Fayetteville, North Carolina is the home of the 82nd Airborne Division and Special Operations Forces. These experienced warriors have combative toughness and are among the best soldiers in the world. However, this past weekend, a different kind of warrior descended upon Gladiator City. More than 250 boxers from all over the country are registered to fight in 2022 Kristi Martin Boxing Championship.
For the second year in a row since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, christy heroesa non-profit organization founded by Hall of Famer Christy Martin, in partnership with boxing titleThe WBCand the Harnett County Police Department Athletic League To showcase one of the biggest boxing tournaments in the country.
Click here to find out how first Kristi Martin Boxing Title Invitation Playing outside.
The tournament lasted from 22 to 24 July 2022, in Freedom Christian Academy Sports Complex in Fayetteville, Cumberland County. The complex includes three rings in which more than a hundred boxing matches will be held. Boxers from ages 8 to 50 competed, hoping to win the most prestigious championship belt in their division.
Hosting an event of this size requires a lot of manual work. So when I arrived, I wasn’t surprised to see Christie and Representative Mark Hornsby, who runs the Harnett County Police Athletic League, making sure everything was ready for competition. I met Kristi and asked her how it was going. She seemed to be cutting back on sleep, to make sure the tour was going smoothly, but she smiled forcefully and said, “It’s all right, and we’re excited to be back in Fayetteville for the annual Christy Martin.”
Her voice was hoarse, but she walked into the interview, keeping one eye on the camera and the other on what was going on around her. Kristi told me she hit the ground running on Tuesday, July 19, when she landed in Fayetteville. “On Tuesday we went to Lillington, North Carolina, and I spoke at an event where I spoke out against domestic violence and shared my story,” the former champion said. “I’ve also talked about how boxing has saved many lives and how boxing gyms are like families. We did that on Tuesday, signed up on Thursday. Then I traveled to Florida to help BoxLab Promotions gain extra weight at Caribe Royale for an event they held on Saturday night. Then I got back to Fayetteville for a 5am flight this morning to be here for Kristi Martin Boxing Title Invitation Competition. It’s been crazy, but I love boxing, giving back to these kids is the main thing, which is why I’m here.” In addition to ensuring the event went smoothly, Kristi signed copies of her recently released book with veteran journalist Ron Burgess. She also signed the gloves and was not denied Anyone have a chance to take a picture with her.
It was slowly approaching noon, and the first battles were about to begin. Instructors would warm their fighters in the dressing area using light gloves. The gym was permeated with the rare noise of punches hitting gloves and jump ropes hitting hardwood.
You can tell which fighters were fighting for the first time because they were walking back and forth anxiously. But, on the other hand, the old combatants were calm and serene, with a relaxed brawl suggesting, “I’ve been there and done it.”
Some batons brought only one fighter, while others brought more than twenty fighters. Each club identified itself with T-shirts, warm suits, or jackets. Like the signature of dark blue and yellow from Charter Oaks Boxing Academy The scarlet and red from Marine Corps boxing team. Or the red and white of a boxing team of 412 and blue and white shirts Eastside Boxing Club which read “Straight Outta Eastside Boxing Club”. Like a scene from the classic movie The Warriors, each team proudly wore their colors as they measured each other, waiting for their turn to enter the squared circle in Kristi Martin Invitational Boxing Title.
Charter Oaks Boxing Academy (COBA) is back out of Hartford, Connecticut, for the second year in a row. Led by a veteran boxing referee and coach Johnny CallasThe team put in a great show for themselves last year and were looking forward to doing the same this year. Some fighters are back, like Jacob Santiago, who fought his first fight a year ago in this tournament. Since then, he’s fought six times, so I was excited to see his development. Also back is 17-year-old Jada White, who had a tough fight last year against local fighter Jasmine Vick. In addition, there were some new faces on the COBA team. Emailel Rivera made his starring debut, and Callas says he’s an outstanding talent. The COBA fighters fought well, with Yaqoub, Jada, Imaaliel and Al-Juhaniyah taking the championship belts.
Arguably the best fight of the entire tournament was the championship fight between the Cubans Jada White and Fayetteville local jasmine in you, who represented Fonteno Boxing Academy. As fate would have it, this was a rematch between these two fighters. Last year, Jada got quite a bit ahead of Vic. This was White’s chance to avenge her loss to the defending champions and defending champions. These two warriors exchanged continuous punches from the opening bell. The crowd was jumping out of their seats. Spectators watching the other fights flocked to Episode One to watch the action. The clamor of the crowd was so deafening that the referee couldn’t hear the bell signaling the end of the first round. The girls kept punching until the referee finally stopped them. As the Boxers marched to their corner, it was clear that this fight was a war of attrition and wouldn’t go very far. The bell rang, signaling the start of the second round, and both fighters charged at each other, exchanging a punch. Both fighters were going down, but Jada was coming down with cleaner and hard shots. Vic fought valiantly but received four standing eights, forcing the referee to stop the fight. Jada avenged her loss and was a champion in the tournament.
Another team that showed great performance in the tournament was the Eastside Boxing Club of Norfolk, Virginia. led by their sheikh, James “Bubba” WinfieldOn the third day of the tournament, the team had five champions. Winfield, who ran the Show Tours against Muhammad Ali in 1972, shares his experience and knowledge with his fighters. “It’s all about the kids,” Winfield said. Winfield credits boxing with saving his life and wants the same for the young people in his city. “We want to get the kids off the streets. We open our doors to everyone and charge the bare minimum of any gym in town. We are doing our best to mentor and train the kids,” the veteran coach said.
The powerful and dangerous Marine Corps boxing team won the team belt for the second year in a row. led by coach Joe Higgins Distinguished amateurs Stephanie SimonThe fighters were strong and perfectly confined throughout the tournament.
Coach Higgins always focuses on developing and informing boxers NYFights“We had another year to develop boxers. The people who stayed with the team since last year are getting better, and I have some new starters. We build them from the ground up. I am happy with our success.” The Marine Corps boxing team boasts tremendous talent, with two boxers ranked nationally. However, these boxers are Marines first and boxers second. For most of them, their tenure with the team is relatively short. So, half of this year’s team are “rookies, as Coach Higgins likes to say. So, what’s the secret recipe to a successful Coach Higgins run with the Marine Corps Boxing team even though it faces a revolving door of new fighters every year?” Patience. It is the ultimate virtue. In boxing, no one rushes to be good. My recipe for success is not to rush the novice. I think ten fights take at least two years. “It worked, that’s my formula,” Higgins said.
Tournaments of this magnitude attract some of the best fighters in the country. While all fighters fought well, the talent of some fighters was clearly superior to the rest of the competitors, such as the nationally ranked boxer. Sony Taylor From Team 412 from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Taylor is ranked in the top ten at each of his 165 lbs. and 176 lbs. divisions. Taylor was recently accepted into the US Air Force’s World Class Athletes Program and will be training to earn a spot on the 2024 Olympic boxing team.
Some fighters are on their way to becoming future national outposts. Like 14-year-old Darnell Lozada Jr. from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lozada is highly skilled, and his boxing style includes every part of what is known as the “Philly style” of fighting. However, his opponent wasn’t flabby either. Lozada won a close split decision against Redding of Pennsylvania Zamir Torres in a fight that could have gone to either combatant. With only 12 fights, 14-year-old Torres is an anti-puncture puncher with excellent head and foot movement.
He is 16 years old Brandon Real From Ultimate Gym outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, is a talented fighter who dominated his opponent from the opening bell.
I wouldn’t be surprised if all of these guys are ranked nationally by the USA Boxing Associaton over the next two years.
Once again, Christy Martin, Title Boxing, WBC and Harnett County PAL put together another successful tournament. Championships like this bring out the best in everyone, not just boxers. I’ve seen boxing in its purest form. I saw hugs of praise for the winners and hugs of comfort for the vanquished. I listen as coaches who encourage, correct, teach and motivate fighters. I noticed blood, sweat, and tears trying to achieve something by all athletes. Not all fighters shared the winning glory, but they all traveled the arduous way toward the ring, and they deserve heavy props for that alone.
No, it was not the MGM Grand Garden Arena nor the Madison Square Garden. There weren’t millions of dollars at stake nor a huge production company running the show. The tournament wasn’t even televised. However, boxing thrived in a heated gym in central North Carolina for three days. The event was pure, immaculate, incorruptible and a joy to watch. Over the course of three days, this tournament and the athletes in it reminded me why I fell in love with boxing.
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