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Falls poised for next Golden Gloves test

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Jay Mwamba

Irish Ropes amateur fighter Danny Falls returns to action in the second round of the New York Daily News Golden Gloves boxing tournament next Thursday, Feb. 22, at St. Patrick’s Church in Brooklyn.

The novice 147-pounder, an impressive first-round KO winner over Anthony Maniscalo in his first bout two weeks ago, will meet an opponent to be announced before fight night. St. Patrick’s is at 9511 Fourth Ave., 97th St., in Brooklyn.

"I’ve been training hard and I’m in good shape," Falls, a 21-year-old immigrant from County Tyrone, now resident in the Bronx, said last weekend. "Everything should go well."

Falls, most of whose amateur experience has come from club shows and exhibitions in Ireland, is making his debut in America’s largest and oldest amateur boxing championship.

James Foley, the other Irish fighter in the 2001 tournament, was beaten in his 156-pound (light middleweight) novice first-round contest last week.

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He lost on points to James Baker (Gleason Gym) at the Bronx PAL Center.

In other boxing results last weekend, cruiserweight Sean Fitzgerald posted an eight-round decision over Dan Sheehan in a non-title match in Leominster, Mass., while Nayan’s Michael Gomez was stopped in 9 rounds by Laszlo Bognar, in Widnes, England, for the World Boxing Organization super featherweight Intercontinental crown.

Fitzgerald, from Worcester, improved to 30-2 with his victory over Sheehan, who dropped to 5-6.

Gomez iced

Gomez (23-4, 13 KO’s) appeared to have Bognar going in the fifth round when he put down the Hungarian with a left hook to the ribs. But Bognar (now 26-3-2, 12 KOs) came back with his superior boxing skills to upset his Irish opponent.

Referee Dave Parris waved the fight over at 1:11 of the 9th stanza with the battered and exhausted Gomez unable to defend himself properly.

Gomez, who was born Michael Armstrong but changed his name to Gomez (after his boxing idol, Puerto Rican Hall of Famer Wilfred Gomez), entered the ring as the number one contender to Acelino Freitas’ WBO junior lightweight title. That ranking is now in jeopardy.

Armstrong’s name change was necessitated by British Boxing Board of Control policy against licensing two fighters with the same name. The BBBC already had a Michael Armstrong on the books.

"My hero was Wilfredo Gomez," Gomez said. "And I took not only the name, but the style as well. I hope I’m worthy of the name and I hope the Hispanic fans still support me."

Gomez plays his adopted heritage to the hilt, entering the ring with a sombrero on his head, the Irish colors on his trunks, and brawling like a full-bloodied Latin fighter.

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