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3 Utahns Qualify for Golden Gloves National Tournament

Alies Sandoval felt so sick from a sinus infection that he had trouble working out at all in the week leading up to the fight that could send him to the Golden Gloves National Tournament.

“I’ve been sick for four days,” he said, admitting he didn’t feel well during his entire three-round bout at Saturday’s Regional Golden Gloves Tournament at the XSI Factory. “My stomach was really bothering me.”

It didn’t show.

The 21-year-old Magna man earned a trip to Indianapolis and a chance at a National Golden Gloves title with an impressive win over Montana’s Kenny Guzman. Despite feeling a little lethargic, he followed his father’s footsteps by winning a 132-pound regional championship. He was one of three Utah fighters to qualify. The others were Kyle Klus, 123 pounds, and Marco Rango, 108 pounds, who also won titles and will compete at nationals.

Sandoval’s father, Art, is his trainer — and often his motivator.

“He pushes me more,” Alies said of his father, who won a bronze medal at nationals in 1976.

Art Sandoval said his son called him when he was 18 and told him he wanted to be a boxer. Of his three sons, only Alies chose to follow his father’s footsteps. It has not been easy, as Alies admits his father sometimes has to come to his house and convince him to train early in the morning.

“I almost passed out in my first fight,” Alies said, smiling at his dad.

Art emphasizes often that success in the ring is dependent on the time — and effort — spent training.

“I want to win,” Alies said. “I am going for gold. It’s all in my hands if I do the work.”

Idaho won the regional team title, qualifying five boxers for the national tournament.

“We’ve taken the team title seven of eight years,” said Dan Egenberger, head coach of Gate City Boxing in Pocatello, Idaho. “Boxing is so strong in Idaho. We have tough kids. They want to learn and work hard. I love Idaho.”

One nice thing about the Golden Gloves system is that after the regional tournament, the boxers from the Rocky Mountain Region compete as a team. There are 30 franchises that will compete at regions.

Utah will make a presentation to host the national tournament again, as it did in 2008.

“Bring the nationals back to Utah,” Egenberger said. “It was the best one I’ve been to, and I’ve been to nine. It’s the hardest amateur boxing tournament there is. To win, you have to win five fights in six nights.”

The Fight of the Night trophy went to Montana’s Duran Caferro and Utah’s Aaron Olmeda. Caferro has been the runner-up at the national tournament the last two years and is a USA Boxing champion. He and Olmeda were very evenly matched and thrilled the crowd with a fast-paced, hard-hitting fight.

In the championship bouts:

Duran Caferro, Montana, defeated Aaron Olmeda, Utah, for the 141-pound title.

Derik Jensen, Idaho, defeated Tyler Canning, Wyoming, for the 152-pound championship. Daniel Mattoon, Idaho, defeated Thomas Sanches, Utah, for the 165-pound title.

In the 178-pound championship, Dillon Fowler, Idaho, defeated Danny Florez, Utah.

In the 201+ division, Idaho’s Ben Ferriz defeated Utah’s Anthony Valdez.

The first fight of the night was an 80-pound bout between Richard Curez, Fullmer Brothers Gym, who defeated Robi Vinson, Foley’s Gym.

Marco Rangel, Utah, will be the unopposed champion at 108 pounds, but he fought Vincent Hernandez, Idaho, in a show bout. Hernandez won the exhibition bout.

Joseph Pichardo, Montana, defeated Julio Martinez, Utah, in a 123-pound show bout.

Source: Deseret News

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