At odd, exalted moments of the night we are all champions of the world. The Golden Gloves, the world's largest and most celebrated amateur boxing tournament, is the tangible pursuit of this dream. Initiated in 1927 by the New York "Daily News," Golden Gloves competition is held each winter in 50 cities with more than 10,000 hopeful boxers taking part. For some, like Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson, the prize is more than a miniature golden glove adorned with a little diamond, a gaudy robe; it is a golden opportunity to show skill or savagery, to find acclaim and recognition. To these few it is the opening of the first door. For most, however, like the kids on the following pages, it is only a brief, tumultuous encounter with the hard knocks of reality, the poignant and abrupt death of a dream—and free carfare home.

The old face has been through it. The young face is learning how

Ambition sometimes outweighs the flesh. This incongruously thin boxer succumbs inevitably to more solid bone and muscle

Defeat slumps awkwardly in its corner of the ring, while sympathy in baggy trousers stands by, sad and admiring

All things seem possible in the glorious moment before the bell