Portland Boxing Club’s Mario Wilborn, right, connects with a jab to Andrew Perez, of Methuen, MA,
at the New England Golden Gloves Novice Finals. Photo courtesy Kineo Photography.
Portland Boxing Club had three amateur boxers representing Northern New England in the New England Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, MA. PBC’s novice light welterweight (141 lbs) Nathan Nappi, of Portland, lost a close but unanimous decision to Cesar Collado, of Danbury, CT, who was representing Western New England, in the semi-final round of the tournament. A style clash with the left-handed Collado caused the boxers to be entangled throughout the awkward match that could have gone either way. PBC’s novice heavyweight (201 lbs) Mario Wilborn, of Portland, scored a devastating knock-out at 1:50 into the first round over Dante Rivera, of East Hartford, CT, who was representing Western New England in the semi-final round of the tournament. This was Wilborn’s third consecutive win by knock out in the tournament. In the final bout of the tournament, Wilborn won by a hard fought 4-1 majority decision over Andrew Perez, of Methuen, MA, who was representing Central New England. Both boxers exchanged many heavy blows throughout the sea-saw battle coming away with the razor-thin win. Wilborn was voted by judges Outstanding Boxer of the All-New England Novice Tournament of Champions. PBC’s novice featherweight (125 lbs) Kate Zehr, of South Portland, received a bye in the semi-final round of the tournament. In the final, Zehr lost a 4-1 majority decision to Victoria Davilla, of Stamford, CT, who was representing Western New England. After a slow start in the first round of the bout, chasing the ever-moving Davilla, Zehr made the second round close and clearly won the third round. The crowd expressed their disagreement with the judges’ decision. With Wilborn’s win, Portland Boxing Club athletes have now earned 211 championship wins in the organization’s 27 years. Open class boxers will compete in the New England open class Tournament of Champions semi-finals on Thursday, February 28 with the winners advancing to the finals on Thursday March 7. The open class New England champions will advance to the National Golden Gloves Championships in Chattanooga, TN in May.