Golden Gloves Semi-Finals: The Road to the Garden

Not The Garden, but a stepping stone.
Not The Garden, but a stepping stone. Photo by David Pambianchi.
Big Blue Eyes Amanda Walsh, Pre fight
Prefight Amanda Walsh: Make no mistake, Big Blue Eyes is one skilled boxer. Photo by David Pambianchi.

While far from the prestige and glamour of a packed audience in MSG, the school Gym, with its fold out chairs and stands, still bustles with fans and the hopes of boxers looking for the needed victory. A Video-live-feed in the cafeteria keeps spectators in the action after hankering for a hot dog.

Excellence exudes confidence. With a 1st round TKO for Amanda Walsh against an intimidated Melissa Kaye, (110-W) Trainer Matt Olszewski sat back in the easy chair. His wife, well known professional champion Eileen ‘The Hawaiian Mongoose’ spars with protegee Amanda, and things look good for the MSG Finals.

Christy Cappillino after her bout. Photo by David Pambianchi.
Christy Cappillino after her bout. Photo by David Pambianchi.

Yet for some, shattered hopes still leave room for pride. Christy Cappillino (Boxing photographer turned fighter), battled through a grueling, but courageous loss to Ebony Fowler (145-W). Both fighters got in good blows and both looked spent. Exhausted from a plane ride after a family visit to Florida, and then driving for hours from upstate Newburgh to make weigh-in on Long Island, Christy held out with stout heart until the referee stopped the bout near the end of the last round. Approaching 35, the cut off age for the Golden Gloves, she managed to hang tough for her first and last Garden attempt. While Ebony gets a crack at The Garden Finals, we can still catch Christy gracing Ringside, working Madison Square Garden with her camera.

With a night of all-around good sportsmanship, there is a Golden Gloves lesson. While boxing becomes a career to some and fades into a hobby or memory to others, match to match, journey to journey, win and lose, we all test ourselves, our courage, strengths and weaknesses, grow physically and mentally and make choices among the doors open to us.

The rest of the Bouts:


Yuko Yamamoto won a close match over Monica Bermudez , 110-W

Christina Rosa, a fireball of action, but a bit wild, defeated Cara Castronuova. Though judges scored her the win, perhaps influenced by her aggressive style, to some eyes, this bout went the other way on points. (119-W)

Christina Cruz defeated Danielle Ashby in round two ‘by a case of too much reach.’ (119-W)

Dariana Casado claimed a victory over Jade Timol (145-W)


Mitchell Balker over Roberto Morban (201-O)

Phillip Benson over Elis Seongbae (165-O)

Michael O’Connor out-scored Herve Duroseau, to some eyes…no comment, (165-O)

BYE: Norman Neely, (201-O)

David Pambianchi is a New York writer, who loves to tell stories about the city, the people, the entertainment, the sport and the businesses that catch his attention.

Novel: Carrots & Apples: Parenthood, Divorce and Public Corruption