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Golden Gloves in Lowell more than worth the trip

There is no bigger night in area boxing circles than Thursday as the New England Golden Gloves Championships will be decided at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.

For old-school, gritty fans of pure sport and competition, there simply is no better live event.

The LMA comes alive. You are taken back decades to when blood, sweat and tears mattered.

Of course, once again, the city of Nashua will figure heavily into the festivities as three city athletes go for New England open titles.

Nashua PAL Boxing’s money duo of Jesse Batanda and Mike Fontanez, each will be swinging for the fences.

Fontanez, the 10th-rated fighter in his division nationally, will take on Northern NE’s Cody Zomback for the 165-pound title.

Batanda will challenge Springfield, Mass., Laurent Humes for the 178-pound title.

And At 132 pounds, Nick Molina of Nashua, who works out of Lowell’s West End Gym, fights Western NE champ Jonathan

Cortez for the open title.

Tickets are still available for what is one of the sleeper good takes in these parts. And the kicker is that the event helps raise money for many Greater Lowell area charities.

DEAL OF THE CENTURY

Loyal readers of this column know I love a good trade proposal, especially in the NBA.

So here goes. If I’m Danny Ainge, I offer Kemba Walker and either Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown to Houston for Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

Yes, I’m giving up age. Harden and Kemba are each right around 30.

Westbrook is 31, and that’s old. But don’t you want to win now?

I say Harden/Westbrook/Brown is a legit, title-winning big three right now.

It makes the Celtics relevant, right now through the next five seasons.

Tatum looks great. Brown and Kemba look very good.

But both Harden and Westbrook are great, have been for a long stretch now.

I make this deal any day of the week.

UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY

It’s a unique opportunity for the high school wrestling fan this week as the New England Championships will be held in nearby Methuen, Mass.

The take itself is very good, and the wrestling on the mat is certainly top-notch.

Locally, there are several placing hopes, including unbeaten recent MOC champ Zach Rioux of Bishop Guertin and Alvirne 170-pound phenom Kyle Gora.

Both should be wrestling with something to prove, Rioux trying to put up a flawless season and Gora looking to finish a job he started back in late December, after an injury derailed him in the quarters of the Lowell Holiday Tournament.

A couple other hungry types might be MOC runners-up Griffin Ostrom and Anson Dewar of Merrimack.

Whether you have a rooting interest or not, Methuen is an exceptional venue for what annually is an excellent take.

Contact Hector Longo at 594-1253 or hlongo@nashuatelegraph.com.