Golden Gloves amateur boxing tournament coming to Iowa City

The Iowa City City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to adopt an amendment to its amateur boxing ordinance to allow an amateur boxing tournament at the Graduate Hotel on the first weekend of April night.


Mark Fortunato

Iowa City Council listens to speaker at City Council on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022.

Isabelle Foland, News Reporter

The Golden Gloves boxing tournament is coming to Iowa City’s Graduate Hotel on the first weekend in April after the Iowa City City Council amended its amateur boxing ordinance on Tuesday.

The council unanimously voted to amend a city ordinance and allow amateur boxing matches sponsored by USA Boxing, such as Golden Gloves. The original city ordinance prohibited amateur boxing in any establishment with a liquor license. 

The ordinance was prompted in 2007 after inexperienced and potentially intoxicated amateur boxers were fighting experienced boxers at a “Fight Night” event held by the now-closed The Union Bar.

Clifton Johnson, a member of Iowa City’s Ad Hoc Truth and Reconciliation Commission, reminded the city of the amendment because the event would be funded by an American Rescue Plan Act grant given to Think Iowa City

Johnson is also the owner of the Iowa City ICOR Boxing gym and vice president of Iowa Golden Gloves.

The council first discussed this amendment at its Jan. 24 meeting, where several councilors expressed their approval of this event and respect for Johnson’s positive impact on the city’s youth.

Because staff requested expedited action on passing this amendment, the amendment is effective immediately.