2016 PJR Main Event


Danny Vaz da Costa of FLO Boxing started 2016 with a bang: a win by unanimous decision over an explosive, experienced fighter in Paris Williams of Sam Colonna Boxing.

The 132-lb, open division bout took place on Feb 5th at the Patrick J Ryan Main Event in Oakbrook, IL. This was a nicer-than-average venue that included a large, carpeted backstage area for the boxers to eat, relax and warm up before the fights. Mr. Williams quietly entertained us dancing between the tables while listening to tunes on some flashy headphones. That put a smile on my face as I recalled the time he celebrated a win in the 2014 Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament by doing the splits in the ring. Paris is funny.

He and Danny sparred a couple of times in 2014 and were actually supposed to fight each other in this event exactly one year ago. For some reason known only to the matchmaker, they ended up matched with other guys instead. They remained friendly but have not sparred again, since they were likely to fight each other in the future. That day arrived as they prepared for the 2016 Golden Gloves. The stakes were high, and any trace of levity was gone from their faces when the fighters got in the ring. It was on.

Paris won round one. He is a strong guy, and Danny did not want to risk getting caught early. In the second round Danny stayed outside and scored with lead rights and stiff jabs through the guard, as seen in the picture above. In the last round Danny was able to unleash multiple-punch combinations to the head and body that went mostly unanswered by his clearly frustrated opponent. All judges scored the bout 29-28.

Danny’s close friends and training partners Evan Perreault and Raz Gavriluti, pictured to his left below, also won their bouts at 141 and 151 lbs, respectively. Besides working with their own coaches, the trio has been doing special hill-repeat workouts under trainer Miguel “Rico” Gonzalez every Sunday, regardless of weather conditions. Their wins this weekend demonstrate that, as Danny said the other day, “hard work pays off!”

Well done, guys. You make me proud.