State of Fitness boxer Gianmarco Marin advances to NJ Golden Gloves finals

Al-Abed Taha wins 176-pound novice title

North Bergen will be represented at this year’s New Jersey Golden Gloves finals after Gianmarco Marin from State of Fitness Boxing Club brawled his way to the championship round this past weekend.

Marin, 20, punched his way to the 156-pound novice finals after a series of thrilling performances on Friday and Saturday night at True Warriors Boxing Club in Paterson. Marin began the weekend by using relentless pressure and power punching to defeat Brian Bozik at his home gym by a 5-0 decision on Friday, June 17.

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Marin was ordered to fight a second straight day after Bozik withdrew from the double elimination tournament, and put on another power punching exhibition, dropping a close decision to Abdeallah Elaimait of Aces Boxing Club on Saturday, June 18.

Now, Marin must beat the southpaw Elaimait on back-to-back nights when the tournament concludes next Friday and Saturday, June 24 and 25, at the North Bergen Recreation Center.

“I dug deep to get to this point, and now I will show I have another level I can get to in the finals,” said Marin, a former offensive lineman for the North Bergen High School football team.

Taha takes 176-pound novice title

State of Fitness earned its first Golden Gloves championship of the tournament on Saturday after Al-Abed Taha won the 176-pound novice title by walkover. The 23-year-old Taha, who works as a police officer for the North Bergen Police Department, was the last man standing in his weight class after both of the fighters in the division withdrew from the competition.

Taha said he is disappointed that he didn’t get to fight, since he had made it to the tournament semifinals in 2020, only for the competition to be called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve had six fights fall through after opponents no-showed me, so it’s hard not to be disappointed,” said Taha, a former wrestling standout at North Bergen High School who won the 2019 Middle Atlantic Wrestling Association national championship at 158 pounds.

“My only option now is to get back in the gym and get better. Every time a fight falls out, it just makes me want to make sure my next opponent pays for it.”

State of Fitness Boxing Club, located at 508 73rd Street in North Bergen, was represented by coaches Mike Pacheco, Ryan Songalia and Desmond Boyle, the latter of whom is the gym’s owner.

State of Fitness Boxing Club is a highly decorated boxing gym in North Bergen, having produced numerous champions in tournaments like the Diamond Gloves and Golden Gloves. The gym was also one of the chief sponsors for the unveiling of the James J. Braddock Statue in 2018, and had donated their original ring canvas to the statue, which now rests at Braddock’s feet.

For updates on this and other stories, check and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at 

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