the upset of the night as Jermaine Franklin (Saginaw, Mich.) defeated multi-time national champion Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas). Franklin used his aggressive style to defeat the reigning champion by a 3-2 margin and win the super heavyweight championship.
Saturday’s Championship Bout Results
* The city or region following the hometown indicates the athlete’s Golden Gloves franchise
108 lbs: Christian Carto, Deptford, N.J./Pennsylvania dec. Leroy Davila, New Brunswick, N.J./New Jersey, 3-2
114 lbs: Antonio Vargas, Kissimmee, Fla./Florida dec. Mikhail Montgomery, Macon, Ga/Knoxville, 5-0
123 lbs: Rubin Villa, Salinas, Calif./California dec. Gary Antonio Russell, Capitol Heights, Md./Washington DC, 4-1
132 lbs: Maliek Montgomery, Macon, Ga./Knoxville, dec. William Foster, New Haven, Conn./New England, 4-1
141 lbs: Gary Antuanne Russell, Capitol Heights, Md./Washington DC dec. Jaron Ennis, Philadelphia, Pa./Pennsylvania, 5-0
152 lbs: Samuel Valentin, Land O' Lakes, Fla./Florida dec. Quontez McRath, Las Vegas, Nev./Nevada, 3-2
165 lbs: Marquis Moore, Colorado Springs, Colo./Colorado-New Mexico dec. LeShawn Rodriques, Shirley, N.Y./New York Metro, 3-2
178 lbs: Malcolm McAllister, Long Beach, Calif./California dec. Tory Williams, Hammond, La./Mid-South, 4-1
201 lbs: DeRae Crane, Colorado Springs, Colo./Colorado-New Mexico dec. Shawndell Winter, Riverdale, Ill./Chicago, 5-0
201+ lbs: Jermaine Franklin, Saginaw, Mich./Michigan dec. Cam F. Awesome, Lenexa, Kansas/Kansas City, 3-2