LEWISTOWN - Local boxer Nigel Rogers won an open class Pennsylvania Golden Gloves championship Saturday, knocking out the 178-pound defending champ Aaron Wright 1:17 seconds into the first round.
Rogers (8-3) had a simple plan in the first round and wasn't thinking about a knockout at all, but that doesn't mean he wasn't happy to win.
"In the first round the plan was to just set the tempo and feel him out for the first couple seconds," Rogers said. "I wanted to see how he reacted to my movements and see if he could handle my jab."
When the fight was officially called midway through the first round, Rogers kept his composure although he knew he was now a Golden Gloves champ.
It was pretty exciting, to win but I think my dad was more excited than I was," Rogers said, "My family was in the crowd and when I won they were really excited about it."
In late February, Rogers attempted to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team but didn't make the team as he lost his second qualifing fight. But Rogers took full advantage of this opportunity as he made sure everyone was watching at the Front Street Gym in Philadelphia, a place where Rogers loves to fight because it gives him a chance to see friends again.
"I like fighting in Philly because it gives me a chance to see some friends from the Olympic qualifying team," Rogers said. "As well as some people I've met fighting there before, like Buster Drayton."
Rogers, who mainly trains at his home in Lewistown, but fights out of Capital Punishment in Harrisburg, will now head to Mesquite, Nevada for the Golden Gloves national tournament which will be held from April 30 and May 5.
For Rogers it's a unbelieveable opportunity, but like always, Rogers isn't getting too ahead of himself.
"It'll be my second national tournament so that's exciting, but I'm not looking too far ahead, right now," he said. "It'll be a chance for me to get more experience and that's the best thing right now."