Pine Bluff’s Gloves Not Guns Boxing Club hosted the Arkansas State Silver Gloves tournament in hopes of turning the city into the boxing capital of the state.
But the path to this goal has taken a step back.
A state administrator for USA Boxing, the nation’s sanctioning body for amateur boxing, said on Friday that the Region 6 Silver Gloves Championships will move to Searcy after Gloves Not Guns could not find the funds necessary to successfully organize the qualifying tournament for national money. Gloves. The regional tournament, which was scheduled for July 22-24, will now take place at the Carmichael Center in Searcy from July 29-31.
“We were too close; I couldn’t wait any longer,” said Bryon Hurford, local Arkansas Boxing Council chairman for USA Boxing and state / region Silver Gloves tournament director. “I told the mayor I could give them to Monday, but she texted that there was no way they would fund our tournament.”
An appeal to Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington was not returned.
Albert Brewer, the organizer and trainer of Gloves Not Guns, said he was counting on the city for additional support and believed that hosting the Silver Gloves State on June 4 and 5 would have sparked additional interest.
“I knew without a shadow of a doubt that the city would help me host the regional,” Brewer said. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t have hosted the state tournament.”
Brewer said he used the Pine Bluff Advertising and Planning Commission funding he received before the coronavirus pandemic to host the state event after Hurford approached him in April about it. Brewer said that A&P’s remaining funds, following an April 24 fight card at the Convention Center, which amounted to approximately $ 7,500, had been allocated to host three more cards, and that he had obtained permission from A&P officials to spend about $ 7,000 to the state. Silver gloves.
“The financial obligation is to host the tournament and to find the money for the awards,” said Hurford. “Silver Gloves isn’t even allowed to keep a dollar of the proceeds. The money would have gone back to the town or to Mr. Brewer, but they weren’t even interested in supporting it.”
Brewer said he takes full responsibility for betting on the Region 6 tournament, which hosts qualifiers from Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.
“I’m upset – disappointed – but I just have to keep going,” Brewer said. “Nothing in the world could have told me that Pine Bluff wouldn’t support this regional tournament.”
Silver Gloves boxing is open to young fighters aged 8 to 16, and the tournaments are in the spirit of the most prestigious Golden Gloves, open to amateur fighters aged 17 and over. While attendance at Silver Gloves events is not as good as that of the Golden Gloves, Hurford said, the Region 6 Silver Gloves have reportedly drawn more people to Pine Bluff due to travel and accommodation requests.
The loss of the Region 6 Silver Gloves, however, will not prevent Pine Bluff from being considered for other tournaments, Hurford said.
“Pine Bluff isn’t off our radar, but it’s for Silver Gloves,” he said. “I couldn’t wait to be at Pine Bluff, and no one had said anything but good things about Pine Bluff.”
Brewer is now focused on training his fight club at a tournament in Fort Smith and hopes to send six boxers to Lubbock, Texas, for the US Boxing National Junior Olympics, scheduled for July 7-17. The boxers are Darrion White, 10, a 55-pounder; Amere Oliver, 9, a 55-pounder; Kaden Crutchfield, 9, a 65-pounder; Jaizon Mason, 8, 70 pounds; Jonathan Mason, 9, a 100-pounder; and Tre’von Evans, 8, 71 pounds.
Donations can be made to Brewer via Cash App at $ CoachBarksdale (Barksdale is Brewer’s birth name), or to Gloves Not Guns via Bank of America.
“I’m a fighter,” Brewer said. “We’ll just have to keep going.”