The opening round of the New York State Golden Gloves Tournament begins at 5 p.m. today at the Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St., with last year’s state super heavyweight champion Drew Graziadei fighting in the main event of the 28-bout card.
Graziadei, who fights out of Casal’s Boxing Club in Niagara Falls, will oppose Pat Towson of Buffalo-based WNY MMA. Graziadei beat Eric Rogers for the state title last spring by 4-1 decision but a hamstring injury prevented him from participating in the national tournament.
The state tournament includes male and female amateur boxers from all over the state, except the New York City Metro Area (which has its own state Golden Gloves Tournament), competing for championships in sub novice, novice and open class. Open class champions advance to the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions, which begins May 13 in Salt Lake City.
Tickets can be purchased at the door – $30 (general admission), $40 (ringside). Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
This is the first of four tournament dates over the next four months in which the state competition will be conducted, all at The Tralf. The next round is Feb. 16. The third round is March 30 with the finals April 27.
New York State Golden Gloves President Don Patterson said there are 128 boxers entered in the tournament. Northwest Buffalo Community Center (11) and Casal’s Boxing Club will account for 20 of the participants in the various classes.
Besides Graziadei, Canisius College soccer player Brianna Smith (who boxes out of Casal’s) is the returning 152-pound state champion.