LAFAYETTE – The city of Lafayette and the Ragin’ Cajun Amateur Boxing Club will for the fifth straight year host the annual Louisiana Golden Gloves amateur boxing championships Feb. 25-27 at the N.P. Moss Middle School gymnasium.
The Ragin’ Cajun club has staged the statewide event since 2007, and narrowly missed on an attempted bid last summer to secure next year’s National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions last summer. The state event is co-sponsored by the Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission and the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, along with a group of local supporting sponsors.
Ragin’ Cajun Boxing Club coach and tournament coordinator Beau Williford said that the state Golden Gloves will bring participants from virtually every amateur club in Louisiana. Over 250 boxers took part in last year’s event, and Williford said the field could be even larger this time.
“We really need good public response and support so that we can continue to have the state tournament here in Lafayette,” Williford said, “and to show the Golden Gloves folks that we can also support other larger events.
The state event will feature 10 weight classes from 108 pounds up to the over-201 pounds in the open division which includes boxers ages 17-34. The tournament also has divisions for super novice (over age 19 with less than 10 fights), novice (age 16-19 with under 10 fights) and the Junior Olympic division for youths age 8-15. Williford said the younger classes are traditionally the most popular with fans.
Winners of state titles will advance to the Mid-South Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions, to be held April 7-9 in Little Rock, Ark. This year’s National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions is scheduled for Indianapolis, Ind., on April 25-30.
Williford said that almost all of Louisiana’s 42 USA Boxing-certified clubs will be represented. Participants must register and weigh in by noon on Friday, Feb. 25. Qualifying bouts are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 25, beginning at 6 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 26, beginning at 4 p.m. The finals begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27.
Tickets for the event are $15 for general admission on Friday and Saturday and $20 for Sunday, and three-day passes are available for $45. Children 12 and under are admitted for $5 each day with a three-day pass available for $10. A limited number of eight-seat VIP tables for all three sessions are available. Tickets are available at Pete’s Family Sports Restaurant on Johnston Street and the Ragin’ Cajun Boxing Club, or from Williford at (337) 257-3501.
Local sponsors of the event include Pete’s, the Holiday Inn Lafayette as headquarters hotel, the Glenn Armentor Law Corporation, Reamco Inc., Cox Communications, the Louisiana IceGators, the Lafayette Wildcatters, the Daily Advertiser, KLFY-TV 10, Sports Radio ESPN 1420 and the Acadiana Gazette.