Coach recognized something special in Utah Golden Gloves regional champion from the start

Published: Sunday, April 13 2014 7:25 a.m. MDT

Utah fighter Danny Galloway, right, won his bout over Wyoming's Nathan Kinsman during the Golden Gloves boxing tournament in Salt Lake City Saturday, April 12, 2014.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Danny Galloway was just a 13-year-old looking for ways to defend himself when he showed up at the Salt Lake City gym where Colby Rogers worked.

It didn’t take long for Rogers to recognize something special in the now 18-year-old Highland High graduate.

“I could tell he had potential,” Rogers said.

And he knew just who to call for help coaching the teen — his own father, Mel Rogers. The longtime boxing coach has taught and guided a number of fighters who made their way into the U.S. national program, as well as the professional ranks.

Finding a fighter who has both skill and the work ethic required by boxing is rare.

“It’s a lot of hard work at this level,” said Mel Rogers after Galloway defeated Nathan Kinsman of Wyoming Saturday night for his third consecutive Golden Gloves regional championship. “Most people don’t want to work that hard.”

Mel said Galloway has been willing to put in the time and effort from day one.

“Danny has been willing to put in the work since he was 13 years old,” he said.

He’s done whatever Rogers has asked consistently and without complaint.

“When I ask him to run a 9-mile-an-hour pace, he runs a 9-mile-an-hour pace,” he said. “He does what I ask or he’ll die trying.”

Galloway’s win means his third consecutive trip to the Golden Gloves national tournament. He was eliminated in the first bout of both previous trips, but Rogers and Galloway hope this year will be a breakthrough for him.

He and Kinsman were awarded the “Fight of the Night” award, and Galloway said he knew earning his third title would be tough as he fought Kinsman in last year’s title bout.

“I knew he was really tough,” Galloway said. “And I knew he would be coming for me. He approached (the fight) differently. He was thinking better and had more of a strategy.” Galloway said he knew that heading into the third round, he needed to land a lot of punches to earn the win.

“I knew I wasn’t going to knock him out,” he said.

Galloway said the fact that Colby and Mel Rogers recognized potential in him so long ago is something he appreciates.

“It means a lot,” he said. “I want to thank God for helping me get here. I want to thank Colby and Mel for coaching me, and thank Mel for investing all of his time in me. I want to thank my great-grandma Alfreda Long. She’s like an angel to me, and my fiance Aleia Cordova. Without all of those people I wouldn’t be here today.”

Also advancing to the national tournament was Utah heavyweight Siala Mou Siliga. Siliga defeated Montana’s Teddy Lopez with a TKO in the last fight of the night at Sorenson Multicultural Center.

In the other tournament bouts: 132 pounds — Omar Gallegos, Idaho, defeated, Wryke Padilla, Wyoming; 141 pounds — Ricardo Gallegos, Idaho, defeated, Aaron Griffith, Utah; 152 pounds — David Maggio, Wyoming, defeated Justin Morales, Utah; 178 pounds - Dillon Fowler, Idaho, defeated Utah’s Marcos Alvarez.

There were several boxers who will represent the region at nationals as unopposed champions. They are: Isaiah Tafoga, 114 pounds, Wyoming; Gabriel Montoya, 123 pounds, Wyoming; Tyrell Rousch, 201 pounds, Utah.

In exhibition bouts: 90 pounds - Diego Alvarez, MWC, defeated Santana DeCario, All Heart; 112 pounds - Robbie Vinson, Louie’s, defeated Mateo Holt, State Street; 119 pounds — Brayden Vinson, Louie’s, defeated Blake Gierke, Montana; 132 pounds — Ignacio Chairez, Muay Thai, defeated Brandon Albert, Montana; 123-pound - Gabriel Chairez, Muay Thai, defeated Gabriel Montoya, Wyoming. 168 pounds — Armando Gallegos, Idaho, defeated Billy Wagner, Montana; 127 pounds — Matt Seril, Fullmer Brothers, defeated Andreas Gonzales, Foley’s.

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