Richard Quiñones (Journeymen Boxing) – Christina Cruz closed out her illustrious Golden Gloves career by earning her record 10th straight title, defeating a game Emily Colon in a 119-pound championship Tuesday night during the 89th annual Daily News Golden Gloves finals at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The soft-spoken Cruz admitted it was not her best performance afterwards, but she will take it.
“It wasn’t my best performance, but I went in there to win,” said Cruz.
Cruz came out in the first round moving around and waiting for the right moment to attack against a very patient Colon, who did not engage much during the opening round.
In the second round, Cruz came out swinging, as she trapped Colon in the corner and landed some nice clean scoring blows to the body. However, the 28-year-old Colon was game and gritty the whole night, as she was able to catch Cruz with a couple of hooks inside. But, she never really found a rhythm that she was hoping for. IN the third stanza, Colon seemed frustrated and tired and Cruz took advantage of that as she simply outworked her opponent.
A standing-eight count was given to Colon after four unanswered punches were absorbed.
Also taking home the gold on this night of champions in the novice bouts were Alexander Garcia (Academy of Boxing), Bryan Cardoso (Mendez Gym), Jonibek Khotamov (Atlas Cops N Kids), Joseph Negron (Mendez BC), Andrew Fret (Gym X BC), and Emmanuel Etienne (Westbury BC).
Garcia unanimously defeated Jimmy Baldwin (Morris Park BC) for the 165-pound title, while Cardoso beat Jonathan Martinez (DeMarco’s Gym) unanimously for the 114-pound title.
Khotamov pulled off a mild upset defeating Efrain Rodriguez (Atlas Cops N Kids) by split decision for 123-pound title. Rodriguez had entered the finals with 2 TKO’s, but Khotamov outworked him to earn the win after taking the third round.
Negron used his height and reach to defeated Josiah Rivera (FDNY Boxing), 3-0 for the 178-pound gold. Fret beat Michael Lowery (Easter Queens BC), 2-1 for the 152-pound title and Etienne unanimously beat Sean Elexey (Brotherhood BC) for the 201-pound title.
Winning gold in the open class were Richardson Hitchins, Bruce Carrington, and Nkosi Solomon, all fighting out of Atlas Cops N Kids. Hitchins unanimously beat Christian Coakley (Manny’s BC) for the 141-pound title. Carrington also won unanimously, beating Ray Cuadrado (Brotherhood BC) for the 132-pound championship and Solomon beat Fabio Rodriguez (Eastern Queens BC) by split decision for 201+ title. Solomon might have benefited from past success in the tourney against the lesser known Rodriguez, who many believe won the fight.