1st Time in 50 yrs: Brothers Vie for Chicago Golden Gloves Titles

It’s been 50 years, but a pair of Chicago area brothers plan on repeating what Brian and Tom O’Shea did in 1960: win a Golden Gloves Championship. Brothers, Genarao Mendez (152 lbs) and Miguel Guanarrama (132 lbs) will be fighting to make their dream a reality, this Friday and Saturday night, respectively. Both fighters represent the Warehouse Gym and Boxing Club in Highland Park, IL, 20-minutes north of Chicago. Although no road to the Golden Gloves Championships is easy, Miguel had the much bigger task. His quarter final match was against Frankie Smith, a highly decorated amateur with over 100 bouts (Guanarrama has less than 20) Smith was the prohibitive favorite to take this year’s 132 pound title..

Guanarrama was undeterred as he hurt Smith with a blistering body attack in the first round. Guanarrma floored and stopped Smith in the 2nd round, a performance that shocked the packed house at St. Andrews Gym.

For his part, Genaro won a unanimous decision to advance to the finals.

“Miguel and I have trained very hard for this”, said Genaro. “Last year, I made it to the semis and Miguel was in the finals. We’re in way better shape this year.”

Both are boxing instructors at Warehouse Gym, where their day starts at 6:00 am and ends at 5 pm. In between lessons, they train at Warehouse and travel to Garfield Park for sparring. It’s a long day, says Miguel, but he expects the hard work and dedication will pay off.

“These guys are very easy to work with,” said trainer, Pat Doljanin. “To the extent that they want to train and they know you don’t go anywhere without hard work.”

For the winners, the next stop is the Golden Gloves Nationals in Arkansas. And after that…?

“We want to turn pro,” said Miguel. “Amateur boxing is great experience, but it doesn’t pay the bills.”

Nobody knows if Genaro and Miguel will follow the path of famous boxing brothers like Jerry and Mike Quarry, Leon and Michael Spinks or Juan Manuel and Rafael Marquez. But, this weekend seems to be a likely first-step.

Friday and Saturday night bouts (April 9th and 10th) start at 8:00 pm, at St. Andrews Gym 1658 W. Addison, Chicago.

400 Boxers Entered–The Best Remaining Contenders Fight for Historic Title

Chicago Golden Gloves Championship Bouts April 8, 9 & 10

CHICAGO, IL, April 5, 2010 – For nine nights last month, huge crowds of fight fans packed St. Andrews to witness nearly 400 boxers take to the ring, slugging it out for the chance to fight for the prestigious Chicago Golden Gloves championship title. This Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, the remaining contenders, the best of the best, face off to join the list of legends who’ve won the historic title before them including Cassius Clay, Joe Louis and numerous US Olympians.

Championship bouts begin nightly at 8 p.m. on April 8, 9 and 10 at St. Andrews, 1658 W. Addison in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood. Each night, at least a dozen championships bouts will be contested in multiple weight classes in both the men’s and women’s Open (Elite), Senior Novice and Novice divisions. Divisions are divided equally among the three championship nights. (Re: Saturday night is not necessarily the best night because it is the last night. Thursday and Friday are just as epic!)

Tickets, priced at $20 General Admission, $35 Reserved Ringside and $50 VIP Ringside, are available at Advance purchase is highly recommended as championship events are regularly standing room only or sold out. A limited number of tickets may be available at the door.

For more Chicago Golden Gloves information, please visit

Article posted on 06.04.2010

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