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Happy days for boxer Cunningham at Golden Gloves

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The 2016 Daily News Golden Gloves continues.Ken Goldfield/Ken Goldfield

The 2016 Daily News Golden Gloves continues.

The road to Barclays Center continued Wednesday night at St. Bernard’s Church in Brooklyn, where the 201-pound novice weight class entered the ring for the first time in this 2016 Daily News Golden Gloves tournament.

“If I could describe it in one word,” said Chris Cunningham, “it would be ‘glory.’ All that glory just soaking in, having your hand raised. This is what I trained for.”

Cunningham, of Gleason’s Gym, defeated Christopher Gifford, of Champion Breed Boxing Club, in The Colony Pest Bout of the Night, winning a 2-1 decision.

Cunningham came out aggressive from the start, throwing a lot of punches, being the brawler, but Gifford was calm and boxed well, landing good straight punches down the middle that helped him win the first round.

In the second, both boxers turned it up a notch, throwing even more punches than in the previous round, fighting toe-to-toe in the center of the ring for most of the round. Cunningham seemed to have landed the harder head shots.

In the third round, with the match seemingly up for grabs, both boxers fought like there was no tomorrow — which was true for one. Cunningham connected with a big over-hand right to the nose of Gifford that drew blood. That punch may have been the difference.

“One more round!” Cunningham shouted at the conclusion of the final bell. He didn’t need it.

The Empire Casino Punch of the Night was thrown by Calvin Belgrave of Gleason’s Gym. Belgrave made it a short night by decking Nicholas Coleman of Mendez Boxing Club seconds into the first round. The ref called the bout shortly after when Coleman turned his back to Belgrave in retreat.

“I’ve been wanting to do this since I was 9-years old,” says the 19-year-old Belgrave. “Now this is my time to shine.”

The next Golden Gloves event will take place on Thursday at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn (7:30 p.m.)

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