Finding a fight hasn’t been easy for amateur boxer A’Nyah Wray.
“My last fight was in November 2016 — the fight didn’t go well for me,” said Wray, 14, of North York Borough. “I was prepared but I wasn’t prepared.”
Wray traveled to Florida for that fight, but has been unable to secure another since then.
“I've had a lot of female boxers on all levels; it's always been tough,” said Wray’s Level IV Certified Coach Barry Stumpf, of Finefrock & Stumpf Golden Gloves Center in Lancaster.
Stumpf, organized the Frank Cariello's 2018 Pennsylvania Golden Gloves Tournament which took place Saturday, March 3, at Lancaster Catholic High School in Lancaster.
Wray would finally find a fight.
It would be her fourth, and a first for her opponent, Genesis Orbe DeJesus, 15, of Reading. With the two being the only females competing in the event, but not in the same weight class, the pair was allowed to box but the fight was considered a 'bout match.' The fight is still considered sanctioned, but did not qualify as a championship fight.
Wray would end up with the unanimous decision victory in the match which consisted of three two-minute rounds, giving her a record of 3-1. Stumpf says Wray has trained very hard and Wray felt she was ready for a fight coming into the bout.
“I feel like I have more strengths going into this fight than my opponent does,” said Wray. “I know what the judges are looking for and also how to let my hands go and counter her punches.”
Wray noted afterwards she was pleased that the layoff between fights didn't hinder her performance Saturday.
“I feel like I really put in my all,” said Wray following the fight, noting that Orbe DeJesus did well also. “We traded punches. It felt good. It was a good fight because I haven’t fought in a year and a half. To be honest, I didn’t expect to win tonight, but I’m glad I did.”
The Central York High School freshman would also win the 2018 Outstanding Boxer award in the fight of the night.
“My biggest motivator is my mom hands down,” said Wray earlier in the day. "… she’s the one that brought me this far with this sport.”