The Golden Gloves of America boxing tournament is returning to Lebanon County for the first time in decades on March 11 with the first round of the Pennsylvania Central District bouts.
The annual amateur boxing competition that eventually decides a national title hasn't held a fight in Lebanon County since the 1990s, according to Michael Cerminaro, Golden Gloves Central franchise holder.
The matches will take place at the Eagles Club, 116th N. 8th St. in Lebanon. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the first bout is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 general admission, $35 balcony, and $45 ringside.
Boxers who win their fight on March 11 then fight on March 25 in Lehigh County. Fighters who win March 25 then go on to fight on April 1 in Lehigh County for the Pennsylvania Central District Championship. After that fight the winning fighters go on to state competitions and eventually have the opportunity to progress to the national stage. This year's competition is during an Olympic qualifying year; the Golden Gloves serves as a qualifier.
Fighters' ages range from 10 to mid-30s, according to Cerminaro.
"We're really trying to bring the central part of the state and the Golden Gloves back to the glory of the 90s, where we gave everybody in the state a run for their money," Cerminaro said.
Last year, the Central Division had 72 fighters that registered; this year they have 112 fighters and 40 coaches, Cerminaro said.
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