2009-08-07 / Sports

Rockaway Ropes Seeks Title Gold In Amateur Championships

By Elio Velez

The Rockaway Ropes Boxing Club will look to further their standing as one of the rising organizations in the local boxing scene by having seven fighters compete in the upcoming Long Island Amateur Boxing Championships.

The L.I. Championships is one of the biggest amateur boxing tournaments in the tri-state area.

The biggest name representing Rockaway Ropes in the L.I. Tournament will be undefeated 20-year old heavyweight boxer Joseph Williams. He is coming off a big victory in the 201+ super heavyweight novice class championship in the Daily News Golden Gloves this past April.

Williams is expected to be one of the favorites to win in the heavyweight open title class. But Rockaway Ropes assistant trainer Anthony Santiago believes this a good opportunity for the others boxers and the club overall to gain some recognition.

"We always strive for more. We want our kids to gain some experience and some notoriety. It helps the program," Santiago said.

"It's not about one single boxer, it's about Rockaway Ropes is a brand. We're trying to add to the reputation and it feels good when people know you in the boxing circles."

Two fighters will be looking to win gold in the Long Island Tournament after being knocked out in the Golden Gloves.

20-year old Darius Vinson is looking to increase his consistency in the ring as he fights in the 152-pound open class. "Increase the workrate. I'm mostly relying on counterpunching. But I'm trying to put together a 6-7-8 punch combination," Vinson said. "My bad habit is just relying on 1 to 2 punch combinations and not letting my hands go."

Kenyatta Gregg-Harris, who is fighting in the 178-pound novice class, is seeking to battle back after losing a decision in the opening round of the Golden Gloves in February and in a split decision in the Kid Kelly Tournament in Brooklyn.

"Ever since I lost in the golden Gloves, I learned how to stay off the ropes.," Harris said. "You got to be aggressive. In the amateurs, you can't just jab and throw. You got to throw a lot of punches and land."

Also competing in the tournament will be Darryl Richardson in the 152- pound novice class. Malcolm Richardson will fight in the 178-pound novice class, Kevin Williams in the 152-pound novice class and Akin Morgan will fight in the 141-pound novice class.

The Long Island Amateur Boxing Championships will be held at the Five Towns Community Center in Lawrence. The address is at 270 Lawrence Avenue. It will take place from August 12-15 with the fights starting at 7 p.m. Tickets for adults is $25 and $10 for children.

The fledgling Rockaway Ropes Boxing Club is located at the Ocean Bay PAL Community Center at 57-10 Beach Channel Drive.

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