Three local boxers will look to add to their trophy cases this weekend at the Louisiana State Golden Gloves Championships in Lafayette.
Gerardo Garcia (18) of Jeanerette and Donivan Dassinger (11) of New Iberia are each looking for their second Golden Gloves titles, each having won a title two years ago. Antonio Noyola (15), Garcia’s step-brother, will be fighting his first Golden Gloves fights.
Dassinger trains with his dad, LeDale Dassinger, in a gym behind the family’s home where Garcia and Noyola also do some conditioning. Garcia, who plans to turn pro this summer, and Noyola fight for the Youngsville Boxing Club under Adam Karnouski.
“Their chances look real good,” said LeDale Dassinger, a Buras native who wrestled and played football and did some boxing at his area YMCA as a youth.
Garcia will fight in the open 132-pound weight class. Noyla has fought for three years but this will be his first in the Golden Gloves bouts. Donivan Dassinger will fight in the open 75-pound weight class, having won his weight class two years ago before losing what his dad calls a controversial decision in the finals last year.
Dassinger is looking forward to a rematch this year with Dylan Landry of Ragin’ Cajun Boxing in Lafayette, who won last year’s Golden Gloves title. Dassinger is 4-1 against Landry overall.
“I’d like to avenge my loss from last year’s Golden Gloves,” said Donivan Dassinger. To do that, he said, “I’m going to probably have to move a bit more, probably more counterpunching than anything.”
That’s one of the things his dad has worked with him to improve upon.
“When Doni started out, he was a fullback on his (Iberia Youth Football Association) football team,” said LeDale Dassinger, explaining that his playing style in football carried over to his boxing style. “He’s straightforward. We’ve been working on moving a bit more, footwork, punching from different angles, and on his speed.
“We like to work on what we’re weakest at and try to improve on that. We want to try to become complete boxers.”
Donivan, who is homeschooled with his siblings, has played youth football and baseball for several years, said his dad. After one football season, he asked his dad what they were going to do to fill the time before the next season. When he indicated an interest in boxing, his dad took him to Youngsville to train with Karnouski.
But a year-and-a-half of traveling back and forth to Youngsville, getting back at 9 or 10 p.m. some nights, proved too taxing, so his dad set up a small gym complete with boxing ring and punching bags for them to work out.
“There was pretty much nothing else to do,” said Donivan Dassinger of his decision to start boxing. He also had a friend who boxed.
A two-time state Silver Gloves champion who has advanced to regionals twice, and the winner of the 75-pound weight class at the Governor’s Games, Doni Dassinger said he doesn’t mind getting hit but his favorite part of the sport is hitting, “especially.”
Silver Gloves boxing is for ages 8-14, explained LeDale Dassinger, with Golden Gloves generally for age 14 and up, with a junior division. Both organizations are sanctioned by USA Boxing.
This week’s Golden Gloves bouts will be at NP Moss Middle School in Lafayette on Friday, Saturday and Sunday