Three fighters out of the Everett-based Broadway Boxing Club, including a former Everett High football standout, are competing in the 2022 Lowell Golden Gloves amateur boxing tournament held at Lowell Auditorium.
Gilbert Kabamba, who earned two Super Bowl rings as a lineman the Crimson Tide, rising amateur star Shea Willcox and Pace University student Thomas Shen have all advanced in their respective divisions.
All three fighters are coached by Dennis Willcox and Joe Ricciardi, co-directors of the Broadway Boxing Club.
Kabamba, 20, is a 6-foot-3-inch, 255-pound contender in the heavyweight division. After winning impressively in his Golden Gloves debut, Kabamba will be fighting in the quarterfinals Thursday against Jared Gaines of Nolan Brothers Boxing Club.
Kabamba is a 2019 graduate of Everett High School where he was a standout defensive end and right tackle on two Crimson Tide state championship teams.
“I’m ready for the fight,” said Kabamba. “I’ve been working hard. I’ve been training seriously here [Broadway Boxing Club] for four months. I have the best coaches who are helping me advance my skills.”
Dennis Willcox was an assistant football coach when Kabamba played for the Crimson Tide. “Gilbert was a hard worker when it came to football,” said Willcox. “He was very athletic for his size, and he’s carried that over into boxing. With Joe and me, he’s got the right team teaching him the game.”
Willcox, younger brother of Brown University quarterback Jake Willcox, will be stepping into the squared circle against Matt Rideout of the Union Street Boxing Club in the semifinals Thursday night in Lowell. Willcox, who is 5-feet, 9 inches tall, is competing in the junior middleweight division.
Willcox won by a unanimous 5-0 decision in the first round and received a bye to the semifinals. “I’ve been working hard and feel good about my shot to win a title,” said Willcox.
Asked about his father Dennis’ pugilistic guidance, Shea said, “He’s the best. All this stuff at the club, if it weren’t for him and Joe, we wouldn’t have any of it here.”
Shen, a sophomore at Pace University in New York City, won a 4-1 decision over Christian Schurko of the Somerville Boxing Club in his opening-round bout at the Gloves.
Pace is a 5 foott, 5 inch, 125-pound contender in the featherweight division.
“I’m ready. This is my division,” said Shen confidently. “This is my second time in the Golden Gloves. My first time, I did backflips before the fight, sprained my ankle, and lost a tough, split decision. I won’t be doing backflips again before my fights.”
Shen said coaches Willcox and Ricciardi have his career on the right track. “Both are fine men and give me a lot of wisdom in and out of the ring. You need to be surrounded by the right people to go to the right place. I also really enjoy training with Gilbert and Shea. They’re amazing people.”
Ready to Rumble
Dennis Willcox believes all three fighters have the talent and drive to bring home prestigious Golden Gloves crowns to Everett.
“Personally, I think all three are the favorites to win the Lowell Golden Gloves and ultimately the New England Golden Gloves,” said Willcox. “They’re in shape, they’re confident, and they’re doing everything that Joe (Ricciardi) and I are telling them to do. They’re right on weight and they’re ready to rumble.”