SAN FRANCISCO (January 23, 2006) – On March 21-25, more than 200 amateur athletes from Northern California will compete in the 75th Annual San Francisco Golden Gloves at the historic Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Established in 1931, the San Francisco Golden Gloves is the city’s oldest sports franchise, predating both the 49ers and the Giants. After 75 years, the amateur event remains a vibrant source of hope and opportunity, never losing sight of its mission to support and empower the youth and communities of San Francisco and Northern California through athletics. Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit city youth organizations including Music in Schools, and various after school sports programs.
“We are very proud to bring the 75th Annual San Francisco Golden Gloves to the people of this magnificent city,” said Executive Board member David Philpott. “We have worked long and hard to restore the San Francisco Golden Gloves to its former prominence. It’s extremely gratifying to see this legendary event celebrated by all San Franciscans as the city’s signature amateur sports event and as a wellspring of inspiration for all of the athletes and their fans."
“The Gloves” touches the lives of numerous ethnic and social groups, attracting participants from all over Northern California who carry the pride of their neighborhoods into the ring and inspire local support. The five-day tournament appeals to a wide range of talent – from the special senior division to the novice division to the women’s division, “The Gloves” is an accessible competition for all sports enthusiasts. The winners of the San Francisco Golden Gloves will go on to compete in the regional and state tournaments with the ultimate goal of advancing to the National Golden Gloves Championships, gateway to the U.S. Boxing Team and world competition.
In addition to returning champions, this year’s line-up includes many new competitors from Sacramento to San Jose. Boxers of particular interest include: Ashanti Jordan (Fairfield), Ana Julaton (Alameda), Brandon Gonzales (Sacramento), Stan Martyniouk (Antelope), James Zimmerman (San Jose), Santos Soto (San Francisco), Richard Hardgrave (San Francisco), and Cynthia Talmadge (San Francisco). Unlike the pros, who prepare to fight only one fight, Golden Gloves athletes must compete and win over five consecutive nights. The winners of five divisions of competition – based on age, experience and gender – will return home with the coveted Golden Gloves.
Founded by William Randolph Hearst in 1931, the San Francisco Golden Gloves joined Chicago and New York as one of the three original Golden Gloves franchises. Each conducted a championship tournament leading up to regional and national championships. Throughout the golden years of boxing in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, “The Gloves” was a popular event that captured San Franciscans’ imaginations. Then, in the early 1980s, the Hearst Corporation ceased its sponsorship. Settling into a side hall at the Cow Palace, this larger-than-life event that had meant so much to San Franciscans for so many years was relegated to little more than a poorly-attended curiosity for more than 20 years.
In 2004, an esteemed group of seven native San Franciscans stepped in to restore the glory of this historic crown jewel of civic sports. Forming a new board, returning the event to its historic home at the majestic Beaux Arts Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, and reaching out to local boxing clubs and the media, the new team drew more than 12,000 spectators to tournament. Today the San Francisco Golden Gloves once again attracts well-dressed San Francisco socialites, local politicians, business leaders, blue-collar labor workers and hopeful youngsters of all ages and races and from all neighborhoods.
“With roots that penetrate into every neighborhood, no San Francisco sports event evokes greater passions, crosses over every socio-economic and ethnic boundary, or enjoys greater generational brand name recognition and loyalty,” said Philpott. “We’re so please to have the San Francisco Golden Gloves back where it belongs.”
Tickets for the 75th Annual San Francisco Golden Gloves range in price from $20 for balcony seating to $100 for ringside seating. Tickets are now available for purchase at www.SFGoldenGloves.com
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?