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Thursday, September 29

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Boxing Mon Feb 09 2009

It's #@$&*!@ Golden (Gloves)

Joe Louis. Ezzard Charles, Sonny Liston. Cassius Clay. Shenequa Golding.

Yeah, that last name might elicit a "Who?" when placed along those famous boxing monikers, but after April, it might be a household name.

Golding is one of the local sports writers and reporters who have taken up the challenge offered by the Chicago Golden Gloves organizers and entered this year's tournament for a unique perspective on the historic boxing tournament. (Hopefully that perspective won't be on the mat looking up.) And while it can safely be called a longshot, joining the list of past champions such as Louis, Charles, Liston and Clay is always a possibility. Hey, stranger things have happened. Just ask a certain ex-governor.

Golding, a reporter for the Southtown Star by way of New York City, and Brad Engel, sports editor of the Naperville Sun, are documenting their journey from rank (unranked?) amateurs to red-blooded boxers in their respective papers. They're receiving training from local boxing coaches and will make their fighting debut when the tournament kicks off on March 19 at St. Andrew's Gym, 1658 W. Addison. It culminates with the championships April 16-18. Check out their Facebook page for more details.

The tournament has been around since 1923 and in addition to the aforementioned legendary boxers, the tournament had a pretty good run in the '90s when it produced a string of local boxers who went on to represent the U.S. in the Olympics, including Montel Griffin ('92), Donnell Nicholson ('92), Nate Jones ('96), David Diaz ('96) and Michael Bennett ('00)

In the interest of full disclosure, the staff of Gapers Block were also invited to participate, but decided to remain outside the ring due to our extreme awesomness. Also, we heard our collective mothers calling us.

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