History of the Golden Gloves

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In 1927 Paul Gallico, sports editor of the New York Daily News conducted an amateur boxing tournament; Capt. Joseph M. Patterson suggested naming it the “Golden Gloves.” The Chicago Tribune, which also owned the New York Daily News, then announced it would conduct a “Golden Gloves” tournament the following spring. (The March 1950 The Ring states that the Chicago Tribune started the tournament first, in 1926, then Gallico started his in 1927, and named it the Golden Gloves.) Arch Ward and Don Maxwell of the Tribune suggested to Gallico to have the New York Golden Gloves Champions meet the Chicago Champions in the Chicago Coliseum March 24, 1928 -– starting an intercity rivalry that lasted until 1961.

Part of the genius of the Golden Gloves was to eliminate amateur mismatches of the past–when beginners faced injury and disillusionment. The Gloves created the “sub-novice” class, whereby beginner met beginner. The Gloves also required complete physical checkups, unlike the previous A.A.U. days.

From their inception, and up through World War II, the Chicago and New York titles were considered most elite. Not always did the Chicago champion fight the New York champion, however. With the demise of the local clubs, and the introduction of television after the war, the Intercity bouts became more significant for the times.

In 1932 the (Chicago) Golden Gloves expanded to include teams from other cities, provided they were sponsored by a newspaper or radio station; 38 teams entered the first year. It became known as the “ Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions ".

In 1934 Joe Louis of Detroit won the Chicago 175-pound title. Other major tournament winners who went on to win professional world titles include: Danny Auerbach (1928), Barney Ross (1929) (the first Golden-Glover to become a world titleholder), Leo Rodak (1931, 1932 & 1933), Ezzard Charles (1939), Joey Maxim (1940), Harold Dade (1940 & 1941), Wallace (Bud) Smith (1948), Sonny Liston (1953), Ernie Terrell (1957), and Cassius Clay/ Muhammad Ali (1959 & 1960), Sugar Ray Robinson (1939 & 1940), Lou Salica (1932), Gus Lesnevich (1934) and Joe Carter (1942) amongst others.

In 1941, Chicago had its North, South and West sectional champions meet and reduced to just one team. The Chicago Tribune last sponsored the Chicago Tournament of Champions (National Golden Gloves of the US) in 1963. In 1964 Stan Gallup started what today is called the “Golden Gloves of America Tournament,” when 32 national champions entered. The Chicago Tribune (again?) stopped its sponsorship after the 1984 tournament. There was no Chicago tournament in 1985. Cedric Kushner started it again in 1986.

The premier major Golden Gloves Tournaments in the history of Golden Gloves boxing are the New York Daily News's Golden Gloves Tournament from 1927 to 1936, the Chicago Tribune's Golden Gloves Tournament from 1928 to 1931, the Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions from 1932 to 1961, the New York Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions from 1937 to 1961, the Intercity Golden Gloves Tournament from 1928 to 1961, the National Golden Gloves of the US from 1962 to 1963 and the National Golden Gloves from 1964 to the present.


Most of the above is courtesy of Sean Curtin III; IBRO Journal #85, p. 35, as edited.


GOLDEN GLOVE FRANCHISES


Buffalo Golden Gloves, California Golden Gloves, Chicago Golden Gloves, Cincinnati Golden Gloves, Cleveland Golden Gloves, Colorado-New Mexico Golden Gloves, Detroit Golden Gloves, Florida Golden Gloves, Hawaii Golden Gloves, Indiana Golden Gloves, Iowa Golden Gloves, Kansas City Golden Gloves, Kansas-Oklahoma Golden Gloves, Knoxville Golden Gloves, Michigan Golden Gloves, Mid-South Golden Gloves, Nevada Golden Gloves, New England Golden Gloves, New Jersey Golden Gloves, New York Metro Golden Gloves, Omaha Golden Gloves, Pennsylvania Golden Gloves, Rocky Mountain Golden Gloves, St. Louis Golden Gloves, Texas Golden Gloves, Toledo Golden Gloves, Tri-State Golden Gloves, Upper Midwest Golden Gloves, Washington D.C. Golden Gloves, Wisconsin Golden Gloves.

  • note
    * Some cities held franchises in the past but no longer participate!


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