Bobby Rooney has been in charge of the Bayonne Police Athletic League’s Boxing Club for almost a decade. Prior to taking over the Bayonne PAL program from his father, professional boxer Bob Rooney, Sr., who ran it for more than 30 years, Bobby Rooney was a professional fighter. He went pro in 2003, winning the WBF Continental Light Heavyweight Title in 2009, and finishing with a win-loss record of 12-3; 7 of his 12 victories were knock-outs, 4 of the victories against previously-undefeated boxers.
Rooney’s work with the Bayonne PAL often has him rubbing elbows with top talent, and not been by coincidence. His father was a sparring partner with Chuck Wepner – the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky – who often offers assistance to the Bayonne PAL. Robert Terry is a recent success story of the program, competing at the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions in Salt Lake City last month. Continue reading LORD OF THE RING-Bayonne native Bobby Rooney reflects on 30+Years in Boxing →
NJGG gives young athletes a chance to compete statewide
(Next tournament: March 15th 7:30 PMHudson Catholic High School 790 Bergen Avenue, Jersey City
)Middletown, NJ (March 7, 2013) – More than 350 boxers will compete throughout the state in the 2013 New Jersey Golden Gloves (NJGG) Amateur Boxing Championship. A tournament schedule includes nine preliminary bouts with ages ranging from 8 to 34 in their respective age divisions. This marks the first year to include the Junior Golden Gloves division into the tournament so that the younger athletes have the opportunity to compete on a much larger scale. Last year, approximately 200 boxers competed in the age range of 17 to 34 years old, which proves that the popularity of boxing continues to grow. The open class boxers and selected up-and-comers from the other three divisions will advance to the state finals on Saturday, April 20th at the Prudential Center’s AmeriHealth Pavilion in Newark.
How many people can say Frank Sinatra’s mother brought them into the world? Born in Hoboken under the watchful eye of midwife Dolly Sinatra (she was a neighbor), Al Certo was raised in Hoboken where he dreamed of being a dancer but, instead, built two careers as a professional boxer and men’s tailor, Certo weaved back and forth between those two worlds until he eventually hung up his gloves and threw himself into herringbones and tweeds.
Certo’s Custom Tailors has thrived in Secaucus for more than 50 years. Back in the day Certo’s shop was two floors with eight tailors handling the orders; today, the top floor is now a pizzeria and Harsh Khindri who has been with Certo for 15 years handles most of the work.
“He’s one of the greatest tailors I ever met,” Certo says. “He has gold in his hands.”
“They used Golden Gloves as a jumpstart to professional careers,” Botti says.
Herkin DeLaRosa, 20, of Union City, has 26 fights under his belt and sees a Golden Gloves title as his opportunity to go pro.
“Everybody wants to be a Golden Gloves champion,” DeLaRosa says. “It means a lot of hard work. It’s like a goal to me. I get to compete in the Nationals.”
DeLaRosa is one of ten boxers at the Union City Gym who will be competing in the 2012 New Jersey Golden Gloves amateur boxing championship’s preliminaries for a shot at the nationals.
The team also includes Felix Tejada, Jose Aviles and Johnny Hernandez of Union City; William Arevalo, Anthony Valentini, Jarrett Blair and Gino Montero of Jersey City; Carlos Lopez of North Bergen; and Hector Melendez of Hoboken.
Melendez, 17, has won 20 fights and two Diamond Glove championships. He also takes AP classes at Hoboken High School and plans to major in economics in college.
“I want 70 amateur fights before I go pro,” Melendez says. “I want to travel, spar in different places. I’m trying to get experience. I only lost one fight. I think boxing will open doors for me.”
Melendez also has high praises for his trainer.
“Joe Botti, he’s great,” Melendez says. “It’s not about money; he does this for free. He cares about his fighters. He does a lot for us and we do for him. I fight hard in the ring. It’s my way of paying him back. It’s not always about boxing. It’s about family. He’s like a dad.”