Nine area fighters from Boyce Gym set for Golden Gloves
The area Golden Gloves boxing tournament series starts March 1 at 3 Lakes Golf Course in Penn Hills, and Boyce Gym, on the border of Plum and Monroeville, has nine fighters scheduled to fight on the card.
The nine fighters from Boyce, according to veteran trainer Andy Vitulla, is the most from the gym in at least two decades.
The group has connections to communities throughout the area, including Forest Hills, Penn Hills, Monroeville, Plum, Murrysville and Lower Burrell.
Three fighters — John Doyle, Ricky Carter Jr. and Justin Reardon — are second-generation Golden Glove competitors.
The evening of boxing, sponsored by the Western Pennsylvania Police Athletic League, has a bell time of 7 p.m.
For tickets or for more information, call 412-298-7373.
Here is a closer look at each of the nine fighters:
John Demus, 22, is a Gateway graduate and former football and wrestler for the Gators.
The student at CCAC-Boyce resides in Penn Hills, and he will make his first amateur fight on March 1.
Demus started training about three months ago and will be at the sub-novice level in the super heavyweight (201 pounds and heavier) division.
Sub-novice is for those who have three or fewer bouts under their belt. Novice is for those with four to nine bouts, and the Open level is for those who have recorded 10 or more bouts.
The most experienced fighter from the group is Gateway graduate John Doyle.
Doyle, who turned 25 on Sunday, is a substitute teacher at Gateway and owns a landscaping business.
The Monroeville resident has been fighting since eighth grade (age 13).
Doyle returns to the Golden Gloves tournament and is 10-2 as an amateur.
He will be at the Open level for the first time and will be in the light heavyweight division (178 to 200 pounds).
Doyle previously fought at super heavyweight, but he lost weight through training and a diet change.
Hassan Shashani, 16, is a junior at Franklin Regional and resides in Murrysville.
It is the first fight for Shashani, who started training at Boyce in August and will fight March 1 at about 220 pounds.
Shashani moved to Amman, Jordan, with his family at age 3 and was educated in private American and British schools.
He returned to the U.S. in June.
Ricky Carter Jr., 19, is a former Gateway High School student who graduated from Kiski Area in 2013.
He took part in football, basketball and track and field at Gateway and football and track at Kiski Area.
The Monroeville resident returns to the Golden Gloves tournament after a decade away from the event.
He won two Golden Gloves bouts at age nine.
Ricky Carter Sr., a 1989 Penn Hills grad, started training at Boyce in 1992 and won a state Golden Gloves title in 1996.
Chris Bair, 42, who works in IT for Dick's Sporting Goods, is a 1990 Penn Hills grad who resides in Murrysville.
Bair first fought at age 16 after a couple of years of training.
He has two fights under his belt.
Bair returned to Boyce Gym eight years ago and also trains other fighters.
He said he wanted one last fight opportunity so he has no regrets.
Craig Kido, 32, returns to the Golden Gloves tournament after making his debut last year.
The Lower Burrell resident and 1999 Plum High School grad has three fights to his credit and is 1-2 overall.
Kido, who is a member of a local laborers union, also teaches boxing.
He will fight at 152 pounds.
Justin Reardon, 31, resides in Forest Hills and graduated from Woodland Hills High School in 2001.
Around boxing all of his life, Reardon is no stranger to Boyce Gym.
He started training for this year's Golden Gloves tournament in November, and he makes his amateur debut on March 1.
Reardon weighs in at 198 pounds and will be in the heavyweight division (200 pounds and lighter).
Jim Clair, 20, a Murrysville resident, graduated from Franklin Regional in 2012, and he attends classes at CCAC-Boyce.
The former basketball player at Franklin Regional is an assistant coach for the Panthers boys squad.
Clair has six fights under his belt. He went 4-0 at welterweight (152 pounds) and is 0-2 at middleweight (165).
He will be competing in his first Golden Gloves tournament, and he will be at middleweight at the Novice level.
The youngest fighter among the nine from Boyce will be 15-year-old Chris Monroe, a 10th-grade student at Plum High School.
Monroe will make his amateur debut on March 1, and he weighs in at 155 pounds.