By Melvin Lane
In boxing, seizing the moment and taking advantage of opportunities can carry you a long way.
Three years of consistent training and dedication paid off for Kieshawn Partee as he punched his ticket to the Golden Gloves Nationals thanks to a first-round knockout in his 176-pound open bout.
“My goal this year was to redeem myself because last year I lost in the opener,” Partee said. “I wasn’t in shape. That was all on my part, I’m not blaming no one for that. So this year I wasn’t going to lose.”
Partee trains at The Muskegon Boxing Club, which was established by the late Kenny Lane in 1972. Lane, in his own right, was an established professional fighter and a pillar to the Muskegon boxing community. Currently, the club is located at the Smith-Ryerson Center where it occupies a space.
At The Muskegon Boxing Club, you’ll find numerous fighters there being coached by Tony Stone, state champion and Toughman winner Bill Schaefer and state champion Eddie Tice. All of those coaches have been an integral part in Partee’s journey.
“Coach Bill has been a great role model to me and that makes me want to do better and make him proud,” Partee said. “Coach Tony has been there too, he’s what holds the gym together. He keeps my head on straight. Coach Eddie is so encouraging and helps with my conditioning.”
Four state champions were produced from the Muskegon Boxing Club during its 91st Michigan Golden Gloves. Winners were Partee, Van Davis, Abel Vilchis-Mendoza and Cody Leonard.
With the buzz the Muskegon Boxing Club has produced, they are optimistic in hosting their own events in the future.
“We have everything we need, we just need a venue,”said club coach Tony Stone. “So far, the Golden Gloves is like our Super Bowl and we work with our amateurs to this point.”
Generating funding has been critical for the boxing club, but the opportunity to see one of their own compete at the Nationals in Philadelphia in the coming weeks is hard to pass up.
“Keishawn is a boxer, not a lot of amateurs box,” Stone said. “He’s now at the stage where he’s calculating and strategizing. He’s got everything it takes to win Nationals and he got everything it takes to move along. At the club he’s now at the level of being a mentor to other fighters instead of a mentee.”
Partee a Grand Rapids native, will leave for Nationals on May 5 with aspirations of returning back to Muskegon victorious.
“ My mindset going into Nationals is to keep pushing forward, ain’t no sleeping,” said Partee. “My mentality has gotten stronger on the things I can control, but at the same time, I know I have to stay humble”.