While Bangor’s Josh McAuliffe was winning his fourth Golden Gloves Northern New England tournament title in the open division two weeks ago in Burlington, Vt., another Maine native was winning his first — as a novice.
Shawmut’s Jed Crommett, a 20-year-old criminal justice major at Thomas College in Waterville, won two bouts by decision to win the championship in the 152-pound class.
“I had my first fight three weeks ago and felt really good after that, but then had a bye the second round because my opponent backed out,” Crommett said. “That was tough, but I was able to spar with a guy who fought a lot like my next opponent.”
He would have been fighting in the New England Tournament of Champions this week in Lowell, Mass., if not for tweaking an old football injury in his Northern New England title bout.
“I played football and basketball at Lawrence [High School in Fairfield] and then played three games of semipro football before I blew out my knee,” he said.
Crommett, who played wide receiver and strong safety, tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee.
The black belt in karate has been boxing off and on for the last two years, but began training regularly for last week’s championships seven months ago.
“I totally use all the things I’ve learned from karate in boxing,” he said. “But boxing is a much more physical sport so I have to train more, running 2-3 miles a day and training two or three hours a day. I do five days of boxing and seven of cardio.”
As a full-time student who has to commute to Thomas from his home in Shawmut, and 50 miles (one way) to his gym in Lewiston, training time is at a premium.
“I’m training right now for a fight maybe in first week of March in New Hampshire,” Crommett said. “My trainer and I think I should have 10 fights by next year and so I would be an open fighter in 152 next year.
“I definitely want to pursue this and take this as far as it can go.”
So does McAuliffe, who is training for the New England Golden Gloves semifinals in Lowell this week. If he won his Tuesday semifinal match, he’ll fight for the title today. A win would qualify him for nationals, held this year in Kansas City, Mo., for the first time.
“I feel real good about that and I feel strong,” McAuliffe said. “There’s no nerves anymore. I just go in there and do what I’ve got to do.”
In other Golden Gloves New England Tournament novice action, Chris Nickerson of Detroit, who trains with McAuliffe at Wyman’s Boxing in Stockton Springs, lost a Tuesday semifinal bout by decision in Lowell, Mass., after winning the Northern New England novice division title in the heavyweight class last week.