Amateur boxing is where it all begins. At the heart of the sport, grassroots level produces champions of the future.
Before selling out iconic arenas in high-profile showdowns, fighters learn their craft and start their journeys in the Sweet Science by building reputations and developing from the ground up.
Annual amateur tournaments, such as the Ring Masters Championships, help bring young fighters through the ranks and give them a platform to shine on early in their promising careers between the ring ropes.
That opportunity arose again for many upcoming amateur talents recently in New York City, including highly-rated prospects Claire Prince (Bout Fight Club), Zinnat Ferdous (Bout Fight Club) and Donte Layne (Rockaway Ropes), among others, who all rallied to impressive Gold medal victories at the Finals.
Given the exciting opportunity to perform under the lights at ‘Mecca of Boxing’, Madison Square Garden, there were great performances from many upcoming amateur stars who will hope to return to the iconic venue one day as professionals.
Ring Masters Success Shines Light on Amateurs
The continued success of the Ring Masters event has once again highlighted the significance of amateur boxing in the overall landscape of the sport and the importance of helping grassroots level fighters develop.
Sonya Lamonakis, former world heavyweight champion and a key member of the Ring Masters committee, has been a vital part of the tournament’s rise to prominence.
"Our mission is to help all participants develop not only skill, but also the character, confidence and resilience they need to become champions both in and out of the ring," stated Lamonakis, following another great event in NYC.
"The path to discovering competitive excellence and a love for the sport of boxing starts with the incredible members, athletes, coaches, clubs and officials that belong to USA Boxing Metro.
"As the VP of USA Boxing Metro, NYC school teacher and former world champion, I pride myself on guiding the future generations with their journey in life."
Amateur boxing is a crucial part of the sport overall. It can change and even save lives, getting younger generations off the streets and putting them into a controlled, competitive environment in which they can grow and achieve great things.
"The tournament has had a tremendous impact on grassroots boxing," continued Lamonakis.
"That's exactly what this tournament is about. Taking a kid from a small gym and taking them to the top.
"With our tournament transparency and double elimination at the elite level, we have created an opportunity for any kid, from any gym to the make it to the top. Grassroots boxing is what it's all about. You have to crawl before you run."
Women’s Boxing Growing From Grassroots
Women’s boxing has seen a meteoric rise in popularity in recent years, with the elite level champions of today shining a welcomed spotlight on it with monumental events and classy performances.
But, to get to that level in the sport, women’s boxing needs a strong grassroots foundation to build on, which Lamonakis and Ring Masters are proudly continuing to provide.
"The road for women has progressed drastically, I'm proud to call myself a pioneer in the field," Lamonakis added.
"Women's boxing is still in the fight, fighting for equality. It has improved a lot but it has taken a long time.
"There was a lot of inequalities back then. It is a lot better now, so I'm happy to be part of the movement that attended meetings and advocated for the women. It seemed to have worked now, as they are getting as much coverage as the guys.
"I will continue to create opportunities for other women in the sport that changes lives, builds character and strength."
The Ring Masters Championships first began in 2018 and has grown from strength to strength since its inception, as it paves the way for many stars of the future to secure silverware success and further their boxing careers.
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