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Junior Golden Gloves tournament begins in Mesquite

Western High School junior Deyon Christie looks to claim Golden Gloves heavyweight title

Click to enlarge photo

Las Vegas amateur boxer Deyon Christie (middle) poses with coaches Pat Barry (left) and Augie Sanchez (right).

Tournament Info

  • Location: Mesquite
  • Site: Casablanca Events Center
  • Dates: July 22-24
  • Times: Doors open at 5 p.m.
  • Number of entrants: 400

Las Vegas amateur boxer Deyon Christie came one win short of winning the Junior Golden Gloves national tournament in 2009.

Considering everything the Western High School junior has accomplished since, there's reason to believe he won't fall short in 2010.

Christie, 16, will look to add to his already impressive amateur résumé this week at the 2010 Golden Gloves tournament. The event runs Thursday through Sunday at the Casablanca Events Center in Mesquite.

Catering to boxers ages 8 to 16, the Golden Gloves tournament is a big opportunity for ambitious, young fighters to begin building a name for themselves.

"I want to train to make the Olympic Trials and beat everybody in my weight class someday," Christie said. "I don't know about other countries, but in this country, it's going to take a lot of training to beat the people in my weight class."

The 201-pound heavyweight has already won two national titles in his young career. He placed first at the Silver Gloves National Tournament in February before winning the Junior Olympic Nationals in June.

This week's tournament will be Christie's final shot at a Junior Olympic championship. Once an amateur boxer reaches the age of 17, he is considered a senior and open to competing with older opponents.

Christie (12-1) says that although he's aware a big change his career is about to take place, he feels up to the challenge.

"It's a big change of pace," Christie said. "At first, you're fighting people 15 or 16 years old. Next year, I'll be open and fighting people 17 and older.

"I feel like I'm more than ready, though. Even though I have some challenges, I still think it's kind of too easy at times."

In addition to trying out for the Olympics, Christie has plans of attending college after high school and hopefully giving professional boxing a shot.

His mother, Nonie, who remembers simply hoping her son would pick up some self-defense tactics at Barry's Boxing Gym when he first started going, says she's starting to believe Deyon could have a future in the sport.

"I'm starting to get there," Nonie said. "That's his goal. He wants to go the Olympics. I used to just think he was going out there and having fun, but now he's starting to get more serious, and his coaches keep telling me this could be a pretty big thing for him.

"This could turn out to be something, and I'm just excited for him. I like that he's happy and he's into something and sticking with it."

In addition to this year, the Junior Golden Gloves national tournament will be held in Mesquite through 2013. The Senior Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions, which draws thousands of fans, also will take place in Mesquite in 2012.

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at LVSunFighting

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