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Christina Cruz Cruises to Sixth Straight Golden Gloves Win
by Mark Jones
March 30, 2012
Photo: Christina Cruz

(MAR 30)  Christina Cruz, Atlas Cop N Kids, scores four standing eight counts on Florina Novac, Evolution Boxing Club, causing a referee stoppage midway through the second round of the 112-pound women’s final on Thursday evening. The win gave Cruz an unprecedented sixth straight New York Daily News Golden Gloves victory surpassing Mark Breland.

Cruz started fast countering Novac’s straight-line attack with punishing counterpunches that eventually led to the early stoppage.

All-Time great women’s boxer Christy Martin placed the record –setting pair of golden gloves on Cruz during a brief ceremony after the conclusion of the bout.

Christella Cepeda, Yonkers YMCA, dominated the action with Tiffany Chen, Trinity Boxing Club, to win the 141-pound women’s championship by decision. Cepeda, a pre-med student, and a runner-up in the 141-pound class in 2011, maneuvered around her mostly stationary opponent landing crisp combinations to the head. Chen’s body punching was effective in spots, but when the final bell sounded, the decision wasn’t in doubt.

Misato Kamegawa, Atlas Cops N Kids, secured her second straight 119-pound women’s championship with a decision win over Ivette Delgado, Yonkers YMCA.

Kamegawa, who holds her lead hand low ala Thomas Hearns, effectively mastered Delgado’s long-range boxing style by feinting her into mistakes that were efficiently countered. The 18 year-old Delgado expended most of her energy attempting to maneuver off the ropes and out of the corners were she was positioned by her more experienced opponent. Misato Kamegawa is a highly skilled aggressive counterpuncher.

In the 125-pound women’s final, a bout that can only be described as a fist-flying affair, Heather Hardy, Gleason’s Gym, had all she could handle with Nicole Russell, The Wat, but pulled out the win with non-stop combination punching.
Hardy swarmed Russell throughout the bout attempting to smother any attack that Russell, who appears more comfortable at longer ranges, might employ. Hardy routinely threw five and seven punch combinations that occupied her opponent and forced her backwards onto the ropes.

Russell mad things interesting in the third and fourth round when she was more successful evading Hardy’s relentless attack and countered effectively. Russell had the best of the exchanges in the fourth round, but Hardy’s earlier work provided the edge needed to gain victory.

Heather Hardy was the National Golden Gloves Champion in 2011.

The following finals were held at the Empire Casino on March 14, 2012.

Krystal Graham-Dixon, Main Street Boxing Club defeated Naralie Pacheco, World Wide Boxing Club 3-2 decision to take the 176+ final.

Dilsia Bonilla, Freeport PAL, defeated Neena Ajwani, John’s Gym to take the 106-pound final

Aly-Sha Dandridge, Heavy Hitters BC, defeated Holly Stephens, Team Freeform to win the 101-pound final.

Fridays Women’s Final Bouts:
Alicia Napoleon vs. Nafisa Umarova 154-pound final
Bertha Aracil vs. Storm Chandler 132-pound final
2011 NY Daily News Golden Glove Champions Women’s Class:
106 pounds: Brittany Delgado - Veterans Memorial
112 pounds: Christina Cruz - Atlas Cops N Kids
119 pounds: Misato Kamegawa - Atlas Cops N Kids
125 pounds: Sylvia Yero - Willis Ave. Boxing Club
132 pounds: Bertha Aracil - Atlas Cops n Kids
141 pounds: Kathleen Walsh - Heavy Hitters Boxing Club
152 pounds: Nisa Rodriguez - Mendez Boxing Club
165 pounds: Christina Jensen - Veterans Memorial
176 pounds: Alicia Napoleon - Mendez Boxing Club
176-plus pounds: Shanell Mathes - K2 Boxing Club

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