Junior boxer wins prestigous “Gloves” tourney

By CORRINE PERELLA

Eight years ago, Junior Matt Conway started his boxing career at South Park Gym, following in the footsteps of his older brothers.

These days he is truly bolstering the Conway name in boxing circles, as he won Pennsylvania State Golden Gloves on April 21 and Pennsylvania State Junior Olympics on May 5.  Conway’s best ranking to date is third in the nation.

“The Golden Gloves is a tournament that’s widely known around the world,” Conway said. Winning states qualifies Conway to compete at the national level.

“The Golden Gloves fight went three two-minute rounds,” he said. “I was landing punches on [my opponent] and in the second round I gave him two standing eight counts. At the end of the fight all the judges gave me the decision. ”

To reach the Golden Gloves, Conway had to take on one person in his own weight class, which is 132 pounds. “I had to win the qualifying fights before the tournament; it was only one fight,” Conway said.

“I ran every day. I had to watch what I ate to make weight, and at the gym, it was all hard work hitting bags, sparring and basic training,” Conway said. It took a lot of footwork drills and hand-eye drills to get him to where he is today.

Conway says he loves boxing, as it teaches discipline.

“I love doing it; I love the training and it’s fun for me,” he said of his favorite sport.

Conway has fought out of state for competitions numerous times, boxing in places such as Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri and Indiana. His personal strengths include his brawling ability and his speed, he said.

Conway’s next step is the Golden Glove Nationals in July.

“The competition will be very skilled,” he said.

Conway plans to pursue his boxing career for many years; he would like to compete professionally at some point in the future.

Even with the long hours of hard work, he could not have made it this far without the help and guidance of his trainers Bob Healy and Jack Conway, he said. Healy and Conway are his uncle and father, respectively.