Houston Junior Golden Gloves Tournament
Location: CDM Boxing Association
144 Greenspoint Mall
Houston, Texas 77060
Dates: February 6-9th

Houston’s annual Junior Golden Gloves Tournament begins this Thursday and will run through Sunday at The CDM Boxing Association Gym inside of Greenspoint Mall.

The “Junior” tournament consists of boxers from 8 years old to 17 years old, from every weight division and category.

The “Senior” Golden Gloves Tournament involves boxers from 18 years old to 40 years old and up, and will take place from March 4, 2022 to March 8, 2020. Open Division Boxers from 18 to 40 will have the opportunity to advance to the Texas State Golden Gloves in Fort Worth.

The Houston Golden Gloves has a rich history of boxing with many great boxers and champions participating over the years that have gone in to become champions in and out of the ring, including but not limited to: Jesse Valdez, Melvin Dennis, Warren Williams, Everett Martin, Reggie Johnson, Oscar Trevino, Henry Harris, Roy Harris, Alfonso Lopez, Juan Diaz, Jose Diaz, Ricardo “Rocky” Juarez, Marlen Esparza, Virginia “Ginny” Fuchs, Jermell Charlo, Jermall Charlo, Regis Prograis, Austin Williams, Darius Fulghum, Miguel Flores, Raul Marquez, Ronnie Shields, Derwin Richards, Kenny Weldon, Johnny Boudreaux, Joe Louis Valdez, Mark Tessman, Sammy Fuentes, Eric Griffin, Ron Collins, Ricky Stoner, Frank Garza, Louis Wood, O’Shanique Foster, and many, many more!

Below is a list of Thursday’s opening night bouts, for further information contact Ray Zaragoza at 281-507-1155

2019 Houston Golden Gloves Champions

The 2019 Houston Golden Gloves came to a conclusion yesterday and open division boxers from 108 pounds to 201+ pounds have earned their way to The Texas State Golden Gloves.

Special recognition goes out to Giovanni Marquez and Oscar Perez, who engaged in an all out war to decide who would represent The Gulf LBC at 141 pounds, with Marquez earning the decision. These two young men fought with elite level skill, determination, grit, and heart for three rounds and had the crowd on their feet for the entire bout. Many in the crowd stated this was the best amateur bout they had seen in a very long time and some said it was the best amateur bout they had ever seen.

Boxers that earned their way to The Texas State Golden Gloves are as follows.

Carmen Vargas - 125 Pounds

Carmen Vargas

John Atiles - 108 Pounds

John Atiles

Sean Moncada - 114 Pounds

Sean Moncada

Abraham Obregon - 123 Pounds

Abraham Obregon

Narcizo Cerrato Jr - 132 Pounds

Narcizo Cerrato Jr

Giovanni Marquez - 141 Pounds

Giovanni Marquez

Mauricio Quintanilla - 152 Pounds

Mauricio Quintanilla

Eugene Hill Jr - 165 Pounds

Eugene Hill Jr

Jaylen Stanley - 178 Pounds

Jaylen Stanley

Jkhory Gibson - 201 Pounds

Jkhory Gibson

Devon Rangel - 201+ Pounds

Devon Rangel

Everett “Big Foot” Martin

Born and raised in Houston, Texas,  Everett “Big Foot” Martin faced a virtual who’s who of boxing in the heavyweight division, in a professional career that spanned from 1984 to 2001. Bigfoot also may hold the all-time record for most heavyweight world champions faced, having faced 16 in his professional career, at one point facing 9 in a row!

He began his professional career as a light-heavyweight and cruiser-weight but competed as a heavyweight for most of his career, even though he was relatively small in stature for that division.  Although he gave up size for most of his career and faced a murderer’s row of opposition, he was never knocked out and would only be stopped by T.K.O. several times during the tail-end of his career when he was already “tired and worn”. 

“Big Foot” was a journeyman that would fight anyone, anywhere, many times with no training camp and on short notice, but still managed to always be competitive, and give the boxing fans an entertaining fight win, lose, or draw. He also held Olympic Champion Chuck Walker to a draw, beat Jesse Selby, Sherman Griffin, “Smoking” Bert Cooper, and Tim Witherspoon by decision, along with knocking down Micheal Moorer.

In an amazing professional career that took him all over the world, he faced many top contenders and champions including:

Jesse Shelby, Sherman Griffin, Olympic Champion Chuck Walker, Kevin Kelly, Vincent Boulware, Tony Willis, Bert Cooper, Johnny Du Plooy, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, George Foreman, Gary Mason, Pierre Coetzer, Francesco Damaini, Micheal Moorer, Riddick Bowe, Tim Witherspoon, Tony Tucker, Larry Holmes, Herbie Hide, Tony Tubbs, Lance Whitaker, Wladimir Klitschko, Danell Nicholson, Lamon Brewster, Fres Oquendo, Joe Hipp,James “Bonecrusher” Smith, Obed Sullivan, David Bostice, Siarhei Liakhovich, and Ruslan Chagaev!

Originally from Fifth Ward, he would later move to Houston’s South Park neighborhood, where he began learning to box first from his mother Mary Martin, who he described as a “tough, street fighting woman” and  “Big Al” Alfred Leon Willis, who taught and trained neighborhood boys to box in parks, back yards, and anywhere in the neighborhood, especially in the courtyard of The Villa Americana Apartments. “Big Foot” said that “Big Al” and his mother taught him everything he needed to know in boxing and although he would work with other coaches in his professional career, he would always depend on what he learned from his mother and “Big Al” to get him through anything, along with his faith in God.

A big kid in his youth with a good heart, “Big Foot” hated to see smaller, weaker kids getting bullied in school and would defend them by telling their tormentors, “Hey man, what are you picking on him for, he’s just here doing what he has to do, just like you”. This would inevitably lead to fights with those same bullies and though he didn’t like fighting, backing down wasn’t an option on the streets of South Park and Fifth Ward. After getting in trouble at school for fighting but not necessarily at home since he was fighting to protect those being bullied, his mother decided he needed to box to keep him out of trouble and off the streets. This was when she brought him to “Big Al” Alfred Leon Willis to introduce him to amateur boxing.

“Big Foot” stated he didn’t like boxing initially but eventually became very good at it, partly because “Big Al’s Boxing Club” sparred in the Villa Americana Apartments courtyard and he “Didn’t want to look weak in front of all the homeboys”.  He also said that once he started becoming proficient in boxing he began to see boxing as a way he could eventually take care of his family, which was a strong motivation for him. This outlook served “Big Foot” well as he became an elite amateur boxer, winning The Houston Golden Gloves, Open Division, Heavyweight Championship in 1981, 1982, and 1983.

I asked “Big Foot” what skills he learned from “Big Al” that enabled him to become known as one of the toughest, most fearless boxers to ever grace the ring and he said, “He first taught me how to stand correctly and on balance, then how to move in and out and side to side, to be in condition, how to remain calm in the ring, protect myself, control my breathing and punches, and to make my opponent fight how I wanted him to fight, not how he wanted to fight”

I met “Big Foot” only once before calling him today for a phone interview and I must add that he was very gracious about sharing information about his life in and out of boxing. Our interview eventually became more of a private conversation and as a lifelong participant, coach, and fan of boxing I asked him many questions as much as for my personal interests as for this article.  One of the main things that intrigued me was how he was able to be competitive against all the contenders and champions he faced over the years without ever being knocked out or seriously injured. “Big Foot’s” response was simple and direct.

“The only reason to be scared of those guys would have been if they were able to hit me and hurt me and I wasn’t about to stand there and let them hit me without moving around and hitting them back, that’s why it’s called BOXING”.



Mark Tessman/ Houston Golden Gloves Boxing Icon

Mark Tessman, Variety Boys Club, East End of Houston, Houston Golden Gloves,
A native Houstonian, Mark Tessman was a graduate of Smiley High School and The University of Houston.  After being bullied in school, Mark’s father Paul began teaching him the sweet science, and after a few amateur matches, took him to The Variety Boys Club in Houston’s East End, where they met coach Charlie Court. Mark began training at the Variety Boys Club under Coach Court and he soon began to become a very successful amateur boxer winning many bouts and tournaments, including:

Houston Golden Gloves

120 pound                     Junior Champion  1961

Welterweight              Novice Champion 1962

Light Heavyweight   Open Champion 1964, 1965, and 1966.

Mark was also a two-time Texas State Golden Gloves Champion.

Charlie Court, always looking out for his boxer’s best interest, then suggested Mark begin training at Hugh Benbow’s A&B Gym, where he could get sparring with professional boxers as he began preparing himself for a professional career. Mark would ultimately turn pro and he achieved a professional career record of 44 wins and 4 loses, his professional career highlight being a losing attempt at The World Light-Heavyweight Title against Bob Foster. Mark was said to be putting on an excellent boxing display that night, before getting caught with a hard punch and losing by knockout.

Mark would briefly retire before making a ring return with mixed results, as he seemed to change his smooth, technical boxing style into more of a boxer-puncher style, which led to him getting hit more than he did before the style change. After Mark lost a particularly bad decision which he should have won,  Charlie Court then asked Mark to retire, not wanting to see Mark being used as an “opponent” to build other fighter’s records. Charlie Court felt soo strongly about his suggestion that he told Mark that if he agreed to retire, that Charlie would do the same. They both agreed and shook hands on the agreement, neither ever returning to boxing. Mark was just 26 years old and Charlie only 38 years old.


Houston Golden Gloves Boxing Icons / Jesse Valdez

jesse valdez, houston golden gloves, houston boxing, clutch city boxing, houston golden gloves icons,
Jesse Valdez is considered one of the finest boxers that The City of Houston, Texas has ever produced. A native of Houston’s Northside he began his boxing career at The Red Shield Boxing Club, and would go on to become a bronze medal winning Olympic Champion as a member of The 1972 United States Olympic Team.  Jesse won his first four Olympic matches by wide margins (5-0), (4-1), (4-1), and (5-0) with his lone loss coming to eventual gold medal winner Emilio Correa of Cuba, by a disputed (2-3) decision that left famed color commentator Howard Cossell, “Speechless”.

Jesse’s accomplishments in The Houston Golden Gloves and beyond are as follows.

Houston Golden Gloves Championships

1961     Junior Champion            100 lbs

1962    Novice Champion          Bantamweight

1963    Open Champion             Lightweight

1964    Open Champion             Welterweight

1965    Open Champion             Welterweight

1966    Open Champion             Welterweight

1967    Open Champion             Light Middleweight

1968    Open Champion             Light Middleweight

Winner of The Elby Pettaway Outstanding Boxer Award in 1964, 1965, 1966, and 1968.

Texas State Golden Gloves Champion in 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1972

U.S.A. National Golden Gloves Champion in 1967 and 1972

Pan-American Games Bronze Medal Champion 1967

U.S. Armed Forces Champion 1970, 1971, and 1972

Olympic Bronze Medal Champion 1972

Houston Golden Gloves Boxing Legends

  Houston Golden Gloves Boxing Legends 

Clutch City Boxing will award a free Clutch City Boxing T-Shirt to the first  person that can identify these two legendary Houston Golden Gloves Boxing  Champions. One of these legends won a total of 1 Novice Division and 3 Open  Division Championships! The other legend won 5 Open Division Championships! 

Both legends have been continuously mentioned among several others that we  will also recognize at a later time, as two of the finest boxers to ever  compete in The Houston Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament.   

To win you must reply directly to the original post at clutchcityboxing.com 

Prize can be mailed to you or you can pick it up at The Grind Boxing Academy  and Fitness Center at 18075 West Little York, Katy, Texas 77449.  

Roy “Cut and Shoot” Harris

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Roy Harris , Cut and Shoot, Texas

Born 1933  

Amateur Career: fought at middleweight and light heavyweight. 6-time regional golden glove champion.  4-time state golden glove champion, 1952-55. won the Joe Louis sportsmanship award at the 1955 nationals tournament.   

Professional career: 30 wins, 5 loses and 1 no contest.   

Roy has continued his ambition and success after retiring from boxing at 28 years of age, serving as a Montgomery County Clerk for 28 years, becoming a practicing attorney in 1972, and drawing up the paperwork to incorporate Cut and Shoot as its own municipality.   

Father Henry Harris Sr., a bare-knuckle boxing champion and Southern Heavyweight Prizefighting Champion, taught his sons boxing and wrestling from an early age. Henry Sr. also taught many area youths, believed in teaching the kids self-confidence along with boxing, and encouraged them all to do their best in whatever they did in life.  Tobe, Roy and Henry Jr. all excelled in boxing and would achieve great success in competition on the regional, state, national, and world levels. Henry Sr. also trained and cornered Campbell “Wildman” Woodman and he and Henry Jr. trained U.S. Olympian Chuck Walker as well.   

The brothers would initially train and spar with each other, then participate in local, many times Houston, amateur bouts. Boxing was also taught in schools in the area of Cut and Shoot and Conroe during the 40’s and 50’s and local tournaments were plentiful. This no doubt had a positive effect on their boxing education as well. During a conversation this author had with Henry Harris Jr., he said, “Well we fought so much during that time, that we really starting getting good”. The boys became successful and began winning Houston Golden Glove and Texas State Golden Glove Boxing Championships in earnest. The Harris brothers would travel anywhere to compete but spent a great deal of time competing in Houston as amateurs and as professionals. Henry Jr. stated that many Houston area coaches and boxers were also generous in teaching he and his brothers’ things that they were able to use in their careers as boxers and trainers. Among the names mentioned were Benny King, who also served as a cut man and Manager to Roy, who Henry spoke very highly of during our conversation.  

Roy worked as a 4th grade school teacher and oil field worker during his professional career and also served two years with The United States Army. Roy, a well-schooled boxer with excellent footwork and an educated jab turned professional in April of 1955, at The Sam Houston Colosseum, winning by TKO in 3 rounds over Tommie Smith. Seven months later Roy won The Texas State Heavyweight Championship beating Reagan “Buddy” Turman by a 12-round decision. Roy continued his success, ultimately challenging Floyd Patterson in 1958 for The World Heavyweight Championship, losing in the 13th round when his father Henry Harris Sr. told head trainer Bill Gore to stop the bout.Roy was able to score a knockdown on Patterson during the bout and remained competitive throughout the bout until the later rounds. Roy was not at his best that night due to several reasons, one being his not being able to train and spar as he was accustomed to, due to having to spend time away from home due to his service with The United States Army. With that being said, Roy still offered no excuses after losing to Patterson, simply stating, ” I tried my best”. This type of sportsmanship defined Roy’s career and life and he is said to be very proud of his ability to serve others in his positions as a school teacher, member of the armed services, boxing coach, Montgomery County Clerk, and practicing Attorney. Besides the before mentioned Buddy Turman and Floyd Patterson Roy fought many quality opponents in his professional career including Bob Baker, Willie Pastrano, Willie Besmanoff, Charly Norkus, Sonny Liston, and Henry Cooper. His bout with Pastrano in particular is known to be one of the finest displays of pure boxing by both contestants, ever seen in the heavyweight division.   

Henry Harris Jr, also a 4-time Golden Glove Champion fought Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) in the National Golden Gloves Tournament in 1960.  He’s trained and worked with many accomplished boxers including Chuck Walker, James “Bubba” Busceme, Mike Williams, and Sherman Griffin. Henry Jr. has been the main coach from the family that has kept the Cut and Shoot boxing legacy alive also training his son Trey Harris and nephews Monte and Robby Lane.  

Trey Harris won The Houston Golden Gloves four years in a row and was State Golden Glove Champion in 1991.Trey also achieved a professional record of 14 wins and zero loses before retiring. Monty Lane and Robby Lane who also won multiple Houston Golden Glove Championships. 

Alfonso Lopez III, another Henry Harris Jr. protege, is not a relative of The Harris Family but he proudly continues the Harris and Cut and Shoot boxing tradition. He is a multiple times Houston and Texas State Golden Glove Champion and is an active professional boxer with a record of 27 wins and 3 loses, winning The Texas State Super Middleweight Championship as well as the WBC Continental Americas Super Middleweight Title. Lopez also serves as a boxing and fitness coach at his El Tigre Boxing Academy, as well as a boxing promoter with El Tigre Boxing Promotions. 



Houston Golden Gloves

The Houston Golden Gloves Tournament has historically been known as one of the toughest amateur boxing tournaments in the nation. More than once Houston boxers have said that getting out of our own hometown Golden Gloves can be harder than winning the state and national Golden Gloves tournaments. Many of our regional Champions have gone on to very successful professional careers including Roy Harris, Dave Zyglewics, Manuel Ramos, James “Bubba” Busceme, Johnny Boudreux, Mark Tessman, Kenny Weldon, Maurice “Termite” Watkins, Wilford Scypion, Ronnie Shields, Thomas Tate, Raul Marquez, Rocky Juarez, Juan Diaz, Benjamin Flores, Miguel Flores, Lee Canalito, Ron Collins, Melvin Dennis, Louis Wood, Alfonso Lopez, Reggie Johnson, Warren Williams, Derwin Richards, The Charlo Brothers, Omar Henry, Ricky Stoner, Joe Garcia, Eric Griffin, Hylon Williams, Adrian Lopez, Guadalupe Martinez, David Donis, and many more.

Many Houston Golden Gloves Champions and competitors that never went professional or had short professional careers are legends in their own right, some considered to be better skilled than some of the professional champions we’ve had. Some names mentioned from the recent past include, Daniel Ybarra, Victor Rodriguez, Darlington Agha, The Manriquez Brothers, Eleazar Renteria, Gerardo Ibarra, Billy “Third Ward” Willis, Joshua Garza, and Fred Allen. When speaking to some of the legends of Houston boxing, some names they have mentioned include, Gilbert Garcia, Henry Harris Jr, Frank Garza, Jesse Valdez, Joe Louis Valdez, Barry Yeats, David Martinez, Raymond Boyd, Oscar Trevino, Ricky Webb, Anthony Wiley, Greg Brennan, Jaime Lopez and many more. Frank Garza, Oscar Trevino, and David Martinez, were names I’ve heard mentioned most when asking about the amateur legends, with Jesse Valdez unanimously named as best boxer who ever competed in the Houston Golden Gloves Championships.

We’ve also had countless state and national champions from our region as well as several Olympic Champions and competitors. Kenny Weldon alone produced 51 state champions and 26 national champs, along with 3 pan-am medalists and three Olympians. Gulf LBC boxers have always held many spots in the USA boxing, national rankings historically and presently our boxers dominate the national rankings. Just to name a few currently nationally ranked, Houston boxers: Gilbert Renteria, Alex Donis, Rafael “Tiger” Medina, Jemiah Richards, Quinton Randall, Austin Williams, Virgina Fuchs and Carmen Vargas. Recently turned professional Marlen Esparza also is a former Houston Golden Glove boxer.

It is a statement on the strength and depth of our boxing pedigree in Houston, Texas that of the many names mentioned, there are still many not mentioned due to the enormous amount of quality boxers we’ve produced. Feel free to comment with additional names who may not have been mentioned here, that were known as tough competitors in the Houston Golden Gloves.

2018 Houston Golden Gloves, Open Division Champions:

Female 125 pounds out of Baby Bull Gym— Carmen Vargas

Male 108 pounds, out of Wings like Eagles — Ephraim Bui

Male 114 pounds, out of Woods Boxing— John Atiles

Male 123 pounds, out of Wings like Eagles— Martell Washpun

Male 132 pounds, out of Perez Boxing— Oscar Perez

Male 141 pounds, out of Marquez Boxing —Rodolfo Pena

Male 152 pounds, out of Donis Boxing— Alex Donis

Male 165 pounds, out of Main Street Boxing—Austin Williams

Male 178 pounds, out of Savannah Boxing— Kenneth Carter

Male 201 pounds, out of O’Athletic— Darius Fulgham

Male 201+ pounds, out of Main Street Gym— Albert Okopie