In a Class By Himself
Pietrantonio Wins Golden Gloves Championship
By Lorenzo Recupero
In convincing fashion, with a thorough demonstration of technical boxing, Ryan Pietrantonio clinched the 152-pound 2019 Golden Gloves New England Novice title at the Lowell Auditorium to become the latest local boxer to wrap up the tournament as champion.
Pietrantonio (10-1 overall) dipped, dodged and punched his way into Everett lore, joining locals Pat Gigante, Joe O’Donnell, and Richie “The Mountain” Lamontagne as the only other boxers in city history to compete in and champion a New England Golden Gloves tourney.
“Ryan is, first of all, an athlete,” said Alex Rivera, Pietrantonio’s trainer out of Somerville Boxing Club. “His mindset is the word no doesn’t exist, and when you have a person like that who thinks positive and listens then the sky’s the limit,” said Rivera, who labeled the bout an “Incredible fight against a incredible opponent”.
The victory for Pietrantonio is two years of hard training in the making, but taking all the credit for the success of his effort in the ring is just not his style.
“Everybody’s happy for me, a lot of Everett legends, the Nuzzo brothers, George Paone and family and a lot of other local supporters came out and I’m just thankful for all of the support,” said Pietrantonio. “Everett is a huge part of this [victory] and so I want to share it with the people of Everett,” said Pietrantonio, who was also openly grateful for his training. “It means a lot for me and for my coaches as well. To be able to represent my coaches and Somerville Boxing and make it official again that the club is still fighting at a high level means a lot to me and I want to share my success with them,” said the 26-year old high school football state champion while with the Crimson Tide.
Ryan hopes that his win might spur a local interest in boxing, a sport he credits with giving him healthier solutions for his well-being and the toughness to never throw in the towel.
“Boxing is a sport where you just need yourself,” said Pietrantonio. “In boxing you don’t need to worry about the guy next to you, behind you, just have to focus on yourself,” he said while advocating for the habits like healthier dieting and staying fit that helped him garner the strength to grind out a monumental personal victory.
With the win under his belt, and the 11th overall fight of his career in the books, Pietrantonio is officially out of the novice stage of his career and is now listed as an open class boxer, which means he can travel for fights and compete in national tournaments.
When asked in the post fight interview what comes next, he said, “I’m going to sit down and talk with my team, there’s a couple different events and tournaments I could enter in March, so we’ll see what my next step is, I’m super stoked about it.”
And just before walking away, beaming with pride, still out of breath and breathing heavily, Pietrantonio turned, smiled, pumped his fist and said “Everett all the way, Everett all the way baby!”.
The Pietrantonio family has been helping bring championships to Everett for decades.
Well before Ryan won his boxing title from the Golden Gloves, he was busy winning a state championship as a fearless linebacker on the football field for Everett High School and John DiBiaso.
And before Ryan got his glory day at EHS, his older brother, Ross, a class of 2004 graduate, was captaining the squad as the Crimson Tide went on to win three consecutive super bowls from 2001-2004. Ross was a safety and wide receiver who put together a stellar career that included not only the championships but also some of of the school’s defensive stats records as well.
Ross, called a role model and ultimate supporter by his younger brother, was more than proud of his siblings accomplishment.
“Give it up to him,” said Ross. “Transitioning from a team sport to an individual sport is a commitment on both ends, it’s like a second job. What I’ve watched him do has come with a lot of hard work. As a family we very proud of him,” he said.
He’s always worked with a chip on his shoulder, and he’s done so well because of that competitive gene,” said Ross.
Who would know more about that gene than a brother – and fellow champion.
– Lorenzo Recupero