A 23-bout amateur boxing event was held in an ice rink converted to a boxing ring at The Gardens Ice House in West Laurel last month.
The June 28 event, featuring 49 boxers ages 9 to 34, had one match on the card with women boxers, where Amelia Moore won a three-round decision against Nerissa Turner. It was the second time this year that Moore, a billing accountant for AutoNation on Route 1 in Laurel, beat Turner.
The June event at The Gardens was run by Tony Jeter, who grew up in Laurel and is a pro boxer. He now helps to run Club Fitness 1, where Moore trains.
"It was a great event. The people at the Gardens were really nice people," Jeter said. "This is one of the nicest venues in Maryland."
The event drew about 250 spectators, according to Jeter. He said attendance was hurt by a pro boxing event in Baltimore and an amateur card in North Carolina the same weekend.
Jeter said the goal of the June event was to "give kids a chance to fight."
Of the 46 boxers at The Gardens, Jeter said, many were teenagers or in their mid-20s.
"Some of them fought for the first time," he said.
Jeter said the very young fighters were matched against boxers of the same weight or experience. Young boxers use 10-ounce gloves while older fighters use gloves that are 12 ounces.
With a lot of focus on concussions among football players, Jeter said the boxing regulations help prevent injuries.
"You can take a look at the track record of amateur boxing, with the headgear and gloves, it is so regulated with the rules," he said. "The head damage is minimal. The headgear has to be regulated."
Eyes on Rio
Moore competed in the high jump and 400-meter dash and was goalie on a club ice hockey team during two years at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.
While at Navy she also took boxing and wrestling classes, and that brought back good memories of her time as a youth, when she began taking martial arts classes as a 7-year-old.
For several hours six nights a week, she boxes at Club 1 Fitness in Millersville after the recommendation of an assistant boxing coach at Navy.
"There was an appeal to it. It just felt right," said Moore, who began boxing seriously about four years ago.
She has certainly taken to the sport, winning 11 of her first 12 bouts at the amateur level.
"After leaving [Navy] I was hooked" with boxing, she said. "I definitely have aspirations to go back to school."
Moore's trainer is Tommy Langley, a Laurel resident since 1972.
"She is a hard worker. That is her strength right there. First of all you have to want to do it," Langley said.
Moore, 24, won a golden gloves event in March in Palmer Park in Prince George's County and was slated to take part in the 2014 Women's National Golden Gloves championship in Florida July 7-12, her first national event.
After the win in Palmer Park, Moore and Langley talked about her future; Moore told Langley, "Let's make the move to the next level."
But for now she is aiming for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
"That is our ultimate goal," she said.