Preliminary bouts Jan. 24, finals Jan. 25
By Matt Nagle
Tacoma Golden Gloves is American’s oldest boxing tournament west of the Mississippi, and has been around longer than the NBA. Now in its 72ndyear, the event returns to Tacoma Jan. 24-25. This year, Golden Gloves welcomes back 1976 Olympic Gold Medalist Leo Randolph and will acknowledge longtime Tacoma Athletic Commission supporter John B. Dimmer as the 2019 Golden Gloves honoree, among other special things planned.
Preliminary bouts are on Jan. 24, 7 p.m. at the Edison Annex, 3109 S. 60th St. Finals will be held on Jan. 25, 7 p.m., at the University of Puget Sound Fieldhouse, 1500 N. Warner St.
Tickets are available at the door for the preliminaries, and through the UPS Ticket Office for the finals, (253) 879-3100 or online at tickets.pugetsound.edu – $18 general admission, $20 floor.
Among the boxers ready to slug it out at Golden Gloves, the match of the tournament will be between Andrew Murphy and Isaiah Carr. Murphy, a contender in last year’s Golden Gloves, continues to be a rising star in the sport of boxing, having competed at the highest levels as an amateur and now training to qualify for the 2020 U.S. Olympics. Last year he won a belt at the Junior Golden Gloves National Championships in Mesquite, Nev. Carrwill will prove to be a strong opponent. With less experience than Murphy, and a bit older, Carr is a left-hander against Murphy’s right.
2019 Golden Gloves Honoree
John B. Dimmer was born and raised in Tacoma. He attended Clover Park High School, and was a member of the golf team that won the 1978 State High School Championship. He subsequently attended the University of Oregon, playing on the golf team and earning a degree in finance. Returning to Tacoma, he went to work for Puget Sound National Bank, which, coincidentally, happened to be a sponsor of the Tacoma Grand Prix. This event sparked a new passion, and John took up the sport of motor racing. Over the last 30 years John has won a variety of racing titles in both sprint and endurance events. He has raced across North America, Australia and Europe, to include racing a historic Formula 1 car through the streets of Monaco. John currently runs FIRS Management, an investment holding company, and continues to compete both on the race track and on the golf course.
Additionally, Dimmer serves as chairman of the Veteran Golfers Association, is a member of the board of trustees for the Washington State Historical Society, a director and treasurer of The Dimmer Family Foundation, which raises funds for charities focusing on children, families and the elderly; military and veterans; education; civic improvements; social services; culture and the arts; healthcare; animals and the environment. Dimmer is alsoa director of the Friends of the American Lake Veterans Hospital Golf Course, a non-profit corporation formed exclusively to benefit the American Lake Veterans Golf Course that serves veterans and service members with disabilities.
Dimmer has supported Golden Gloves for more than 25 years. “I am humbled,” Dimmer wrote in an email about being honored this year. “Our sponsorship goes back to Stan Nacarrato, who graduated from Clover Park High School in the same class with my father. Stan was the consummate promoter, and he approached us to be a sponsor. It was simply not possible to say no to Stan, so we signed on and have enjoyed our involvement ever since.”
Welcome back, Leo Randolph
Leo Randolph’s interest in boxing began at the Tacoma Girls & Boys Club when he was around nine years old. He was still a senior at Wilson High School when he took learning the art of boxing to a new level in the mid-1970s. Training at the Tacoma Girls & Boys Club with fellow Olympic Gold Medalist Sugar Ray Seales and future world champions Rocky Lockridge and Johnny Bumphus, coach Joe Clough instructed Randolph on the finer points of boxing and remained Randolph’s coach from his amateur career to his professional career.
Randolph had a gift in the ring from the get-go. For three years running, 1974-1976, he was Tacoma Golden Gloves champion. In 1975 and 1976 he was the National Golden Gloves Flyweight Champion and the National AAU Flyweight Champion. A year later, he won a spot on the USA Olympic Boxing “Dream Team” with Sugar Ray Leonard, Howard Davis Jr. and Leon and Michael Spinks, bringing home the Flyweight Gold Medal at the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics. Randolph’s time as an amateur was impressive, with a record of160-7.
After graduating from Wilson High, Randolph went professional in 1978. In 1980 he wonthe WBA Super Bantamweight Title in a 15thround TKO against Ricardo Cardona. Randolph was seen as the underdog in that fight, still relatively inexperienced in the pro ring and with a record of 16-1 compared to Cardona’s 24-4-3.
From there, Randolph was catapulted into pro boxing stardom. Three months later, Randolph lost the title in his next fight to Sergio Victor Palma with a fifth round TKO. It was Randolph’s only defeat by knockout. Randolph then retired in 1980 at the age of 22 with a professional record of 17-2.