Local boxer Robby Wilder will make his debut appearance in the realm of boxing at the Golden Gloves competition in Nashville, Tenn. on Saturday. Wilder trains with Owen Beck at Champion Fitness along Chester Avenue in Middlesboro.
Wilder will be competing in the super heavyweight division, 201 pounds and up. Unlike most boxers without a fight under their belt, Wilder will be competing in the open class division.
“He is suppose to be a novice, but if he fights novice he may not have any competition,” said Beck.
“I’m a little nervous, but I’ve been training hard,” said Wilder. “I feel confident. I’ve done everything I can do to get ready.”
Wilder said competing in open class makes him a little nervous, but he welcomes the challenge. He believes he will like competing in the open class more because it will allow him to see what skill level he is at as a boxer and what he needs to improve on.
Beck claims Wilder has plenty of heart, which is his key advantage over his opponents.
“A lot of guys in the amateurs don’t have heart,” said Beck. “Robby’s a fighter who will come back at you if he gets hit.”
Beck said if Wilder wins at the Golden Gloves competition, he will advance to the nationals next month. Competing in nationals and the Olympic games mean something when it comes time to turn pro, according to Beck.
The Golden Gloves is just the beginning to greater things, according to Beck.
The Golden Gloves tournament has been in existence since 1923 and has led the way in promoting amateur boxing in the United States and has produced the majority of competitors for America’s boxing teams in the Pan-Am and Olympic Games.
Many former Golden Gloves amateur boxing champions have become outstanding boxers. Some notable Golden Gloves champions are Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Oscar De La Hoya, Muhammed Ali, Steve Cunningham, Lamont Peterson and many more.
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-248-1010, ext. 208, email@example.com