Up North: Duluthians ring in boxing season with big wins | www.WDIO.com

Up North: Duluthians ring in boxing season with big wins

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: April 28, 2021 10:46 PM
Created: April 27, 2021 11:14 PM

Coronavirus knocked out boxing competitions for more than a year. Over the weekend bouts made their return to Minnesota. After training for months two Duluthians re-entered the ring in Hinckley and earned big season opening wins.

At 11-years-old Andrew Griggs laced up his first pair of boxing gloves. 

"He has really fast hands, we gave him a nicknamed hot sauce, just so fast, so fast," said Zach Walters, owner of Jungle Boy Boxing Gym in Duluth.

Now 20-years-old, the Duluth native has fought his way into Minnesota boxing history after winning a bout in the state's first competition after pandemic pauses.

After his fight on Sunday Griggs said, "I got the little butterflies, but soon as the bell rang and went away I just went to work."

Griggs, training out of Jungle Boy, landed his winning punch against St. Paul's Davonzell Patterson in the amateur USA Boxing Test Show. 

"It's been a long layoff and everybody couldn't wait to get going and being a part of the solution feels really good," Walters said.

Opening the 10 bout amateur event was fellow Duluthian Santino Amborn. At just 13-years-old he jabbed his way to victory taking the win for Twin Ports Boxing Gym.

"It was exciting," Amborn said. "It just felt good to get back in the ring."

John D'Auria, one of Amborn's coaches, said, "we wish we had 10 guys like him in the gym. I mean he's a humble kid, he's a positive kid he's, he's extremely hard working, he's dedicated to the sport."

Staying ready for the return to fighting was tough. Both boxers spent hours in the gym conditioning, sparring, and hitting rounds on the bag.

"We stayed in the gym and like, stay focused and trained like we were having competition when there wasn't. You know, training like we always have a fight coming up," Griggs explained.

Amborn said he spent the shutdown, "training every day and staying healthy."

Up next Griggs said he has his eyes on the Golden Gloves tournament this summer. 


Alicia Tipcke

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