North Bergen boxers hope to bring home championships at NJ Diamond Gloves

Jean Pierre Valencia and Peter Roldan are looking to fulfill their dreams of winning

Top amateurs Jean Pierre Valencia and Peter Roldan will try to achieve their championship dreams this week when they compete in the 2022 New Jersey Diamond Gloves tournament, which kicks off Friday, October 14 in Long Branch.

Both boxers will be representing the Little Mac North Bergen Boxing program, which will also host the Diamond Gloves semifinals and finals on Saturday, October 15 and Sunday, October 16.

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The North Bergen based gym will field a four-boxer squad to one of the state’s biggest boxing tournaments, including Roldan (203-pound open), Valencia, (165-pound novice), Erick Rivera (112-pound sub-novice) and Jacob Perez (112-pound sub-novice).

The three-day tournament will begin at Gleason’s Gym Jersey Shore in Long Branch on Friday, before concluding at the North Bergen Recreation Center on Saturday and Sunday. The North Bergen Recreation Center is located at 6300 Meadowview Avenue, with Saturday’s event beginning at 7 p.m. and Sunday’s event beginning at 6 p.m.

This is the second consecutive tournament which Little Mac Boxing is hosting in North Bergen, following the NJ Golden Gloves in June.

Little Mac Boxing fields four-boxer squad

Roldan, a 28-year-old of Englewood, had previously been a two-time runner-up in the tournament, but will now be crowned the state’s heavyweight champion after being unopposed in his division.

The 20-fight veteran known as “The Body Snatcher” now advances to the Inter-state Diamond Gloves tournament, which will take place from November 4 to 6 at a location to be announced. Before that, the 2013 Golden Gloves champion will break a six-year ring absence on October 23, when he faces West Point cadet Matthew Beason in Haledon.

Valencia is looking to ride the momentum of two consecutive victories in recent weeks as he gears up for the first tournament of his boxing career.

The 22-year-old West New York resident will begin his tournament run on Saturday against the winner of Friday’s quarterfinal matchup. Valencia, a native of Esmeraldas, Ecuador, arrived in New Jersey just four months ago after living in Barcelona, Spain for the last few years.

Valencia has benefited from extensive sparring with undefeated professional Robert Terry at the Bayonne Recreation Gym in this training camp. Both Valencia and Roldan are trained by Ryan Songalia.

26-year-old Perez, who won the state’s Golden Gloves tournament earlier this year, will be matched against his stablemate Rivera, a 19-year-old resident of Guttenberg, as the two are the only boxers in their weight class. They are trained by Little Mac head coach Danny McDermott.

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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