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Golden Gloves offers a lot

It’s been said that there are three seasons: football season, recruiting season, and spring football practice.

There’s no doubt Americans love their football. It is the most action-packed sport that combines aggression and strategy.

There’s always talk that baseball is too slow. The games take too long. Actually, a major league game is about three hours long and an NFL game is approaching three and a half.

As far as action, take away the time going to and from the line of scrimmage or standing in the huddle and a high school game is actually less than six minutes of action.

So why the increase in popularity? I think it’s the hitting.

Think back thousands of years ago when gladiators fought to the death before stadiums full of people. Civilized man today doesn’t want to see death or even injury, but he cheers a crunching tackle.

Boxing used to suffice man’s need for constant contact. Pro boxing was one of the most popular sports before today’s promoters took charge and made sure a boxer built a good record in order to create a big match with a huge payday.

Boxing has become corrupt because there is no real league with a commissioner to police it. But boxing still has its place and there is nothing more pure than at the amateur level.

The showcase for young boxers is the Golden Gloves tournament, and this Friday, Saturday and Sunday male and female boxers from the age of 8 and up will take center stage at the Ashland (Ky.) National Guard Armory.

Winners at this tournament get a berth in the nationals with national champions gaining a spot on the Olympic team.

There won’t be any fixed fights. These youngsters have trained hard and get just three rounds to chart their futures.

Noak Kirk and Charlie Hanshaw of the Westwood Boys Club have trained local fighters who hope to realize their dreams.

And don’t worry about Don King getting a cut of the gate receipts. This is a non-profit event with money from the bouts being used to send the champions from each weight class to the national Golden Gloves.

Maybe boxing isn’t football, but it is pure, simple, and exciting. Enjoy.

-- Sinatra --

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.