TULSA — The Oklahoma State Golden Gloves Team competed against their Kansas counterparts Saturday, March 31 in Wichita at the Kansas-Oklahoma Regional Golden Gloves Championship. Among competitors were two Edmond residents.
AARON SLOAN, vice-president of the Kansas Oklahoma Golden Gloves Franchise and owner/head coach of Tulsa’s Engine Room Boxing Gym, announced that four Oklahoma amateur boxers will advance to compete in the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions May 14-19 in Omaha.
Neida Ibarra (F-125 lb/Tulsa Boxing Gym/Tulsa), Stephanie Tolson (F-132 lb/Roughhouse Boxing & Fitness/Edmond), Joseph Garcia (M-178lb/Roughhouse Boxing & Fitness/Edmond) and Jeremiah Milton (M-201+lb/Engine Room Boxing/Tulsa) will compete at the National Tournament, considered to be one of the most prestigious amateur boxing events in the U.S. This is the first time female fighters have had the opportunity to participate in and advance to the National Tournament.
“We’re excited to have five Golden Gloves regional champions from our state, and we feel we’re sending some very competitive fighters on to Nationals,” Sloan said. “This is a great opportunity for our Oklahoma boxers. Competing on the national level is not only a significant achievement for the individual fighters, but also it raises the profile of Oklahoma amateur boxing in general and helps build the sport.”
National Golden Gloves began in 1923 when Chicago Tribune Sports Editor Arch Ward conceived the idea of a newspaper-sponsored citywide amateur boxing tournament. Champions were awarded a miniature golden glove. Many great professional boxers have launched their early athletic careers participating as amateurs in Golden Gloves tournaments.
Former National Golden Gloves champions include Muhammed Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, and more recently, Oklahoma’s own Allan Green (2002) and Aaron Morales (2017.) Kansas-Oklahoma Golden Gloves began in 1928 and is a franchise of the National Golden Gloves of America.