By Stephen Lorenzo / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 11:25 PM
JOHN TAGGART FOR NEW YORK DAILY | Daily News Golden Gloves Bout 1 Will Cappella in gold (Atlantic Boxing Club) was stopped early in Round 2 by Gregg Bounavita in blue (Bettinelli's Community Boxing Academy)
There were no valentines, only punches exchanged at 7 Train Theater on Tuesday when the Daily News Golden Gloves arrived in Flushing with the first appearances by the 201-pound novices.
Despite his best efforts to rouse the crowd for himself, Daniel Hughes (Gleason’s Gym) couldn’t fend off the veteran fists of Dylan Gunderson (North Shore BC) or the rowdy fan club he brought with him. Though Gunderson has been boxing for three years, he waited until 2012 to enter the Gloves.
“Something hit me and told me I was supposed to be here (this year),” he said. “And as you saw tonight, I was right.”
Both boxers looked light on their feet for heavyweights in the first round as they bounced to all corners of the ring. Hughes, the larger of the two, tried to utilize his muscle, but Gunderson responded with superior boxing. In the second round, Gunderson tagged Hughes with three consecutive standing-eight counts and caused a mandatory stoppage. His performance earned him the P.C. Richard and Son Boxer of the Night.
“He wore himself out of his own fight,” Gunderson said. “I’m a good boxer (and) adjust to other styles. In the first round he punched himself out. I like to counter, and his punches got slower and slower and I picked him apart.”
Charles Pierre (Kingsway BC) also looked sharp against James Coppinger (Mendez BC). A quick and constant left jab from Pierre bothered Coppinger throughout, including a brutal left cross in the second round that sent Coppinger into the ropes and Pierre home with the Empire City Casino punch of the night. The shot also left Coppinger with noticeable bruising beneath his right eye.
“He was stronger than I thought he was,” Pierre said. “I doubted him in the beginning; he’s strong and knows how to take a punch.”
Though he was thrilled with his first Gloves win, Pierre noticed a serious flaw.
“My conditioning,” he said. “I wasn’t tired but couldn’t get off enough punches. But it’s a learning experience. Now I know what it’s like to fight underneath the lights with people watching.”
Jeffrey Rodriguez (John’s Gym) came hungry for his first amateur fight, but knew quickly he’d have to change from boxer to brawler to survive against Raymond Williams (Unattached). The adjustment came early in the second round when Rodriguez dished out two standing-eight counts and earned a stoppage.
“I came to box but he was more of a fighter,” Rodriguez said. “Maybe it’s not so bad because I have to get used to that. I have to be prepared for anything as a boxer and have to train for any situation.”
The Golden Gloves return Wednesday at Xaverian High School in Brooklyn. The 132-pound novices will join the 125-pound ladies. Bouts will begin at 7:30.