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Cornelius News

Cornelius teen lands amateur boxing title


March 21. In a unanimous decision, Cornelius resident Stephen Naas was crowned amateur state champion in the Welterweight Division at the 2016 Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament. North Carolina Golden Gloves is an annual tournament open to all amateur boxers 18 years or older. It is sanctioned by USA Boxing, part of the U.S. Olympic team. This year the tournament was held March 11-12 at Sugaw Creek Recreational Center in Charlotte.

In the final round Stephen scored two standing eight counts against his opponent. “I figured I had it after the first eight count. The rest of the way I just wanted to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes.”

A senior at Hough High, Stephen trains at Contender’s boxing club in Cornelius. He typically trains twenty hours per week and is coached by Kyle Marrero and Curtis Kindall, both from Cornelius.

“His work ethic is incredible,” said Marrero. “You can’t teach that.”

“When I first learned about Golden Gloves last summer I knew it was something I wanted to shoot for,” Stephen said. “I wouldn’t have gone if my coaches didn’t think I was ready.” This was his first sanctioned tournament. He has been boxing for about two years.

“Stephen doesn’t have the experience of a lot of boxers his age,” said Kindall. Stephen turned 18 in January. “But he punches like he’s 20 pounds heavier and he’s coachable. That made the difference.” Stephen’s parents are Maria and Kurt Naas.