Kuykendall Advances to Golden Gloves National Championships Held This Week
By Terrell Boettcher Sawyer County Record
Lac Courte Oreilles tribal member Charlie Kuykendall, 32, won the Wisconsin Golden Gloves state open boxing championship at 189 pounds (cruiserweIght) on April 7-8 in Madison and is advancing to the national Golden Gloves championships in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 7-13.
The national Golden Gloves tournament also is an Olympic Trials qualifier for all Olympic weight classes.
During the 100th anniversary Golden Gloves state tournament, held at Marriott West in Madison, Kuykendall defeated two opponents by knock-outs.
On April 7, he defeated Emmanuel Weatherall (Conflict Sports) with a knock-out in the third round. Weatherall was 6 ft. 5 in. tall, five inches taller than Kuykendall. “I’ve never had to fight anybody that tall before,” Kuykendall said.
On April 8, he defeated defending state champion Harley Guiterrez (Ford’s Gym) with a knock-out in the second round.
Currently Kuykendall is training with the Wisconsin Golden Gloves team at Ford’s Gym in Madison. They will leave for Philadelphia on May 6.
At the nationals, Kuykendall will box in the heavyweight division, 190 to 203 pounds. “I’ve got a tall order on my hands,” he said.
Kuykendall said he boxed for a few years, then quit the sport for many years. Recently he moved back to this area and moved in with his mother, Tish Taylor, to help take care of her.
“My little brother, Jeff Taylor, got me back into training,” Kuykendall said.
He found a coach with whom to train, Justin Danforth out of Bloomer. Danforth is a former state Golden Gloves champion and has boxed in 30 pro bouts.
Kuykendall started boxing competitively again last October and “We’ve been racking up wins ever since,” he said. “It’s been a really good experience. It keeps me on a good path.”
He said he didn’t expect to win his two state bouts by knock-outs, boxing against younger opponents. “But these guys weren’t ready,” he said.
At age 15, Kuykendall started training with Jason Weaver, a former Army boxer, at the St. Croix Boxing Club in Hertel.
Then he trained with Team Amos (Steve Amos) boxing club at Hayward while he was in high school. Amos now operates a training gym at Dobie, near Rice Lake.
Kuykendall quit boxing for a while, then trained for a few years with David Mathis at the Hayward Veterans Center gym.
“Boxing training is all about bettering yourself, improving yourself,” Kuykendall said. “As long as I stick with it, good things have been happening. All the hard work has paid off for me. It’s taking me places I’ve never been before. I feel I’m in the best shape of my life.
“This type of training will benefit you in all areas of your life,” he said. “You can’t walk around like a tough guy. You have to conduct yourself with respect and humility.”
“It’s been my dream to use my talent and travel. I’m living a dream,” Kuykendall said. “All the people I train with have seen some potential.”