The Golden Gloves is one of the most well-known, renowned and respected amateur boxing events in the country. To win anything, let alone a New England title, over the 9-week duration of the Lowell promotion is something worth celebrating.
Heck, it was recently reported by the Boston Globe that boxing legend Mike Tyson, who won the heavyweight title at the Gloves back in 1983, was going to be in town for Thursday’s (3/10) final of the 75th annual tournament.
Well, Salisbury’s Alicia Pike has now won two New England Golden Gloves championships.
Last Thursday, Pike, already the Central New England champ, defeated Middleboro’s Serina Grant, the Southern New England champ, by a three-round unanimous desicion to claim the All New England 125-pound Female Novice title. Two years ago, at the same Lowell Memorial Auditorium, she won the 132-pound Female Novice title. So, after not having the Golden Gloves last year due to the pandemic, it’s safe to say that Pike, 33, hasn’t missed a beat.
But, anyone who knows Pike’s work ethic and drive to be great could see this coming.
“I always go in with a winning mindset,” said Pike. “It’s not a mindset of ‘Oh, I’m definitely going to win, I’m the best.’ It’s more of just trying to have a winning mindset of, ‘I can do this, this is possible.’
“But I felt good, I felt strong. The first round I more tried to feel her out. She’s a taller fighter than me, a longer fighter with a strong jab. So I tried to see what I had to do and made some adjustments in Round 2 and 3.”
Overall, it was a good game plan devised by Pike and her coach, Brandon Montella — a Golden Gloves winner himself back in 2012. While Pike still works full-time as a physical trainer teaching boxing with her wife, Amy, at Ruff House Fitness in Salisbury, she still makes the trip down to Woburn six times a week to work with Montella at his gym, The Way LLC. The two have worked wonders together, and have only produced positive results since Pike chose to pursue boxing as a — hopefully — professional endeavor two years ago.
And to win two All New England titles, at two separate weight classes no less, is no small feat.
“I just felt really good (to win),” said Pike. “Boxing is something I just really love passionately. I’ve been in the boxing world for 11 years and have been competing the last year-and-a-half, so it’s all been extremely rewarding.
“I’ve also been someone who’s been open about living with depression, and boxing is something that has really helped give me a form of release.”
As far as the 2022 Golden Gloves were concerned, Pike won all three of her fights. She won her two preliminary-round bouts heading into last Thursday’s title match, having beat Brighton’s Emily Chua (4-1) and Boston’s Alyssa Kinahan-Dundas (UD) in back-to-back events in late January, and she was also named the tourney’s Most Outstanding Novice Female Boxer.
After winning the title, Pike’s overall amateur record now currently sits at 8-1.
Her next fight, which she’s hoping to have sometime in either April or May, would be her 10th overall and qualify her to move up to becoming an open class fighter instead of a novice. From there, the goal would be to just keep stacking up wins to get more opportunities.
“My main goal is that I want to get some open fights soon,” said Pike. “And pro is definitely something I’m working towards and want to do in the next few years.”
But, no matter what, Pike has already established herself as a champion.
Her in-ring work speaks volumes, and outside of it she’s devoted countless hours to getting more women to pick up the sport. She’s done that with her work as a physical trainer at Ruff House, and she’s also started to help out with the Girl Boxing Club — a nonprofit dedicated to working with girls ages 3-16 to provide them free boxing classes.