North Bergen’s State of Fitness Boxing wins top team trophy at amateur event in Boonton


North Bergen’s State of Fitness Boxing won the top team trophy at an amateur event in Boonton on Friday evening, coming out on top in two of their five bouts.

From left to right: From left: Emmanuel Martinez, Josh Vivar, Ryan Songalia, Eric Rosas, Desmond Boyle, Mike Pacheco, David Almodovar, Jair Calixto, Gianmarco Marin, and Tommy Gutierrez. Photo courtesy of State of Fitness Boxing.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The North Bergen-based gym had five fighters in action, winning two bouts and dropping razor close decisions in the other three bouts.

“We won some and we lost some but the losses don’t define what this team is capable of. You’ll be surprised by how far a little heart and courage can take you. I promise you, my team has a lot of heart and courage,” State of Fitness Boxing trainer Mike Pacheco said in a statement.

Josh Vivar and Gianmarco Marin set the tone early, earning their first amateur victories.

Vivar, a 15-year-old student at North Bergen High School, used a stiff jab and sharp counterpunching to outbox Miguel Banegas Lopez to a decision win in the 130-pound bout.

Vivar, who is 1-1 as an amateur, scored a standing-eight count in the second round, rocking his rival with a left hook and right hand along the ropes, before boxing his way to the decision.

Marin, 20, utilized pressure and serious punching power to pummel Nicholas Wilson of Williamsport, PA to a second round stoppage win.

Marin’s aggression was too much for Wilson to handle, as the 26-year-old repeatedly turned his back to escape the punches. The fight was waived off before the third round, allowing Marin to get his hand raised.

Jair Calixto scored a standing eight count in the third round but it was not enough as he dropped a decision to the more experienced Israel Alvarado of Steelton, PA.

Calixto, a 16-year-old junior at North Bergen High School, drops to 2-1 as an amateur while the 17-year-old Alvarado is 5-1 in the amateurs.

Tommy Gutierrez, of West New York, showed great courage in a decision loss to Ahmed Ouedraogo in a matchup of boxers competing in their first amateur fights.

The 15-year-old Gutierrez, who worked his way up from State of Fitness Boxing’s kids classes, overcame a bloody nose in the second round and was the aggressor at the final bell.

The unanimous choice for Fight of the Night came in the main event, as State of Fitness’ Emmanuel Martinez went to war with hometown fighter Anthony Chaparro.

Both fighters had their moments, but the local crowd quickly adopted Martinez as their favorite, chanting “Manny! Manny!” in a heroic third round which saw Martinez nearly stop his 34-year-old opponent.

In the end, the judges scored the bout for Chaparro in a decision that was met by a chorus of boos.

Martinez, a real estate agent from Keyport, was competing in his first amateur bout.

Marin, Calixto and Martinez will all be back in action next Saturday, May 7 when they compete at Kingdom Boxing Gym in Philadelphia, PA.

State of Fitness is located at 508 73rd St. in North Bergen, N.J.

The gym opened in 2016 and is owned by Desmond Boyle, senior firefighter at the North Hudson Regional Fire Department. The gym has developed numerous amateur champions from tournaments such as the Golden Gloves, Diamond Gloves, and Battle on the Beach.

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