By Stefan Anderson
Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, some names that will always be linked to boxing and a great part of our American sports culture. Boxing, which once was the apple of our countries eyes with the greatest bouts and fighters putting it all on the line and giving the entertainment fans enjoy. The light has then faded out and boxing has been foreshadowed by other sports and is not as popular as it was in the past.
Pure fans of the sport have never left and still urge for the sport to continue. Other who are causal fans have probably switched their love over to Mixed Martial Arts and UFC phenomenon, which is just as exciting to those who enjoy the competition. But for most part, many fear their children suffer from brutal injuries and do not support culture anymore.
Although boxing can be a dangerous sport, its the other intangibles that the sport brings to young males and females. For a great example, Mike Tyson was young inner city teen from the streets of Brooklyn, and deemed to live a life of crime and delinquency but was saved by boxing. APJ Boxing gym in Poughkeepsie, NY wants to give the youth of Poughkeepsie the same opportunity to do so.
And their 1st amateur boxing showcase did so for the city of Poughkeepsie.
The lights were on, as over 500 fans and spectators filled the ringside and general admission seats at Stizel Field to support APJ and it fighters. APJ was founded by Kariym Patterson , a few years prior to help the inner city youth of its hometown. The Poughkeeepsie gym pledges to teach boxing lessons to help build confidence, boost your memory, increase your goal setting skills, and most importantly stay in shape.
With over 10 matches, citizens of Poughkeepsie got their first hand experience of boxing and seen the joy and entertainment it could provide as a viewer. Showcasing the talent that APJ and other amateur gym from the Bronx to Albany, NY are working on training daily to perfect their crafts. Fighters from APJ reigned supreme as they won all their bouts versus opponents except for one bout which paired two sparing buddies together.
Boxing greats like NYS Hall of Famer Tracy Patterson Jr, Tony Marchese , John Carlo and Chazz McDowell were in attendance as they witnessed a ground breaking event take place in the Hudson Valley.
APJ fighter Tyriece Stokes spoke on this experience by saying “To see all your friends and family come and support you it makes you great.” Stokes also went to state “This is up there with the top memories in my life”
Boxing can provide that joy in numerous amount of people lives and can continue to its imprint it continues to grow back into its once popularity again. With gym’s like APJ and it amateur fighter, I am sure that boxing will be back to one of America’s premium sport again.