A new class of local hall-of-fame inductees is announced each year at the Midwest Golden Gloves.
Dylan Henry will be joining that group in the not-so-distant future.
The 27-year-old boxer from Lincoln claimed the 141-pound championship Saturday at the TipTop Ballroom with a unanimous decision over Treven Coleman-Avant of Omaha. In doing so, Henry earned his fourth Midwest title and his fifth trip to the National Golden Gloves.
When he enters the ring at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City next month, he’ll become the first Nebraska fighter in more than a decade to compete at nationals five times.
“When I was told that before the fight, there was a lot of pressure,” he said. “But that just made me fight harder. I’m blessed to have this opportunity.”
Henry had trouble finding his range early against the southpaw from C.W. Boxing Club. The Omahan landed a pair of right hooks in the first round that kept the Lincoln fighter away.
But Henry changed the fight in the second round when he began connecting with his right hand. He dumped Coleman-Avant on his seat with a straight right at the bell at the end of the second.
“I landed a sweet shot there at the end of the second round,” Henry said. “It landed clean, and it felt good. I was debating on whether he felt good enough to join me that third round.”
Coleman-Avant did, and Henry continued to load up with power shots. He opened the third with a clean left hook and followed with a straight right a short time later. Henry then recorded another knockdown off a right hand and finished the bout with a flurry against the ropes.
Henry’s younger brother, Dane, won his 152-pound fight against Ryan Ashbrook of Omaha minutes later to earn his fourth trip to nationals. He was originally scheduled to meet three-time Midwest champion Raul Chavarria, but Chavarria didn’t show up for the weigh-in.
The Henry brothers had a loyal crowd following near their corner.
“My brother got most of them, but they adopted me,” Dylan Henry said. “They have to root for me. I have the same last name.”
Oliver Rivera earned his third straight Midwest championship by beating Arturo Camacho of Omaha at 165 pounds. The Grand Island fighter was the winner at 178 pounds last year after claiming the title at 201 pounds in 2011. He was named the event’s outstanding boxer.
There were only three open-division tournament bouts on the 13-fight card. Six of the nine fighters headed to the National Golden Gloves in Salt Lake City next month didn’t have to win a bout at Saturday’s regional championship to advance.
“It’s pretty sad to have that many unopposed champions,” said Steve Pelster, the Omaha Golden Gloves franchise delegate. “At least I have a team to take to Salt Lake.”
Cody Lacefield of Lincoln (114 pounds), Uriel Valdovinos (123), Antonio Perales (132) and Duane Johnson (178) of Omaha; and Justin Becerra (201) and Raymond Bernt (201-plus) of Grand Island all became Midwest champions because there were no opponents in their divisions.
Perales did have a non-tournament bout with fellow Omahan Francisco Andres and dropped a split decision. Johnson won his non-tournament bout with Geovanny Montenegro.
Cadet Division: 108 pounds: Blake Quintana, Kearney, dec. Edgar Reyes, Scottsbluff. 141: Kevin Cruz, Omaha (Victory) dec. Randolph Santos, Omaha (Jackson). 141: Luis Avila, Kearney, RSC-3 Chase Dill, Lincoln.
Novice Division: 152: Quentin Alspach, Omaha (Jackson), RSC-3 Lane Claypool, Ord. 152: Luis Marquez, Kearney, dec. Milton Andrade, Omaha (Jackson). 165: Isiah Owens, Omaha (Pop’s) dec. Tim DiGiacomo, Omaha (Northside).
Open Division: 152: Kevin Ventura, Omaha (Pop’s) dec. Brandon Ariza, Omaha (Victory). 132: Francisco Andres, Omaha (Jackson), dec. Antonio Perales, Omaha (Victory). 178: Bruce Green, Omaha (Northside), dec. Justin Becera, Grand Island. 165: Duane Johnson, Omaha (Jackson) RSC-3 Geovanny Montenegro, Fremont.
Open Division: 141: Dylan Henry, Lincoln, dec. Treven Coleman-Avant, Omaha (C.W.). 152: Dane Henry, Lincoln, dec. Ryan Ashbrook, Omaha (C.W.). 165: Oliver Ramirez, Grand Island, dec. Arturo Camacho, Omaha (C.W.).
Unopposed champions: 114: Cody Lacefield, Lincoln. 123: Uriel Valdovinos, Omaha (Jackson). 132: Antonio Perales, Omaha (Victory). 178: Duane Johnson, Omaha (Jackson). 201: Justin Becerra, Grand Island. 201-plus: Raymond Bernt, Grand Island.