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Tag: Chris Shelton

Arizona Golden Gloves (2015)

by on Mar.15, 2015, under Guest Columnists

Female boxers at Arizona Golden Gloves

Female boxers at Arizona Golden Gloves

By Christopher James Shelton

The USA has diminished from one-time Olympics boxing powerhouse into being a world laughingstock by the 2012 Olympics. Golden Gloves champions include Joe Louis, Ezzard Charles, Michael Spinks, Sonny Liston, Michael Carbajal, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Oscar De La Hoya, Aaron Pryor, Thomas Hearns, Roy Jones Jr., Evander Holyfield and Muhammad Ali. The 2012 USA men’s Olympics boxing team won 0 gold, 0 silver and 0 bronze medals.

Golden Gloves nationally, and especially Phoenix, Arizona, was once an esteemed annual event. Areas like Chicago and New York City still care but the amateur tournament has been in decline for years. During the 1950’s there were no professional sports teams in Phoenix. There was only Arizona State University football and Golden Gloves tournament. From 1955-57, under head coach Dan Divine with Frank Kush as line coach the A.S.U. team compiled a 27-3-1 record. Golden Gloves was spread over several months covering the same fall season as the successful college football team. A photograph from Golden Gloves action was sure to make the front page of both local newspapers, Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette. The military played an important sponsorship role as the majority of Golden Gloves boxers were veterans. The population has grown from slightly over 100,000 in 1950 to more than 1,500,000 today. There is currently Phoenix professional sports teams including football, basketball (men and women), baseball and hockey. Arizona Golden Gloves has shrunk from several months to a long weekend.

The idea for my 15 years-old friend, Areti Sotiriou, boxing at Arizona Golden Gloves was seeing her at a Quinceanera last year. She was looking for something to be her specialty alone. She wanted to separate herself from family and friends. Areti is American of Greek-Mexican descent in a decidedly Latino family. She is constantly being hit by her male cousin, Tony, and after a bit punches him hard enough to temporarily back him off. Her punches sound painful. I mentioned boxing and Arizona Golden Gloves to her father, John, a high school friend. John asked Areti if she’d be interested in boxing with her reply, “I’d love to beat the shit out of girls, Dad.” I thought, “Now, that’s a boxer.” Areti had attended a couple of boxing events with her father and me, and seemed to enjoy herself. These were events sponsored or attended by Kelly Fenn, whose father was the “Godfather of Arizona Boxing.” Kelly loves Areti and brought her to the first row of a professional boxing event last year which left her speechless. Areti was finally able to utter, “You could see everything. You could see them sweat and bleed up close. The only thing I didn’t see that I wished was a knockout.” (continue reading…)

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Thomas Molineaux: America’s First Sports Celebrity (1811)

by on Feb.04, 2011, under Guest Columnists

Federica Coppolecchia: "Thomas Molineaux (1810-11)"

Federica Coppolecchia: "Thomas Molineaux (1810-11)"

By Christopher James Shelton

English Ballad of Jack Holmes versus Tom Tough (1805)  

A FIG for compassionate bowels!
Come all who are rugged and rough;
For a knight of the whip and the rowels,
Jack Holmes is to fight with Tom Tough.

Now boys, they’ve set to!  With what cunning
They shift – offer battle – step back!
Come, go it!  I hate that there funning:
So, damn it, Jack hit him a crack. (continue reading…)

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Interview: Boxing Manager and Trainer James Hogan

by on Oct.21, 2010, under Boxing News, Guest Columnists

by Chris Shelton

October 21, 2010 — I recently had the pleasure of interviewing boxing manager and trainer James Hogan.  James is the manager of close to 20 boxers in the Mid-Atlantic region.  He is a man who is trying to make big things happen in and around the Baltimore fight scene.  We recently sat down at a press conference for the “Who’s The Man II” fight card that takes place on December 11 (due to a last-minute postponement from the original October 23, 2010, date) at Pikesville Armory in Maryland.  One of his fighters, James “Keep’em Sleepin” Stevenson fights in the main event.

Chip Mitchell:  James thanks for granting us this opportunity to interview you before the big fight card coming up next week.

James Hogan:  No problem at all.

Chip Mitchell:  With over 20 fighters to manage, you have a busy schedule coming up as many of your fighters have dates to do battle.  How do you juggle your time amongst so many fighters?

James Hogan:  Well it’s a full time job.  We train all day long, from the morning to the evening.  So we just put all our time into boxing.  A full time job! (continue reading…)

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The Art and Science of Daniel Mendoza, Part 2

by on Apr.29, 2010, under Boxing News, Guest Columnists

Daniel Mendoza, left, versus Richard Humphreys, at Odiham, January 9th, 1788.  (ARTIST:  Federica Coppoleccia)

Daniel Mendoza, left, versus Richard Humphreys, at Odiham, January 9th, 1788. (ARTIST: Federica Coppoleccia)

By Chris Shelton

[CBZ Editor's Note: To view Part One of The Art and Science of Daniel Mendoza click on the following link:  http://www.cyberboxingzone.com/blog/?p=5390]

May 6th, 1789….        Richard  Humphreys   vs.   Daniel Mendoza II

The anticipation and build up had created an event.  A building had been constructed in Mister Thornton’s Park at Stilton that was 48 feet in circumference.  It held a sold out 3000 paying customers. The media build-up for the fight, back and forth taunting remarks, were revolutionary at the time.  Much of the credit belongs to Mendoza, along with the appeal never before so advertised that this would be a fighter versus boxer confrontation. The corner man for Mendoza was Captain Brown.  The corner man for Humphreys was Tom Johnson.

ROUND 1:  Humphreys is offensive and aggressive as he throws a punch to the face.  Mendoza blocks the punch and counters with a punch that scores a knockdown….  It is a great start for Mendoza with a maneuver straight out of his book. (continue reading…)

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The Art and Science of Daniel Mendoza

by on Apr.29, 2010, under Boxing News, Guest Columnists

By  Christopher James Shelton

Daniel Mendoza, left, versus Richard Humphreys, at Odiham, January 9th, 1788.  (ARTIST:  Federica Coppoleccia)

Daniel Mendoza, left, versus Richard Humphreys, at Odiham, January 9th, 1788. (ARTIST: Federica Coppoleccia)

Daniel Mendoza was born on July 5th, 1764, in the parish of Aldgate, London.  The family was middle class, which meant that he was neither a product of privilege or abject poverty.  The goal and expectations of the Mendoza family was for the son to learn a trade, become a respectable but bland member of the societal middle class.  Mendoza had left home at age 12 to learn his trade, as a glass cutter, for an apprenticeship with a respectable family.  Mendoza would eventually thrive and believe in the proper etiquette, from student to ‘Master’, that one day as the learned while the next as teacher.  The problem for Mendoza was a restless spirit.  He bored easily.  He also appears to be involved with a non stop series of fights, that if you believed him, as his father did, was always the fault of someone else.  Mendoza learned Hebrew in school, and I assume was Bar Mitvahed, but he would never be a religious person.  The Bar Mitvah ritual itself is about the boy becoming a man while accepting moral responsibility for his actions.  Mendoza witnessed antisemitism throughout his youth, which generally brought about fisticuffs, but he rarely discussed such stuff as an adult.

The 1st pugilist encounter for Daniel Mendoza was at 16-years old, 1780.  There was a personal dispute, involving bad manners, between an athletic adult delivery man named Porter and a member of the Mendoza work entourage.  Mendoza was on his 3rd apprenticeship attempt, as fighting for the reason that he left the homes of the glass cutter and fruit grocer families that he had lived prior.  Mendoza had quit school and was now serving under a ‘Master’ tea dealer.  The dispute that would evolve into a pugilist showdown involved honor, with a heated argument over a gratuity, so Mendoza offered to fight Porter. This was an adult man against a young boy, but fortunately the toughest guy in the region would protect any personal conduct propriety and act as the corner man for Mendoza.  His name was Richard Humphreys. (continue reading…)

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