Multiple fighters from across the state walked away with belts, victories, and defeats. In the Saturday sun with no clouds in the sky, fighters from all around came into Trenton to prove themselves in the second annual Trenton Mayor’s Boxing Championships at the Capital City Sports Complex.
One boxer was Naseem Fuller, a west Trenton Native who, at 14 years old, won a national qualifier for USA boxing in April in Cleveland, Ohio. He’s currently ranked number three in the nation and is the regional silver gloves champion for New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
“I started boxing when I was ten years old after getting a lot of fights in elementary, you know, my dad, he just put me in the ring… I started fighting ever since. I want to get better at it and keep going and go professional when I turn 18,” Fuller said.
He explained his fighting style when he stepped into the ring. “I’m like a Power Pressure fighter. Like I’m going to pressure you a lot. I’m not that tall…So I gotta get inside and just start banging and boxing. When you get into that ring, you have to box smart,” Fuller said.
Terrence Smith, Father of Fuller, shouted from the sidelines as his son did his bout, weaving back and forth, striking when he could. “I’m proud; he’s a 14-year-old ninth grader; he goes to the Ninth Grade Academy. He’s a great kid, great student,” Smith said
Each bout is judged by a referee in the ring with the fighters. James Brandon, a level one official with USA boxing, serves as referee, judge, and timekeeper during the fights.
“Boxing today has been wonderful. There has been the great focus, great passion, and great technique displayed by all of our participants today. Sometimes your arm is raised victorious, and in other cases, you have lessons that you take back and continue to work on it,” Brandon said.
With the sun beating down on the fighters, some had to adapt to the heat and power the match Joshua Vivar, 16, North Burgan County boxer, won his bout. “It’s my second time fighting in the sun, so it was pretty hot. But you know, when you get tired, and these guys dig deep, I was slipping very well and countering very well, and I think I dug deep and that’s what led me to win the fight,” Vivar said.
Fans of the matchup were overjoyed as each fight came and went. Brittany Littlejohn, the owner of Wheels2Go, an automotive repair shop in Trenton, came with her family to support the Trenton fighters.
“This feeling is amazing, no drama. You know we got a lot of people out here. It’s very a lot of people out here, and they came out here to support people. We got to stick together; the community got to stick together,” Littlejohn said.
Knuckle Boxing puts on the matches; their gym offers two types of boxing training: Training that focuses on teaching boxers to compete in the ring and training that focuses on helping them get in better shape. The day’s matchups brought everyone together within the community to watch kids and adults alike show sportsmanship in the boxing game.
“This is immensely important and community engagement,” Brandon said. Whether that be athletics, whether that be in performing arts, fine arts, or visual arts, whether that is anything that enriches and edifies the city of Trenton and all over; we want to encourage that we want people to participate and get to be more involved, and ultimately it keeps them off the streets.”