2008-08-22 / Sports

Green,Williams Win Gold At Long Island Boxing Championships

By Elio Velez

Joseph Williams (left) and D. Reggie Green. Joseph Williams (left) and D. Reggie Green. D. Reggie Green stepped through the velvet ropes on Saturday night in the Five Towns Community Center, and faced his opponent across the corner of the ring with one mission in hand.

Boxing is in his blood but Green hadn't put on the gloves in five years. But in his second bout after retuning to the ring in Lawrence on Saturday night, Green capped off his worthwhile comeback. The 31-year old Far Rockaway native captured the 178-pound lightheavyweight title in the Long Island Amateur Boxing Championship.

Green was one of 270 fighters to participate in the three-day amateur boxing event. A second Far Rockaway native, 20-year old Joseph Williams, won the heavyweight championship in only his second amateur fight.

"I knew it was my time," Green remembered after winning the second fight of the tournament via knockout that won him the 178-pound crown.

Working at St. John's Episcopal Hospital and as student at Nassau Community College, Green has made the time to come back and shake off his rust to return to the ring.

Green returned to the ring after being encouraged by trainer Kenyatta Harris, a longtime friend, to put on the gloves. Harris, along with fellow trainers Anthony "Spark" McClendon, and Anthony Santiago, trained Green on the boardwalks and in the gym.

But it was the long layoff, and subsequent return to training and reentering the ring which made it extra special when Green was named the winner. He defeated two fighters representing from Starrett City Boxing Gym and Staten Island PAL to win the medal.

"It's my time. I know that. I enjoy this (boxing), Green said. "I want to be the best I can be. Physician assistant, boxer or whatever I do."

Green, along with Williams, is trying to hone their craft in Rockaway and not outside the peninsula. Green formerly trained at the famous Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn but did not have the time or money to make the trip.

This is why Green, along with Harris, who is one of the members of the Rockaway Ropes Boxing Committee, is trying to find a permanent boxing gym to call home.

The search hasn't been fruitful so far and it is why Green, Williams and a few more who trains with Harris can only train on the boardwalk or in gyms outside the Rockaways.

Green keeps the hope that if a gym can be opened, it will give him a chance to continue his march back to the ring.

It may also help those who want to give a newcomer, man or woman, an opportunity to step into the ring. He believes it's a positive step that makes him even more passionate about returning to the sport.

"I'm going to keep trying. I'm leading by example. I'm trying to help build this gym and being of the min fighters, I can be here to help make this happen," Green said.

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