The Chicago Golden Gloves dates back to 1923, when Chicago Tribune Sports Editor Arch Ward came up with the idea of a city-wide amateur boxing tournament to be sponsored by the newspaper. Boxing, however, was not legal in the state of Illinois at the time. Upon legalization of boxing in the state in 1926, the Chicago Tribune held the first of the Chicago Golden Gloves tournaments that we know today in 1928.
Along with the New York Golden Gloves, the Chicago tournament was viewed as one of the two elite Golden Gloves Championships in the United States. Winners from certain states and regions headed to Chicago to meet in the Chicago Golden Gloves, while winners from other sections of the U.S. faced each other in the New York Golden Gloves tournament. Champions from the Chicago tournament went on to face champions from the New York tournament in the Intercity Golden Gloves, thus the Intercity Golden Gloves served as the National Tournament of Champions. The Intercity Golden Gloves ran from 1928 to 1961, with the event being held at famed venues including the Chicago Coliseum, Madison Square Garden and Chicago Stadium.
The National Golden Gloves began in 1962 and continues to be the most highly regarded amateur boxing tournament in the United States.
The Chicago Golden Gloves has played a significant role in developing Champions both inside and outside of the ring. Participants in the Chicago tournament have gone on to become everything from Olympians, world champion professional boxers, politicians to civic leaders.
Former Chicago Golden Gloves Champions
Barney Ross ('29)
Joe Louis ('34)
Ezzard Charles ('39)
Sonny Liston ('53)
Ernie Terrell ('57)
Muhammad Ali ('59, '60)
US Olympians from Chicago (since 1980): LeeRoy Murphy ('80), Montel Griffin ('92), Donnell Nicholson ('92), Nate Jones ('96), David Diaz ('96), Michael Bennett ('00)
Former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan
DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett
Tommy Zbikowski- Notre Dame & Baltimore Ravens football
Michael "The Lord of the Dance" Flatley
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