Janis Earns Spot in National Boxing Tournament

Cobbler Arlen Janis won a Midwest Regional boxing title to earn his way to Nationals.

By Bryce King

On Saturday April 23rd, Central’s own Arlen Janis won his match against Drako Rodriguez in Omaha, Nebraska with a 3-1 decision and walked away with the 165 pound Midwest Regional Golden Gloves Title. Arlen’s opponent was an experienced MMA fighter as well as a wrestler, so his strategy was to get in close so that Arlen would struggle to land a good hit. This caused them to get tangled, and the ref would break it up. “The most challenging part was winning. It was the closest match of the tournament, so even I didn’t know if I would win or lose. It was that close. The crowd was also harsh, I knew that if I didn’t fight good enough, the crowd would boo.”

It was Arlen’s first time at a regional tournament and he was nervous. “A lot of things were going through my head and I was scared that I was overweight. I’ve been in the ring enough to know my way around, but the buildup to the fight makes you over-think and doubt yourself.” The atmosphere of the tournament was intense. “It was big, lots of people showed up, even for an amateur tournament. It was the first time I got my own locker room. You could hear the crowd going crazy cheering for the match before me, it was nerve racking but it got me pumped up for my match.”

Arlen will now move on to the National Golden Glove Championship, which will take place from May 16-21 in Utah. Many challenges will come his way at Nationals, but he is well aware. “I know it is going to be tough. People I will be facing will have more experience than the people I have faced so far. They have more competition for boxing than I do. South Dakota is a smaller state for boxing.”

Photo Credit: Leah Emerson