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Rocky Mountain Golden Gloves: Utahns Siliga and Galloway advance to nationals

Team Utah struggled until it won the last two bouts of the night.

First Published Apr 12 2014 10:44 pm • Last Updated Apr 12 2014 11:14 pm

Siala Mou "Bubba" Siliga of Kearns looked across the boxing ring Saturday night and saw a man who probably outweighed him by 50 pounds. But he wasn’t in the least bit worried.

"I knew I was in better shape," Siliga said. "I knew my training, hard work and discipline would carry me."

At a glance

Saturday’s championship bouts

132 lbs. » Omar Gallegos (Idaho) dec. Wryke Padilla (Wyoming)

141 lbs. » Richardo Gallegos (Idaho) Arron Griffith (Utah)

152 lbs. » David Maggio (Wyoming) dec. Justin Morales (Utah)

165 lbs. » Danny Galloway (Utah) dec. Nathan Kinsman (Wyoming)

178 lbs. » Dillon Fowler (Idaho) def. Marcos Alvarez (Utah), RSC

201+ lbs. » Siala Mou Siliga (Utah) def. Teddy Lopez (Montana), RSC

Unopposed champions » Wyoming’s Isaiah Tafoga (114), Wyoming’s Gabriel Montoya (123), Utah’s Tyrell Rousch (201).

Saturday’s exhibition bouts

90 lbs. » Diego Alvarez (Marshall White Center) dec. Santana Decarlo (All Heart B.C.).

112 lbs. » Robbie Vinson (Louie’s Boxing Club) dec. Mateo Holt (State Street B.C.)

119 lbs. » Brayden Vinson (Louie’s) dec. Blake Gierke (Montana)

168 lbs. » Armando Gallegos (Idaho) dec. Billy Wagner (Montana)

132 lbs. » Ignacio Chairez (Utah) dec. Brandon Albert (Montana)

123 lbs. » Gabriel Chairez (Utah) dec. Gabriel Montoya (Wyoming)

127 lbs. » Matt Seril (Fullmer’s) dec. Andreas Gonzales (Foley’s Utah)

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That it did.

Siliga knocked Montana’s Teddy Lopez down twice in the first round, and the heavyweight bout was stopped in the second round after Lopez went down again. The win in the Golden Gloves Boxing’s Rocky Mountain Regionals at the Sorenson Center in Salt Lake City sends Siliga to next month’s Golden Gloves National Championships in Las Vegas.

"I am thrilled," said Siliga, who fights out of the State Street Boxing Gym. "It is a great feeling to represent the state of Utah."

Siliga, who weighs about 250 pounds, is one of three Utahns who advanced after Saturday night’s bouts.

Highland High graduate Danny Galloway, 18, advanced to the nationals for the third-straight year with a hard-fought win over Wyoming’s Nathan Kinsman, the same boxer Galloway defeated in last year’s region finals.

Galloway got more aggressive in the third round, and it paid off.

"I knew I had to start throwing more punches," he said.

Before Galloway and Siliga won the last two bouts of the night, things were not going well for Team Utah, which was 0-3 up to that point in tournament bouts.

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Idaho won the team trophy, and will send three pugilists to nationals: Omar Gallegos, Richardo Gallegos and Dillon Fowler.

In one of the best bouts of the night, Idaho’s Richardo Gallegos outlasted Utah’s Arron Griffith in the 141-pound final.

Griffith was knocked down in the second round, and took another standing eight-count from referee Larry Fullmer a few seconds later, but survived the round and then staged a nice comeback in the third round to make the decision tough on the judges.

Idaho’s Fowler used his southpaw style and long reach to overwhelm Utah’s Marcos Alvarez in the 178-pound division, and Alvarez’s corner threw in the towel in the second round.

Fighting out of one of the newer gyms in the area, Layton’s One Hit Boxing Club, Justin Morales gave Wyoming’s David Maggio all he wanted in the 152-pound class, but Maggio’s early round work seemingly won over the judges.

Wyoming’s Isaiah Tafoga (114 lbs.), Wyoming’s Gabriel Montoya (123) and Utah’s Tyrell Rousch (201) of Fullmer’s Boxing Club went unopposed Saturday night and will advance to nationals.

Actually, Wyoming’s Montoya fought Utah’s Gabriel Chairez, but it was just an exhibition bout because Chairez did not make weight. Chairez won the bout in a close decision.

Siliga, 20, said he has been boxing since he was 9 years old with the dream of making it to nationals. Now, he says the sky is the limit.

"I hope to go down there to Vegas and make some noise," he said.

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