North Bergen boxers and Jean Pierre Valencia and Peter Roldan are eyeing championship gold at the New Jersey Diamond Gloves tournament this weekend.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Both boxers will be representing the Little Mac North Bergen Boxing program, which will also host the Diamond Gloves semifinals and finals on Saturday and Sunday night.
The North Bergen-based gym will field a four-boxer squad to one of the state’s biggest boxing tournaments, including Roldan (203-pound open), Valencia, (165-pound novice), Erick Rivera (112-pound sub-novice), and Jacob Perez (112-pound sub-novice).
The three-day tournament will begin at Gleason’s Gym Jersey Shore in Long Branch, before concluding at the North Bergen Recreation Center on Saturday and Sunday.
This is the second consecutive tournament which Little Mac Boxing is hosting in North Bergen, following the Golden Gloves in June.
Roldan, 28, of Englewood, had previously been a two-time runner-up in the tournament, but will now be crowned the state’s heavyweight champion after being unopposed in his division.
The 20-fight veteran known as “The Body Snatcher” now advances to the Inter-state Diamond Gloves tournament, which will take place from November 4th through 6th at a location to be announced.
Before that, the 2013 Golden Gloves champion will break a six-year ring absence on October 23th, when he faces West Point cadet Matthew Beason in Haledon.
Valencia is looking to ride the momentum of two consecutive victories in recent weeks as he gears up for the first tournament of his boxing career.
The 22-year-old West New York resident will begin his tournament run on Saturday against the winner of Friday’s quarterfinal matchup.
Valencia, a native of Esmeraldas, Ecuador, arrived in New Jersey just four months ago after living in Barcelona, Spain for the last few years.
Valencia has benefited from extensive sparring with undefeated professional Robert Terry at the Bayonne Recreation Gym in this training camp. Both Valencia and Roldan are trained by Ryan Songalia.
Perez, who won the state’s Golden Gloves tournament earlier this year, will be matched against his stablemate Rivera, a 19-year-old resident of Guttenberg, as the two are the only boxers in their weight class.
The two are trained by Little Mac head coach Danny McDermott.
The North Bergen Recreation Center is located at 6300 Meadowview Ave., with Saturday’s show beginning at 7 p.m. and Sunday’s event beginning at 6 p.m.