New York’s amateurs fought on this week in the Ring Masters Championships, vying for a spot in the April 19 finals in Madison Square Garden and bragging rights as Metro’s best.
On Friday, March 1, the tournament returned to Main Street Boxing in Mount Vernon, where Mike Stellate mixes hardcore training with a family atmosphere. A packed house cheered the fourteen-fight card, enjoyed the DJ, and sipped sangria from Zhañay Winery.
“Coach Mike is amazing,” said Devon of sportswear sponsor Samuk. “All the kids he’s training are humble. He gets them in off the streets, and they don’t want to fight in the street anymore because now they have more confidence.”
A stylish showdown in the men’s 165-pound open quarterfinals won Dana Ford Fight of the Night. Heavy-handed Mike Passade of John’s Gym, a 28-year-old Marine veteran, took the split decision over classy Alexis “Chop Chop” Chaparro of NYC Cops and Kids, who divides his time between boxing and walking the runways of the world.
Passade had lost to Chop Chop before and was familiar with his style: “I knew if I sat there on the outside, I was going to get outboxed. I wanted to keep the pressure, not give him his space, turn it into more of a brawl.” He advances to the semifinals to face Freeport PAL’s Famous Wilson.
The King of Sting Power Punch went to light heavyweight Joel Telles of Sweatbox for his dominating first-round stoppage.
On Saturday, Metro woke up to a snowstorm but finished with a firestorm at Heavy Hitters Boxing in Ronkonkoma, a USA Boxing member gym offering training for all levels from pee wee to adult in a colorful space adorned with graffiti art.
“We always look forward to hosting Metro shows because they’re so much fun,” said Christine Morales, owner of Heavy Hitters with her husband Jason, a Suffolk County police officer.
The fireworks started in the opening bout, when Ashley Longchamp of Elmont BC sent his opponent tumbling with a hook, right combo that won the King of Sting Power Punch. Longchamp advances to the 152-pound semis to face Kalief Lindo of Church Street.
The 90-pound bantams closed the show with the Dana Ford Tough Fight of the Night, a unanimous decision for Anthony Pearson of Rockaway Ropes over Ruben Martinez of Champs.
“It was Ruben’s first fight, and he looked really sharp. He just needs to throw more punches,” said Coach Ryan O’Leary, who leads one of the largest squads in this tournament. Champs Gym sent 22 fighters to the Ring Masters, 17 of whom are still undefeated on the Road to the Garden.
Join the party this Saturday 3/19 at a special early matinee show hosted by the Freeport Recreation Center, featuring the 114, 141, and 152-pound men’s novice divisions and the women’s 152-pound open class. Show starts at 1 pm. This show is a benefit for kids living with cancer. Come join us for a day of music, boxing, fun and games!
UPDATED BRACKETS CAN BE FOUND ON: www.citylimits.org/boxing19
Tickets are going fast for the finals in MSG on Friday, April 19! Get yours here: