Golden Gloves gears for weekend action

Freedom New Mexico: Tony Bullocks Bill “Ski” Maiejewski, left, and Ken Krause of Clovis place covers over a turnbuckle in the boxing ring on Thursday at Roy Walker Community Center. They were helping prepare the facility for this weekend’s New Mexico Golden Gloves tournament.

By Eric Butler: FNM correspondent

On Thursday afternoon, a variety of young men helped put together the framework for the ring which will be used for the state Golden Gloves boxing championships in Clovis.

Elijio Sena was one of the biggest on hand and he’s hoping to get in some blows in the super-heavyweight division.

But Sena, 29, isn’t as big as he used to be. The Clovis resident, who won at the state level last year, said that an ensuing loss at the regional round motivated him to trim down to his current weight of 230 pounds.

“I’m probably in better shape than I’ve ever been. Last year, I weighed about 252,” said Sena, who had a simple explanation for his new weight level. “I’ve been in the gym for about four months straight.”

The 60th annual state Golden Gloves tournament begins at 7 p.m. today at Roy Walker Community Center.

Veteran fighters like Sena are now starting to produce younger local pugilists. Clovis’ Rico Urquizo, 25, said he’d been tossing over the idea of competing in Golden Gloves for a few years after being introduced to the state tournament as a spectator.

“I just decided to come in and start training. I’ve been wanting to get in it for three years,” said Urquizo, who will be competing in the 178-pound division. “I wanted to and then I didn’t want to. Finally, this year, I just stuck to it.”

Chuck Haas, a Clovis resident and president of New Mexico Golden Gloves, said he expects between 50 and 60 competitors in the sundry weight classes. In the past, limited numbers of entrants have meant that championship day was moved up to Saturday night.

Haas, however, expects the finals to be held on Sunday – as was the case last year.

Another one of the boxers that Haas assists in training is Edgar Zubia, who will try to make a repeat trip to the national championships which he accomplished in the 141-pound weight class in 2007.

Zubia, who has plied his trade in Clovis but is listed as a Hobbs native, lost in a preliminary bout at nationals last year to a fighter from Nevada.
The host city has entrants in almost every weight class, according to Haas.

“We won’t have one at 106 or 112. I think they’ll come out of Albuquerque,” Haas said. “I think the PAL gym up in Albuquerque will probably have the strongest team up here. However, we’re going to do our best with them.”

FAST FACTS

* What: 60th annual state Golden Gloves tournament
* When: 7 p.m. today and Saturday, 1:30 p.m. Sunday
* Where: Roy Walker Community Center
* Tickets: Adults, $7; under 18, $4