The path to an Arkansas State Silver Gloves championship took as long as two 9-minute bouts for a couple of fighters, but for some, no punches were needed.
Those that earned automatic berths into the Region 6 tournament as unopposed fighters still put in some work at the Pine Bluff Convention Center, making up the majority of Saturday's fight card.
Dkeylen White, 14, boxing for Pine Bluff's Gloves Not Guns club, needed only 10 seconds of work -- if that long -- to win his 132-pound non-tournament bout against Maxwell Dollarhyde of the Defenders. The referee stopped the fight due to injury.
"They told me to stay on him and keep your guard up and move out the way," White said. "That's what I did when coach told me in the corner -- just stay busy, hit and get out the way."
White stayed busy, albeit in a short amount of time, with a furious combination highlighted by a hard right jab.
"That's my first hit," White said. "I just moved, then I just left my back hand where it was."
White tasted victory in the first Silver Gloves tournament to be held in Pine Bluff after a decades-long run in North Little Rock. The event drew a bigger crowd Friday evening than on Saturday afternoon, when about 200 sat around the ring, said Albert Brewer, Gloves Not Guns organizer and coach.
"Overall, I think it was a good turnout for the first tournament we had," said Brewer, whose club hosted the state Silver Gloves. "Everything has to have a start, and I think it was a good turnout. I really do. I'm impressed and satisfied. ... I would have loved to have 1,000 people, but you had to have a start."
Gloves Not Guns will also host the Region 6 Silver Gloves from July 22-24.
The state Silver Gloves tournament was postponed from December due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning Springdale's Eric Montes had to wait more than a year to repeat as a champion.
Boxing unattached, Montes, 15, won a unanimous decision over Brayden Faulkner of the Defenders club in the 15- to 16-year-old, 165-pound class. He was awarded the Ray Rogers Award as the most outstanding fighter in the state Silver Gloves.
Montes defeated Central Arkansas club fighter Jaylon Flowers by split decision in a Friday semifinal.
"It feels very special because I've been winning for two years in a row," Montes said. "It's a bigger step for me. Now, I'm going to go to regionals and win it if I can."
The level of competition is tough and requires much discipline, Montes said. He also had to overcome a long delay in training for another gold medal.
"It was hard at first because of covid," he said. "I wasn't able to train, but I lost weight to be ready for this tournament."
Montes said he cut about 15 pounds to make weight. He made the work count, taking home a nearly 5-foot trophy.
Awards like that, Brewer said, are "what makes them come" to such tournaments.
Arkansas State Silver Gloves results
13-14 AGE GROUP SEMIFINALS
125 pounds – Jay Parga, Hunger & Action, stopped Carden Blue, Gillespie.
15-16 AGE GROUP SEMIFINALS
165 pounds – Eddie Montes, unattached, defeated Jaylon Flowers, Central Arkansas, split decision.
9-10 AGE GROUP CHAMPIONSHIP
65 pounds – Amere Oliver, Gloves Not Guns, defeated Kaden Crutchfield, Gloves Not Guns, unanimous decision.
106 pounds – Isiah Finley, War Guerillas, stopped Jonathyn Mason, Gloves Not Guns.
11-12 AGE GROUP CHAMPIONSHIP
Anthony Waller, Azeez, defeated Dylan Oates, Defenders, unanimous decision.
13-14 AGE GROUP CHAMPIONSHIP
100 pounds — Eli Zamorano, unattached, stopped Garrin Smith, Augusta.
106 pounds — Ladaras Rainey, Azeez, defeated Efran Reyes, unattached, unanimous decision.
110 pounds – Aldo Garcia, unattached, stopped Cayden Bustos, Gillespie.
138 pounds – Ricardo Residez, War Guerillas, defeated Zachery Willis, Defenders, unanimous decision.
201-plus pounds – Eduardo Martinez, Fort Smith, defeated Marcus Burris, Azeez, unanimous decision.
13-14 AGE GROUP CHAMPIONSHIP
125 pounds – Jay Parga, Hungry & Action, defeated Samarrion Farris, Gloves Not Guns, walkover.
15-16 age group championship
165 pounds – Eddie Montes, unattached, defeated Brayden Faulkner, Defenders, unanimous decision.
60 pounds – Kaden Crutch-field, Gloves Not Guns, stopped George Hollis, Augusta.
104 pounds – Ethan Davis, War Guerrillas, defeated Dyllen Oates, Defenders, unanimous decision.
132 pounds – Dkeylen White, Gloves Not Guns, stopped Maxwell Dollarhyde, Defenders.
147 pounds – Zachary Wagenmaker, Clarksville, Tenn., stopped Jessie Self, Defenders.
156 pounds – Hayden Dean, Westside, defeated Spencer Avants, Elite, unanimous decision.