For the 24th time, Clovis will play host to the New Mexico Golden Gloves boxing championships as the three-day event begins with bouts tonight at Roy Walker Community Center.
Those who end up victorious in the various weight classes on Sunday not only will have earned bragging rights for the weekend but will then find themselves only one more step from the national Golden Gloves competition in Mesquite, Nev.
The winners will represent New Mexico in a state-to-state duel against Colorado boxers on April 14 in Albuquerque and the survivors of those fights have the right to go to Nevada for nationals beginning on April 30.
George Sena, coach for the Clovis boxers, is trying to think local for now.
“I don’t know what anybody else has — the Las Cruces boxers, who’s gonna show up here, how many — we just don’t know yet,” Sena said. “But our team looks good.
“I think, for the two hours that you might have spent at a movie, you get your money’s worth.
Clovis’ pugilists include twin brothers Gerardo and Gilberto Torres, who will fight respectively at 132 and 141 pounds, while local fighter Jesus Sais will battle at 152 pounds.
At the heavyweight division, reigning state Golden Gloves champ Rico Urquizo, also from Clovis, will try to retain his title and at least one of his challengers, Charles Stamps, is stationed at Cannon Air Force Base.
Meanwhile Sena’s son, Elijio Sena, will invade the ring in the superheavyweight division.
“I think all of them are going to fight very good,” George Sena said. “They’re all in good shape and very well-trained.”
The unpredictability of Golden Gloves boxing might best be illustrated by another fighter stationed at Cannon. Even Sena isn’t quite sure what Antone Oliver can do at 165 pounds this weekend.
“He looks like a world-beater,” Sena said. “If you saw him, you’d think he had 60 or 70 fights. It’s hard to believe he hasn’t had one (official) fight yet.
“With boxing, it’s mostly about the will to win,” he added.
What: New Mexico Golden Gloves boxing tournament
When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday,
Where: Roy Walker Community Center
Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for students