The Night of Fights returned to the ring at the Italian Cultural Center on November 17 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and organizer Manny Sobral is calling it one of the greatest ever incarnations of the longstanding amateur boxing event.
Night of Fights debuted in 1982, the brainchild of George Angelomatis and Jack Duke of the Astoria Boxing Club. It has since had a few two-year breaks, the first coming in 2010-11 when Angelomatis fell ill. Sobral, the 1988 Canadian Olympic boxer who had been coached by Angelomatis who rose through the ranks, helped make his return in 2012.
“People went crazy. There was so much cheering and shouting. It was the liveliest I’ve seen since probably the 1980s when I boxed in it,” Sobral said of the estimated crowd of 700 at Thursday’s event. “Everyone really got into it, and all that cheer led to the boxers responding with their best performances.
“I had all kinds of people come up to me saying how much they missed it and how happy they were to have it back.”