Boxers earn gold

Posted: Sunday, January 23, 2000

Three Juneau boxers, three gold medals.

That was the score from the 19th Annual Salmon Belt boxing tournament Jan. 15 from Jim Ciccone Civic Centre in Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

The Juneau-Douglas Boxing Association made its first trip to the Prince Rupert tournament, and went three-for-three.

``We had five invites, but a couple of them didn't make grades,'' JDBA trainer Ray Lee said. The tournament brought together boxers from the British Columbia towns of Prince Rupert, Prince George, Chetwynd and Terrace, plus there were boxers from Juneau and Palmer, Alaska.

``Pat Gallagher, of Palmer, got to face the five-time Canadian champion (Keith Gurszki of Prince Rupert),'' Lee said. ``He lost in the first round, but he gave it his best.''

Bryan Collison, an 18-year-old senior at Juneau-Douglas High School, competed in the Senior Olympic Division and claimed a three-round decision over Barry Jefferson of Terrace at 160 pounds.

But Juneau's real action came in the Junior A Division, where Drew Akstin ended up facing teammate Josh Andrews in a three-round demonstration bout at 85 pounds. The two Juneau 10-year-olds battled to a draw, with Andrews advancing on a coin flip to face Ian Fromm of Prince Rupert. That bout also ended up as a draw, so all three boxers ended up wearing gold medals.

As members of the boxing club worked on setting up a new boxing ring Saturday afternoon at Sports Ltd. in Juneau, Lee said the Juneau club has three big events coming up.

On Feb. 24 there will be a clubhouse boxing event to benefit the club at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall. Then in late March (tentatively March 25-26) will be probably the biggest event in club history when teams from Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and the Yukon Territory meet in a USA Olympic Amateur tournament. Then, on April 21-22 at Centennial Hall, there will be a statewide clubhouse boxing event to benefit the USA Amateur Boxing Association clubs in Alaska.

The Juneau-Douglas Boxing Association meets Tuesday and Thursday nights, plus some Monday and Friday nights, from 6-8:30 p.m. at its clubhouse at 3225 Hospital Drive. There is also a Wednesday night boxercise program for women. Lee said there are currently about 15-25 boxers working out regularly with the club, and about 15 of those are looking for competition.

``Shelton Gleaton (a 17-year-old club member) went to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Marquette, Mich., this summer and now he's ranked sixth in the nation,'' Lee said. ``That shows how much we've grown.''

The club can trace its history to the 1980s, but in its current incarnation the club is 3 years old. The club will celebrate a year in its current clubhouse in April, Lee said.

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