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Boxing is growing in Juneau.
This Saturday five young local boxers will compete in a statewide amateur showdown in Anchorage.
All are Junior Olympic qualifiers with varying degrees of experience who will face boxers from Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Josh Allen, a 14-year-old boxing at 140 pounds, competed last year in the Junior Olympic District Championships in Port Orchard, Wash. Brent Kimzey, also 14, is a 124-pounder in his first bout. Josh Andrews is a 10-year old from Prince Rupert, British Columbia boxing at 81 pounds. Drew Askin, 10, fights at 88 pounds and Jacob McCormick, 9, at 105.
``We're going to go and see what it's all about,'' said trainer Ray Lee of the Juneau-Douglas Boxing Association. ``This will be their first time under the bright lights. A couple of them will experience anxiety attacks and what have you.''
Three boxing shows are scheduled in Juneau in upcoming months, Lee said.
The ``King of the Ring'' is Feb. 25 at the ANB Hall. All boxers, experienced or not, male or female, can lace up the gloves and challenge opponents for three, oneminute rounds in a full-sized USA Amateur Boxing-sanctioned ring. All safety gear except for mouth guards and protective cups is provided (18-ounce gloves, optional head gear and body protectors). EMT's will be on hand to offer prefight physicals, and there will be a short warm-up period beforehand for prospective pugilists to try out the gear and receive a few fight tips. Boxers will be paired by weight and gender.
Three ring girls will be selected in the ``Queen of the Ring'' competition Feb. 19 at Marlintini's, Lee said.
The ``King of the Ring'' is a fundraiser for a bout March 18-19, when up to 30 boxers from the Yukon Territory, Fairbanks and Anchorage will challenge Juneau fighters at the Tlingit-Haida Hall. Then April 21-22 is the Southeast Statewide Invitational at Centennial Hall. Prospective boxers 21 and over can sign up, Lee said, and a cash purse and championship belts will be awarded.