The 141-pound novice division will feature a matchup between a pair of tactical and savvy young pugilists.
Henry Clare (Atlas Cops and Kids) and Ryan Lopez (Starrett City BC) will square off in the third bout of the night at the Aviation Center on April 22nd. The boxing ring may look more like a chessboard for these two tacticians, with both boxing for Golden Gloves glory.
“I expect him to bring his A-game. I won’t underestimate him, I’m sure he’s a great fighter. I’ll have to find a way to outsmart him somehow. I have to take away his confidence,” said Clare. “It’s not going to be shot for shot going all out. It’s going to be a chess match. He’s going to look for the same openings that I am. It’s who is going to land the quickest, hardest punch and get out of the way.”
Both boxers will be bringing different elements and game plans to the bout. Lopez made an adjustment a few months ago, adopting a completely different style. The 21-year-old is a natural righty, but switched to a southpaw stance before the start of this tournament.
“I like southpaw, I always admired southpaws. One day I just decided to become a southpaw. In December I just decided that I am going to start fighting southpaw and I just went with it. The greatest part about turning southpaw was that I had to humble myself. Everything that my coach taught me from the beginning, I had to learn it all over again.”
Each boxer has been experiencing a learning curve with both being first time participants in the tournament. Lopez always wanted to be in the Golden Gloves but didn’t feel he was prepared enough in previous years. The 17-year-old Clare is a junior in high school and in his first year of eligibility.
“The minimum age to enter the tournament is 17; I just made it. I have been waiting to do this since I was very young. This is my dream. I had just been training before; I didn’t have a lot of fighting experience. Sometimes the earlier training plays a role at the novice level because other boxers don’t have a lot of boxing experience,” said Clare “Everyone that I fought is at least three years older than me. I don’t believe boxing is about age, strength and muscle. I think it’s about being a more skilled fighter.”
Both boxers will be trying to represent their respected communities, gym, friends and family in the final round.
“I can’t explain to you how much of a better person that this tournament has made me. Growing up I was a bit of a trouble maker. Now I am a positive role model,” Lopez said.