More than a few pounds and weight classes separate Detroit's Shontae Yelder and Livonia's Jonathan Aneed, but they both share a burning desire to become Golden Gloves champions.
Which is why they are working out four to five times a week at Dynamic Boxing Club in Westland. Yelder fights in the lightweight division; Aneed as a super heavweight (201-plus).
Outside the gym, Yelder and Aneed also do countless hours of roadwork and cardio to prepare for what they see as amateur boxing's crucible a few months away.
Metro Detroit Golden Gloves Championship takes place Friday through Sunday, April 12-14, at Berts Warehouse, 2739 Russell, in Eastern Market. About 150 boxers from Wayne and Macomb counties along with those from the cities of Monroe and Ann Arbor compete in the three-day event with winners advancing to the national tournament May 13-18 in Chattanooga, Tenn.
To help them along, Thomas Magee's in Eastern Market is hosting its Second Annual Golden Gloves Fundraiser this Wednesday.
Former WBC welterweight champ Milton McCrory, current WBC middleweight titleholder Tony Harrison and WBC featherweight contender Erick DeLeon are among those expected to attend the event, which runs 4 p.m. to midnight.
Media personalities will tend bar and serve drinks with all tips and donations going toward travel and expenses to send Detroit Golden Gloves winners to nationals, which Aneed has his purple-hued right eye on.
"I'm more of a slugger," said Aneed, 25, who sells medical supplies and began boxing three years ago.
Aneed, who was a defensive end on Livonia Stevenson High's football team, is maintaining a family tradition. His late grandfather Kareem Hassan was boxer in Palestine, which led him to walk into Dynamic Boxing Club.
The gridiron and ring are separate entities from a competition standpoint, Aneed said.
"Boxing is a you-vs.-you type of sport, not necessarily always a you-versus-the-opponent," he said. "Football is a team sport where you can kind of depend on other guys.
"Boxing is all you. When I am training for a fight or trying to get into the right mindset, I don't like to hold anything back because it's all you up there. You have no one else to rely on."
Yelder, 23, is more of a boxer, said Chad Jaquillard, Metro Detroit Golden Gloves head coach.
"I can slug or box," said Yelder, who advanced to the Golden Gloves national championships the last two years, losing in the preliminary rounds.
At last year's event in Omaha, Neb., Yelder's defeat came on a controversial decision to the eventual champion.
Golden Gloves has a long tradition in Detroit boxing. The annual amateur showcase used to take place at the Michigan State Fairgrounds Coliseum before moving to other venues, including the Gibraltar Trade Center.
The event has seen a resurgence since returning to Detroit, Jaquillard said.
"We've been growing every year the last five years with more and more boxers," Jaquillard said. "So we're hoping to out-do last year like we've done in the past."
Thomas Magee's Second Annual Golden Gloves Fundraiser
When: 4 p.m.-midnight, Wednesday
Where: Thomas Magee's Sporting House, 1408 E. Fisher Service, Detroit
Notes: Former WBC welterweight champ Milton McCrory, current WBC middleweight titleholder Tony Harrison and WBC featherweight contender Erick DeLeon are among those expected to attend.