Local Boxing: Top Gun fighter earns title belt
By CHRIS GOLTERMANN
Ariel De La Trinidad got his first taste for boxing this summer at the Georgia Games. But the Northgate High junior may have shown how hungry he is for a future in the ring at last weekend’s Paul Murphy World Title Belt Tournament in Doraville.
As a member of the Top Gun Fight Boxing team led by trainer Greg Elder, De La Trinidad impressed while earning the belt in the 145-pound division as one of three local entries.
“He took a great leap forward,” said Elder of De La Trinidad. “That was a fight that probably put his name on the map.”
Top Gun fighters Devin Bowles of Evans Middle School and Northgate graduate Kyle DiGiulio also trained for the event. Bowles was unable to find another entry in his age and weight class, while DiGiulio’s fight was stopped in the second round.
“Devin was so disappointed. He had worked so hard for that,” Elder said. “We’re trying to find another fight for him so he doesn’t get discouraged. Kyle’s an excellent young man and such a hard worker. We just need to find out if boxing is the right fit for him. If it’s not, I think he could make a great assistant. Some of the best trainers were never fighters.”
De La Trinidad, though, has already shown in two bouts how much potential he may have in the ring. After winning gold at the Georgia Games, he dropped five pounds and shed a good amount of body fat while training for his second tournament.
“He fought better than he did at 150 pounds,” said Elder, who saw a much more relaxed effort from his fighter this time around. “We were sparring one night and all of a sudden it clicked. That’s a benchmark when they see that. Some fighters never relax and they just burn up that nervous energy.
Elder said the 16-year-old made an impression on Buddy Davis, president of the Georgia Amateur Boxing Association. “He has made a mark,” said Elder.
“The first thing [Ariel] told me after the fight was my head movement saved me. And I thought that was fantastic that he learned that,” he added. “My assessment based on his experience was ‘almost’ perfect.”
The Northgate High junior also felt the difference between his first two amateur fights.
“It was way different,” said De La Trinidad. “After the first one I was completely out of breath. This one was relaxed and calm.”
While, Top Gun hopes to have a chance to compete in Georgia again in early December, Elder is already looking for potential cards outside the state over the next couple of months for his fighters with hopes of getting Bowles a chance to gain some additional experience.
“We’ve got a lot to look forward to,” said Elder, with the group continuing to train both at his home gym and locally at PTC Combat Fitness. “It’s good for them to be doing well in a sport. It’s brought out the best for them.”