By Jay Mwamba
County Tyrone’s Danny Falls scored a knockout over Anthony Maniscalo barely a minute into their 147-pound novice contest to make a winning start to the 2001 New York Daily News Golden Gloves boxing tournament last Friday.
Falls, representing Queens’ Irish Ropes Boxing Club, set up Maniscalo (Kingsway BC) with a left jab before dropping him with the booming right to the temple, 1:24 into their scheduled four-round bout at St. Aquinas High School in Brooklyn.
"I was glad to see him go down. I didn’t know that it would be that short," the 21-year-old said.
With most of his amateur experience garnered from a handful of club shows and exhibitions in Ireland, the first-round victory amounted to the biggest in Falls’s four-year career.
"It was good," he noted, adding, "My hope is to make it to Madison Square Garden and to win the gloves."
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Falls, who moved to New York from County Tyrone eight months ago, is scheduled to return to the ring for the second round in 10 days.
The youngster is one of two Irish Ropes fighters that have entered the Golden Gloves, America’s oldest and largest amateur boxing tournament, this year.
The other is light middleweight James Foley, who has yet to make his debut.
The two fighters are training under the tutelage of James "County" Thornwell, who also works with professional lightweight sensation Martin O’Malley, and Neal Ferrara, at the famed Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn Heights.
Last year, Irish Ropes entered five fighters in the Gloves, one of whom, l998 light heavyweight losing finalist Alo Kelly, reached the semifinals.
The other entrants were the Mallon brothers, Martin and Sean, and heavyweight James Maguire.
Martin, then the 178-pound Irish intermediate champ, and Sean both reached the quarterfinals, while Maguire, a novice, lost in the first round.