Highland High grad among boxers advancing to Saturday's Golden Gloves regional championships

Published: Saturday, April 12 2014 1:10 a.m. MDT

Boxing legend and coach Jay Fullmer advises one of his fighters, Collin Toilevuka Jr., during an exhibition bout Friday night at the Golden Gloves Regional Tournament at the Sorenson Multicultural Center.

Amy Donaldson

SALT LAKE CITY — Being able to think clearly when adrenaline is rushing through your body is a challenge that Danny Galloway called almost indescribable.

But he attempts to relate how he feels in the boxing ring with an experience most people have had.

“The way I describe it is imagine waiting in line at an amusement park for a really big, scary ride,” said the 18-year-old Highland High graduate who advanced to Saturday’s final in the 165-pound division of the Golden Gloves regional tournament with a win over Montana’s Billy Wagner Friday night. “You’re in line, and you can’t turn back. That’s how it feels.”

With flight no longer an option, a boxer has no choice but to try and manage his emotions while competing in one of the most physically demanding sports there is.

It is that challenge — and the feeling of getting better in the face of fear, anger or intimidation — that Galloway loves about boxing.

“I love the way it makes me feel,” he said. “It’s helped me do good in school, and learn to work hard. I don’t know where I’d be without it.”

Galloway and Wagner had one of the best fights of the night. Galloway beat Wagner in last year’s regional and said the Montana boxer was hitting a bit harder this year.

“I feel like I’m better too, though,” he said. “I’m thinking better in the ring. I’m trying hard not to just brawl.”

Galloway will take on Nathan Kinsman in Saturday’s championship, with the winner earning a trip to the Golden Gloves national tournament.

In the other tournament bouts Friday, Omer Gallegos of Idaho defeated Matthew D. Ludwig of Montana at 132 pounds. Also at 132 pounds, Wryke Padilla defeated Ignacio Chairez of Utah. Padilla and Gallegos will fight in Saturday’s final.

At 141 pounds, Ricardo Gallegos, Idaho, defeated Tyler Jenkins, Wyoming.

The competition started with exhibition fights that included two young girls. Acacia Rodriguez (Gate City, Idaho) defeated Salt Lake’s Jasmin Ventura.

Rodriguez, who is 9, said she started boxing because her older brother did.

“I just like to do the workouts,” she said. “It’s just a thing that gets all the anger out.”

She said the worst part is when she gets a nosebleed, but said even that’s gotten easier to deal with.

“It just goes numb,” she said, tucking her newest trophy under her arm.

In the other exhibition fights:

60 pounds: Collin Toilevuka Jr., Fullmer Brothers, def. Lalo Lopez Jr., MWC

120 pounds: Eric Nkunzimana, State Street Gym, def. Raymond Garcia, Gate City, Idaho

112 pounds: Brayden Vinson, Louie’s Gym, def. Blake Gienke, Montana

140 pounds: def. Robert Montano, City Center; Bryant Kimbrough, Gate City, Idaho

152 pounds: Bladimir Estrada, City Center, won in a walk-over

201 pounds: T.J. Evans, Factum, Utah, def. Tyrell Roush, Fullmer Brothers (TKO)

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