BY DANIEL OFFNER
Stepping into the ring at the Barclay’s Center on April 2, 25-year-old boxer Stylianos Kalamaras of Bayside was confident he would defeat his opponent Franklin Johnson and take the title as the 2015 New York Golden Gloves Light Heavyweight Champion.
With five victories under his belt – two by way of knock-out – Kalamaras was the only contender to knock his opponent to the canvas.
“I fight very aggressively,” Kalamaras said. “In the amateurs, you don’t really see people getting knocked out a lot.”
Throughout 14 of his fights, Kalamaras said not one of his opponents made it out without bleeding or getting hit to the floor. The main event, on April 2, was no different.
“I feel amazing,” Kalamaras said about winning this year’s Golden Gloves tourney. “This is something everyone dreams about.”
Kalamaras said winning the Golden Gloves was something he had been trying to do since 2011, when he was eliminated by majority decision in the tournament semifinals over a heavily-favored opponent.
Before becoming a Golden Gloves contender, Kalamaras was a three-time junior Olympic gold medalist, five-time national champion and six-time international champion in judo. By age 16, when he decided to pick up the gloves for the first time, he was already a natural.
“I don’t get nervous [fighting in front of people],” Kalamaras said. “I knew I would make it.”
Today, Kalamaras serves as an engineer with the U.S. Navy and is a full-time student at Queens College, where he is pursuing a degree in exercise science and nutrition. He added that winning this year’s Golden Gloves Championship was a once in a lifetime experience, which he hopes will open more doors to future competitions.
Reach Daniel Offner at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @DanielOffner.