Several spots at the Junior Olympic regional tournament are on the line this afternoon.
The Adirondack Region Junior Olympic Box-Off will feature the Adirondack region boxing against the Niagara Falls region. The event begins at 4 p.m. in the gym at Schenectady High School.
Winners will advance to the regional competition in New York City, and regional winners will travel to West Virginia for the national tournament.
“The people who come out to this particular tournament, they’re going to get a special treat,” said Vince Kittle, who trains boxers at Schenectady Youth Boxing & Fitness in Crosstown Plaza. “The boxing that is going to take place here is at the national level. You’re going to see some extremely skilled boxing from young men. Schenectady actually has a pool of talent and a history of boxing.”
There is a $15 entry fee at the door. Money raised will help fighters who advance to regionals and beyond handle the cost of that travel.
Kittle said there will be four tournament bouts on the card, as well as a number of other amateur bouts pitting the two regions against each other.
The other bouts will be determined once the gyms from the Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo areas arrive with their fighters and everyone is weighed in. There should be a total of 10-12 bouts.
Local gyms participating in the card include Kittle’s gym in Schenectady, as well as gyms in Delmar, Albany, Colonie and Troy.
Two hopefuls from Schenectady are Jah-yae Brown and Nasir Mayfield. Brown is an up-and-comer and Mayfield a 2012 Silver Gloves champion, and Kittle said both have already figured out what it takes to be successful in the sport.
“The dedication is clearly the difference,” Kittle said. “These are guys who don’t miss practice, and they give it their all. Their discipline is astonishing. This is something you would expect to see from an older and much more experienced fighter.”