At the start of every round, Mikkel LesPierre came out of his corner as if he was shot out of a rocket launcher. He raced toward his opponent, Travis Peterkin, throwing as many punches as his arms and fists would allow, landing some and catching air with others.
That philosophy also had an adverse effect – he wore down by the end of each round. It enabled Peterkin to take advantage, and resulted in him gaining the hard-fought decision in their four-round, 152-pound open bout in a Daily News Golden Gloves card at Electric Industry Center in Flushing.
“My whole plan was to keep working,” Peterkin said. “I was the busier fighter. I kept on my toes and tried to react.”
The 17-year-old fighter from the Kingsway Boxing Club was supposed to enter the novice division, but his handlers and Gloves officials moved him up. Peterkin, an experienced juniors boxer who won the National Junior Golden Gloves in Chattanooga, Tennessee, sparred LesPierre of Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn last year. Therefore, he knew his opponent’s tendencies to come out quick and remained patient.
One of those was a picture-perfect right hook that caught LesPierre flush through his headgear, sending a circle of sweat flying through the air early in the second round.
After the fourth round, each fighter paced the ring after the best rounds of the night. “I was kind of nervous,” said Peterkin, named the P.C. Richard & Son Boxer of the Night. “After the fight you want to know if you won or not. It was a good fight. I thought I won. I landed the hardest shots and the most shots.”
Peterkin is following in the footsteps of his trainer and father, Bernard Peterkin, who entered the Gloves twice, losing in the semifinals once and injuring himself another time.
“He’s my role model,” Peterkin said. “Part of me wants to win it for him, but I also want to win it for myself.”
After losing in his previous two attempts in the Gloves, Kenny Ruiz was ready for anything in the 152-pound open preliminary bout. Well, everything except biting and holding and clutching from his opponent Ancil Richardson. The 21-year-old Verizon worker out-pointed Richardson in a frustrating four rounds.
“It was very frustrating,” Ruiz said. “I never had that before. He apologized to me after.”
Ruiz landed enough combination when he had room to connect. However, he knows there is a long way to go to avenge last year’s quarterfinal loss to eventual champion Ronny Vargas.
“I should’ve used more defense,” he said. “It was unexpected. I thought he was going to box because he is long. But I can learn from this.”
Marcus Browne, meanwhile, is always learning more about the sweet science. When your mentor is Gary Stark Jr., an accomplished professional featherweight who has won 20 of his 22 fights, there is not a choice.
“He’s like a father to me,” Browne said following his three-round victory over Leon Falconer of Gleason’s Gym in the 165-pound novice division preliminary bout.
“He’s with me 100 percent. He gives me a personal advantage.”
Browne let his quick hands do much of the damage, snapping off combinations at the end of each round as Stark looked on at ringside.
The 17-year-old high school student made an impressive Golden Gloves debut. For years, he followed the amateur event. Now he is a successful part of it.
“If you’re a boxer, you got to know about it,” he said. “I want to get those gloves.”