Future pros square off at Gleason’s Gym

David Lenson of Bars Boxing.
Photo courtesy Michael Carryl, LIABC&C
Photo courtesy Michael Carryl, LIABC&C

Last year Marlon Brown captured the 132-pound Open Division title of the fifth annual Long Island Boxing Championships at Gleason’s Gymnasium in downtown Brooklyn.

Last week, the sixth annual Long Island Amateur Boxing Championships that first began in 2006, was staged at the same site. Michael Carryl, the founder and organizer of the Long Island Amateur Boxing Championships & Charities, Inc. along with his staff and boxers, offered nothing but praise for the program of four sessions, on two consecutive weekends. They were all satisfied with the activities.

There were various divisions and weight classes during the program. One fighter was expected to repeat as champion, but this did not happen, as in any sport upsets do take place.

Marlon Brown and Titus Williams squared off for the required three rounds. Brown was the favorite.

Williams, representing the Freeport Police Athletic League, had different plans, and didn’t let Brown stay in his way during the semi-finals. Williams put on a great show and eliminated Brown in the semis.

On the following evening, on a Sunday, Williams, a resident of Elmont, showed what he could do and took a unanimous decision over Dave Meloni to capture the title. The winner of each final took home a belt as prize. The runner-up won a trophy.

In a sense, the Williams-Meloni bout was a rematch of a previous one some three weeks ago.

“He robbed me of a decision,” Williams said. “I’m used to him as we spar (almost) every week It was a good fight (at Gleason’s Gym). I knew he was going to come on. I had a tight fight yesterday (against Brown). When I fight, I move my legs a lot …”

To come out victorious and win the tournament means a great deal for any winner, including Williams.

Lately, Williams committed his time to the sport of boxing.

“I’ve been working very hard on my conditioning,” he said. “When I’m in top shape I let my skills show. When I’m not in top shape, I can’t move my legs. I like to box and punch.”

In the finals, Williams primarily used his jab. He has a long reach.

“I’m a light weight but I hit like a welter weight,” said the 21-year-old Williams, who wants to reach the national level.

The student at SUNY at Old Westbury College started boxing at the at the age of 18, and learned the sport very quickly. He has the ability to fight at a high level.

Last week marked his second time winning the Long Island Championships for he took it in 2009 and didn’t fight last year, thus taking some time off. Now he is back.

Brown has more experience than Williams but just did not show it during the tournament.

Williams’ coach Joe Higgins of the Freeport Boxing Club has been very satisfied with his student’s win and progress.

“He’s training very hard,” Higgins said. “He upset that experienced boxer (Brown) in the semi-finals when he looked very sharp. He fought two days in a row and understands what conditioning really means because the next step is going to Lake Placid and fighting three days in a row, and then the U.S. Championships boxing five days in a row.”

In some other Open division finals, Eugene Russell defeated Owen Minor for the 201 pound weight class title, Marcos Hernandez turned back Jose Luis Martiez (123), Carlos Lopez got by Obafemi Bakarre (165), Courtney Pennington beat Khlary Caray (165), Max Tassy took the 201 Open title decisioning Carl Newman, and Jeremy Fiorentino eliminated Shawn Rodriguez (152).

In some of the Novice division finals, Jose Cales turned back Julia Varela for the 141 pound title, Redison Reyes decisioned John Torres (165), Elijah Medina beat Abdul Berte (178) and Dave Lenson defeated Miguel Acevedo (152).

Hernandez, competing for Gleason’s Gym team, felt great to win, especially in front of his home fans.

“Because I’m from here, everybody wants to see me win,” said Hernandez. “I started boxing at the age of 17 after I played baseball at FDR High School. At first I couldn’t afford boxing, but when the opportunity came about I took advantage of it.”

Meanwhile, Martim Gonzalez, Hernandez’s trainer, was very happy for him taking the title. Hard work in the gym paved the way for the success of Hernandez.

The 19-year-old Medina relied on his left body shot and right uppercut for his victory. His goal is to become the middleweight titleholder of the world.

“This is my gym, for I train here,” Medina, who won his fourth amateur fight, said.

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