2009-04-10 / Sports

Hall Gets One Step Closer To Being Crowned a Champion

By Elio Velez

Travis Hall is relishing the chance to visit Madison Square Garden next Friday night. But he won't be attending as a spectator to a sporting event.

The 22-year old will be competing in the boxing ring as the Rockaway native hopes to become a champion at the Daily News Golden Gloves.

Hall, who is representing the South Jamaica PAL, will battle Abdul Perry (Starrett City Boxing Gym) in the 125- pound novice class championship bout.

"It feels good. I can't wait," an excited Hall told the Wave. "My birthday is three days later. I hope to make it a good early present."

Hall defeated Tremel Williams on March 31 in a 5-0 decision to advance to the finals. Recording three victories along the way, the toughest battle Hall admits was a 3-2 win over Israel Velasquez at the Electric Industry in Flushing.

"He was the toughest one. He just kept coming," Hall said. "I just tried to go to the body and I made it work a little bit more."

This is the second journey Hall has taken in the Golden Gloves. The first time ended in heartbreak for the 22- year old fighter, who a few years ago had represented the since closed Irish Ropes Gym in Arverne.

On the day of the fight, Hall had found out he was three pounds over the required 125 pound limit.

"I spent 45 minutes on the treadmill trying to get the weight off. I knew it would hurt me," Hall said.

Starting off strong, Hall recorded a knockdown against his opponent in the first round. But his stamina decreased because of the strenuous activities needed to make weight and Hall would go on to lose a majority decision.

A major factor in his success was his commitment to training. Hall gives credit to his trainers at South Jamaica for staying on top of him.

"They helped me work on my job and I was a lot more disciplined," Hall said. "I went to the gym every day. They helped me and they pushed me to do a lot of different things so I don't slack off."

Hall will be the third boxer from rockaway to be competing in the Golden Gloves finals, which will take place April 16 and 17 at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden.

Joseph Williams will fight in the 201+ novice super heavyweight class and Marcus Browne will fight in the 165-pound novice class championship.

If Hall can get a win next Friday night, it just might help him fulfill a wish. He believes the victory can further his boxing career to compete in the National Golden Gloves this summer.

But what Hall really wants is to compete in the Olympics. The only son out of eight siblings, Hall moved to this country as a 7-year old child from Guyana.

Raining his profile with recording top notch victories at these competitions could give Hal a vital shot at competing for Guyana in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

But dreams will remain only dreams if Hall doesn't pull off a victory. He'll have his mother, seven sisters and a host of supporters rooting in his corner. Hall says he is ready for the challenge.

"I'm ready for it. I'm training for it as if it's just another fight. It's just six minutes away from being a Daily News Golden Gloves champion," Hall said.

"I wish "Mack" (Joseph Williams) good luck also. Hopefully we can be the fighters to put Far Rockaway on the boxing map."

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