LIMA — Southside Boxing’s Lonnie Rettig has been eagerly awaiting this weekend.
For the first time ever, Lima will be a host city for a Golden Gloves Boxing Regional Championship. The event will be Saturday at the VFW Post 1275 on Elm Street in Lima. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the first bout is at 7 p.m.
“The Golden Gloves is a long time standard as one of the premiere boxing championships,” Rettig said. “Most of the big boxers like (Evander) Holyfield and (Oscar) De La Hoya went through this.”
Boxers ages 16 and over who win a Golden Gloves tournament move on to Nationals later this year in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“This is a stage where they (boxers) can get noticed and it is a huge honor,” Rettig said. “These have been around for decades.”
Four local boxers from Rettig’s Southside Boxing will be competing at the Golden Gloves.
Rettig’s son, Kenyen Rettig will compete in the 60-pound Bantam class.
Jahosh Allen, who won the 2013 State and Regional Silver Gloves Championship, will square off against Alex Hernandez in the 106-pound Junior Division.
Michael Carter will fight Waylon Lathrop in the 114-pound Junior Division, and Nick Harrod will compete against Brock French in the 85-pound Intermediate Division.
Rettig would like to see all of his fighters do well, but also hopes the event draws some interest in the sport of boxing for the Lima area.
“The goal I would like to have is to represent a team from Lima in every weight class at the Golden Gloves,” Rettig said.
In all, there will be 13 matches involving boxers from 14 different schools. Weights will range from 60 pounds to 141 pounds in various skill divisions.
Presale tickets are $15 for adults, $20 at the door, $12 for kids 12 and younger.
Rettig recommends people get there early to get a good seat.
“The fact that the Golden Gloves are coming to Lima means a lot, and we want a lot of support and excitement from the people in the community,” Rettig said.
Rettig also said there are not a lot of places in Lima, besides Southside and a few others, that promote and encourage boxing. He is hoping with the Golden Gloves coming to town, things will change.
“There is not a lot of boxing in Lima, so we are trying to set the standard,” Rettig said. “We’re trying to rejuvenate it and our boys have been working really hard. We travel a lot and I have about 14 hard-nosed kids.”