178 boxers from 47 different states are in Spokane Washington trying to win the USA Amateur Boxing crown. The first round of the tournament got started at the HUB in Liberty Lake, a suburb of Spokane Monday. I spoke with organizers about the economic impact the boxers, fans and coaches are making on the region. I also ran into Jack Mosley, father of Sugar Shane Mosley and now trainer to his grandson, Sugar Shane Mosley Jr. The elder Mosley knows a little something about taking boxers to tournaments across the country. He guided his son to to a US Lightweight Championship in 89 and 92.
Shane would later become a champion in several divisions as a professional and is considered by many boxing historians one of the greatest of all time. But Monday night it was Sugar Shane Mosley Jr. who was trying to make his mark in the sport. The 23 year is 31-9 over his amateur career and a good looking athlete who looks strikingly similar to his dad. “We are going to try to go the the Olympics if possible but we’ve got to win this fight, win this tournament national tournament first,” said Jack Mosley, before the bout.
Mosley’s team made up of Shane Jr., Trey Alexander, Malik Gary and Assistant Trainer Mike Kidd means big money being spent across the Spokane region. Mosley said this trip has cost his team right around $2,000. But he says it’s well worth the experience and memories.”We all pitched in together and we got these guys out here to participate and hopefully they’ll have a good time as well,” said Mosley.
The Spokane Sports Commission says in total the 5 day tournament means about a half million dollars to the region in new money. That’s money that comes strictly from visitors who don’t live in the area. That would include mainly coaches, boxers, people affiliated with USA Boxing and fans who come in to watch from out of state. USA Boxing, the organizers of the US Championships says it was the Sports Commmision’s tenacious efforts and the great boxing fans of Spokane that drew them to Lilac City. “We selected Spokane because there was interest from the Spokane Sports Commission and really just the partnership we knew we could build with them over a multi-year agreement and bringing in our Olympic Trials was the stepping point and we’ve moved on from there to bring in our National Championships, said Nicki Smeland, Events Director with USA Boxing.
As for Jack Mosley and his new protege’ Sugar Shane Mosley Jr. things got off to a good start. He won his first bout of the tournament. And that’s worth every penny to Grandpa Mosley. ” It’s worth it the kids a chance to learn and grow as adults to appreciate all the different things that we’re doing for them these tournaments and a wealth of memories that they have when the get older so it’s a good thing to have.
It’s another victory in the Mosley family circle. The USA Amateur Championships are being held in Spokane through 2016 and will lead into the the Summer Olympics. In total the 4 year agreement with USA Boxing will help pump over $2,000,000 into the Spokane economy