03/24/12 — Goldsboro's Dewitt headed to North Carolina Gold Gloves tournament

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Goldsboro's Dewitt headed to North Carolina Gold Gloves tournament

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 24, 2012 11:08 PM

Boxers by nature are normally arrogant, unapproachable and surly -- but Donovan Dewitt is none of those things.

In the fact, the 24-year-old Goldsboro native is downright pleasant. All of that changes, however, when the entrance music stops and the bell signals the beginning of round one.

Dewitt becomes a fighter possessed by a need to inflict punishment.

"I don't doubt my skills because I know that I am ready to go every time I get in the ring," Dewitt said after a recent training session. "A lot of guys walk around at one weight and then right before a fight they train like crazy to get down to their fighting weight. I am at my fighting weight every day, so I am always ready to get some rounds in."

Dewitt heads to Elizabeth City to participate in the North Carolina Golden Gloves boxing tournament this week. He'll enter the ring 2-0.

The opportunity to get in as many as six fights in two days was too good to pass up for Dewitt who is looking to bolster his amateur resume over the next 18 months. After 15 to 20 amateur fights, Dewitt hopes to enter the professional ranks.

"You never know what is going to happen or how many amateur fights are enough," Dewitt said. "I feel like my fighting style is not really an amateur style so I am hoping that means I will be ready sooner rather than later."

Dewitt has spent the past year training with Duane "Bear" Anderson at Larry's Gym and Fitness. The pair has come up with a gameplan to get the late-blooming fighter to the top of the pound-for-pound list.

Countless hours hitting the heavy bag, jumping rope and sprinting on a treadmill have molded Dewitt into the best shape of his life.

"Physically he is ready to go right now," Anderson said. "He can do anything he puts his mind to in the gym because he is in elite condition. What he needs now is rounds in the ring."

Because the boxing scene in Goldsboro is hit-and-miss, Dewitt has had to travel to find amateur fights. He has fought in Wilmington and Fayetteville in boxing showcase events. That experience has led to an opportunity to enter the Golden Gloves event.

Golden Gloves tournaments are held in every state and are open to prospective fighters ages 14-30. Dewitt knows that from fight to fight he may do battle with a man six years his senior or a man 10 years his junior.

"You have to put things like that out of your head when the fight starts," Dewitt said. "It is all business when the bell rings no matter who is in the other corner. It's nothing personal, just business."

If Dewitt wins the Elizabeth City tournament he will be eligible for the national Golden Gloves competition in Las Vegas. The list of former national Golden Gloves champions is long and illustrious. Cassius Clay, Oscar De la Hoya and Jermaine Taylor all won Golden Gloves medals and went on to have successful professional careers.

Dewitt hopes to add his name to that list.

"I tell guys all the time 'It doesn't matter if you are 15 or 50, if you don't have the will to fight I can't help you'," Anderson said. "Donovan has that will and I think he is ready to show it."

Dewitt will fight in the 150-pound middleweight division as an amateur, but will likely drop to the 142-pound weight class as a pro. His lead right hand has developed into his go-to punch. Dewitt's backup left hook has become his knockout maneuver.

"I am pretty light on my feet and I get in and out quick," Dewitt said. "Quick combinations wear guys down and that creates opportunities for more power shots in the later rounds."

As is customary with amateur fights, boxers in the Golden Gloves competition will wear 16-ounce gloves and protective headgear just like in the Olympics. The fights begin Friday afternoon at the Elizabeth City Boxing Club.