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Traverse City-Based Boxer Looks for Michigan Golden Gloves Title with Grandfather’s Guidance

Traverse City-- Traverse City-based boxer Zach Brayton, who boxes out of Significant Strikes, is looking to secure his spot as the Golden Gloves state champion, the same way his grandfather did fifty-three years ago.

Zach will be boxing for the novice amateur heavyweight under 203 title. Zach has competed in five boxing matches and boasts a perfect record. But he knows his next matches won’t come easy.

“I’m really hoping that we can stick to a game plan of staying tall and throwing long, straight, hard punches, and just kind of keeping them on the outside. I think this first one, if I can win Friday, I think that’ll be an easier fight definitely than Saturday, especially being back-to-back days, you can get pretty sore and things like that after the fight. But yeah, so I’m going to try and conserve some energy. And we’ll have two days of weigh-ins. So, I have to watch the weight too,” Zach said.


Luckily, he’ll have a former Golden Gloves state champion in his corner, his grandfather, Dave. After his regional title win, Dave was actually the one to present Zach with the belt.

“At five or six years old, he got me my first heavy bag, and a big, red pair of boxing gloves that I felt like I could barely swing at the bag. But that was kind of the first experience of boxing that I ever remember. And when I’m hitting the bag, and he’s holding it, like, keep your guard up, keep your hands up and stuff like that,” he remembered of his childhood with his grandfather.

The advice that his grandfather has given him throughout the years he’s taken to heart.

“Just a straight right down the pipe, he said was always the one who would clean people’s clocks, and I think that’s something I, obviously, being left-handed, it’s my straight left, but that’s something that I kind of took away with. And the first three fights were able to be TKOs. So that was kind of something I really listened to, and just a straight left down the pipe can change someone’s mind,” he said.


“He’s doing great, I’m so proud and yeah, you can tell he likes to do it and he trained so hard, and he’s learned a lot and it’s great,” the 1970 state title winner said.

Like his grandfather said, Zach has learned a lot through boxing.

“The ability to be able to push yourself to do better every day to not beat yourself up. But let someone else do that for you,” Zach said. “Decisiveness is very important. And also, just the ability to stay calm under pressure, because if you panic, bad things can happen. So yeah, those types of things are definitely something that sometimes getting a little hit in the shoulder or hit on the side of the head will teach you.”

With a potential state championship right around the corner, everything is starting to feel like a dream come true for Zach.


“It would be something I’ve kind of looked forward to and looked up to doing for I mean, really, at least 7-8 years. So, it’s been something that I’ve tried to go in on and then my I had a past trainer that fell through and then I tried to go in and in on it and it was 2020 and then try to so it’s like things tend to keep happening. And this is the first one I’ve been able to really work at a go for and train for long enough. So, it would be it’d be really cool. It’d be kind of a dream come true to an extent,” he said.

The Michigan Golden Gloves will start at 7 pm at West Catholic High School in Grand Rapids Friday and Saturday.

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