One young boxer from Bayside has earned one of boxing’s most prestigious amateur awards, the Daily News Golden Gloves.
Stylianos Kalamaras, 25, defeated five competitors over the eight-week event to capture his first Light Heavyweight Golden Gloves championship during the 88th annual tournament.
“I had one of the most impressive records in the tournament,” Kalamaras said. “I had two TKOs [technical knockouts], there was only one other guy to have that. In the finals, I was the only guy to knock somebody down to the canvas in this tournament.”
In the finals on April 2, Kalamaras faced off against Franklin Johnson in the 178-pound novice division at the Barclays Center.
“I felt confident I would take the tournament,” Kalamaras said.
This wasn’t Kalamaras’ first time at the Golden Gloves, having competed back in 2011, where he lost by decision in the semifinals.
“I feel should have won that fight. I knocked that guy down, too,” Kalamaras said. “I hurt him and they gave him the decision.”
In 2013, Kalamaras won the New York Metro Championship and was victorious in the 31st annual Battle of the Badges charity event that was held in Madison Square Garden. Kalamaras fought for the FDNY and defeated the NYPD’s representative to win the title belt.
“I think that was my best fight to date,” Kalamaras said of the Battle of the Badges fight. “I knocked the guy out. It was exciting, especially since it was my first time really fighting in front of a lot of people like that in boxing at Madison Square Garden.”
Kalamaras has been boxing since the age of 16, “but now in the past two years I’ve been taking it seriously,” he said. Prior to boxing, he earned awards in judo.
“My father put me in judo when I was 8 years old and I was really good in judo,” Kalamaras said. “I was a three-time junior Olympic gold medalist, five-time national champion, six-time international champion. I’ve been all over the world.”
The amateur boxer is also a full-time student at Queens College where he is studying exercise science and nutrition, in hopes of getting into a program in the field of physical therapy. Kalamaras hopes to start a career in training and help other athletes as a physical therapist.
He is a Navy reservist as well, having enlisted in 2010 in the Navy’s construction unit as an engineer and is currently a Second Class Petty Officer.
Kalamaras is now looking to earn a national ranking in boxing and eventually try out for either the American or Greek teams in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Once he gains more experience and exposure, the young, amateur boxer wants to turn professional.
“My goal is to … get sponsored so I could really focus on doing this full time,” Kalamaras said. “I don’t want to drop school either because school is always important, too.”