A North Bergen boxer punched his way to the New Jersey Golden Gloves finals in the 156-pound novice division this weekend.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Gianmarco Marin, 20, made it to the finals after a series of thrilling performances on Friday and Saturday night at True Warriors Boxing Club in Paterson, State Fitness Boxing Club coach Ryan Songalia said in an email.
Marin began the weekend by using relentless pressure and power punching to defeat Brian Bozik at his home gym by a 5-0 decision on Friday and was then ordered to fight a second straight day after Bozik withdrew from the double elimination tournament.
He lost a close back and forth decision to Abdeallah Elaimait of Aces Boxing Club on Saturday where his power punching was again on display.
Now, Marin must beat the southpaw Elaimait on back-to-back nights when the tournament concludes next Friday and Saturday, June 24th and 25th, at the North Bergen Recreation Center.
“I dug deep to get to this point, and now I will show I have another level I can get to in the finals,” said Marin, a former offensive lineman for the North Bergen High School football team.
State of Fitness earned its first Golden Gloves championship of the tournament on Saturday after Al-Abed Taha won the 176-pound novice title by walkover.
The 23-year-old Taha, who works as a police officer for the North Bergen Police Department, was the last man standing in his weight class after both of the fighters in the division withdrew from the competition.
He noted that he is disappointed that he didn’t get to fight, since he had made it to the tournament semifinals in 2020, only for the competition to be called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
“I’ve had six fights fall through after opponents no-showed me, so it’s hard not to be disappointed,” said Taha, a former wrestling standout at North Bergen High School who won the 2019 Middle Atlantic Wrestling Association national championship at 158 pounds.
“My only option now is to get back in the gym and get better. Every time a fight falls out, it just makes me want to make sure my next opponent pays for it.”
State of Fitness Boxing Club, located at 508 73rd Street in North Bergen, was represented by coaches Mike Pacheco, Songalia, and Desmond Boyle, the latter of whom is the gym’s owner.
State of Fitness Boxing Club is the most decorated boxing gym in North Bergen, having produced numerous champions in tournaments like the Diamond Gloves and Golden Gloves.
The gym was also one of the chief sponsors for the unveiling of the James J. Braddock Statue in 2018, and had donated their original ring canvas to the statue, which now rests at Braddock’s feet.