It's taken time to get the word out that the road to the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions goes through Buffalo, but New York State Golden Gloves franchise holder Don Patterson is no longer alone spreading the news.
The longtime boxing trainer is receiving a huge assist from a venue that is no stranger to hosting a fight card in hopes of making sure the event comes off in a first-class manner that is an annual success locally.
For at least one year, the road to nationals for non-New York City-area boxers will go through the Erie Community College Burt Flickinger Center. The downtown sports venue will host the first of three Golden Gloves events at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. More than 30 Western Region state tournament-qualifying bouts are on the docket.
Regional finals for amateurs from the Buffalo, Jamestown and Rochester areas are scheduled for April 9. Winners advance to the New York State Golden Gloves Tournament on April 23. The national runs May 3-8 in Little Rock, Ark.
"The significance of ECC stepping in and becoming part of it is, No. 1 being an institution of higher learning and educating our youth -- the mission of the Golden Gloves is the same," said Patterson, who is the director of the Upward Bound Program at Buffalo State that helps prepare city high school students for college.
The two sides formally announced the partnership at a news conference Tuesday at the Flickinger Center. In attendance were several local politicians, event sponsor Joe Carubba of Carubba Collision and five-time state Golden Gloves champion Lionell Thompson.
Advance tickets cost $20, $10 for youths 12 and under. The door prices for tickets are $25 and $15. Tickets can be purchased at Carubba Collision; Doris Records, 286 East Ferry St.; Pacillo's Fitness, 1390 Hertel Ave., or online at clicketix.com. Reservations, call 400-9697.