Every year, the annual Golden Gloves boxing tournament returns to Lowell, MA. This year, the tournament celebrates its 75th year of competition. Here, novice athletes of various ages compete in the spirit of competition, athleticism, pride, and charity.
75 Years of Champion Athletes
The Lowell Golden Gloves tournament has championed boxers and charities since 1947. The competition provides an opportunity for the newest generation of boxers to work their way up the ladder, becoming a champion for themselves and their community.
Many of the most famous boxers of all time started their boxing careers right here in New England by competing in Golden Gloves competitions. These household names include Rocky Marciano, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, and of course, hometown hero, Mickey Ward.
In addition to local tournament champions, Golden Gloves tournaments across the nation have bred some of the greatest athletes of all time:
“Many former Golden Gloves® amateur boxing champions have gone on to become outstanding boxers and role models in our country. Former Heavyweight Champion of the World, Joe Louis was a Golden Gloves Champion in 1934. Many other champions including Muhammed Ali (1960); Sugar Ray Leonard (1973); “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler (1973); Michael Spinks (1974); Thomas “Hitman” Hearns (1977); Johnny Tapia (1984); Mike Tyson (1984); Evander Holyfield (1984); Oscar De La Hoya (1989) and Jermain Taylor (1998 and 1999) all got their start in the Golden Gloves tournaments.” (source: https://www.lowellgoldengloves.com/about)
However, the competition isn’t about fame. It’s about respect. Many of the competitors, 18-40 years of age, aren’t seeking a career path in professional boxing. Most join the tournament in the spirit of competition, self-endurance, community, and pride–testing their own limits.
As the official Golden Gloves website puts it:
“When you win the Golden Gloves, you don’t get paid, you get the respect of your community; that’s very important to a young kid, as it gives them the confidence to build their life upon.”
Champions For Charity
One of the most notable aspects of the Golden Gloves competition is that it supports great charitable causes and organizations.
Here in Lowell, Golden Gloves supports the Lowell Suns Charities, a nonprofit organization “whose mission is to enrich the quality of life for children, families, and the community by offering programs that promote respect and dignity.” Proceeds from the tournament go directly to the charity.
Attending To This Year’s Competition
If you wish to attend this year’s Golden Gloves competition, you will have many opportunities! Matches are held every Thursday, having started on Jan. 13th and running through the New England Open Class Finals on March 10th. The events are scheduled to begin at 7:30 pm, and ticket prices range from $20 to $32 depending on the event night. Events are held at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium (50 E Merrimack Street).
These dates/times are subject to change, so be sure to check the Lowell Golden Gloves official website and follow on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/lowellgloves for the most up-to-date information.