State Golden Gloves set for this weekend

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Elijio Sena of Clovis, right, makes adjustment to the turnbuckle to tighten the ropes of the ring while Andy Birch of Clovis checks the status of the rope being tighten across the ring. Sena is a six-time state champion in the super-heavyweight division and will be making his last Golden Gloves appearance, while Birch will making his first appearance in the Golden Gloves this weekend.

CNJ staff

The Roy Walker Recreation Center will be the site for the 2011 state Golden Gloves boxing tournament. The three-day event begins at 7 p.m. today.

The second round starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Championship bouts begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Veteran Clovis coach George Sena will send his squad against boxers from other clubs around the state.

“Entertainment-wise, you can’t beat it,” he said. “For a spectator sport, you see some good action and it’s worth the money.

“I hope we can win the tournament (as a team) this year. I think we have enough guys who could win (to do it).”

Men’s open division weight class champions will proceed to what amounts to a regional matchup against Colorado’s state champions, scheduled for April 9 in the Denver area. Winners there go to the national Golden Gloves at Indianapolis on April 23.

Tournament tidbits:

• The men’s open division has 11 weight classes, ranging from 108 pounds to super-heavyweight (202-and-above).

• Sena will have nine fighters competing — Jacob Alvarado at 132 pounds, Gabriel Armijo at 141, Jesus Sais and Evan Luna at 152, Trendal Price at 178 (light-heavyweight), Andy Birch at 201 (heavyweight) and Elijio Sena, the coach’s son, at super-heavyweight. Urquizo and Elijio Sena are defending champions.

• A women’s open division will also be contested, although the Clovis club has no one in it. Winners there advance to national Golden Gloves competition at Miami, Fla.

• Also scheduled is a “Junior Olympics” division, for ages 8-16, who do not advance beyond this event. Clovis entrants, coached by Tony Romero, include Bryan Ramirez (11-12) at 70 pounds and Salvador Gonzalez (15-16) at 141.

• Longtime Clovis boxing coach Chuck Haas, 86, is the tournament director.

• This is the 23rd year for the Roy Walker Center to host state Golden Gloves.

• Ticket prices per night are $7 for adults, $4 for high school age and younger.

• The actual ring is a 22-foot square, standard size for most amateur competitions.

• Boxing gloves are 10 ounces through the 152-pound weight class, 12 ounces for 165-pounders and up.

• George Sena said he anticipates around 80 boxers between men’s and women’s open and the JOs.