Light welterweight Jack Simpkins of Lincolnville reached the semifinals of the New England Golden Gloves novice championships this week before falling by decision to Jose Maysonet of Hartford, Connecticut, at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Massachusetts.

“Maysonet had a little more experience than Jack,” said Simpkins’ trainer, Ken “Skeet” Wyman of Wyman’s Boxing Club in Stockton Springs. “Jack did a tremendous job though. He definitely belonged there, he just came up a little short.”

The 24-year-old Simpkins, a former wrestling standout at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport, qualified for the semifinals by winning the Northern New England Golden Gloves title earlier this month in the 141-pound division. Simpkins was named outstanding novice boxer of the night at that show.

Simpkins (2-2) is expected to compete again on an amateur boxing card in April in Lewiston.

PBC’s Morales falls in Golden Gloves final

Gabriel “Tito” Morales of Portland’s bid to qualify for the national Golden Gloves championships in Salt Lake City, Utah, in May came up just short Thursday evening.

The Deering High School junior and Portland Boxing Club prospect dropped a unanimous decision to Jacob Marrero of Bridgeport, Connecticut, in the finals of the 70th annual New England Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions held at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.

Morales qualified for the New England men’s open 123-pound final two weeks earlier with a unanimous decision over Jonathan Perez of Lowell, Massachusetts.

Morales, who moved up to the open division for the New England championships, won the New England novice featherweight title in his first Golden Gloves event earlier this winter. He was presented Thursday night with the Luis Ayala Memorial Award as the region’s outstanding novice boxer regardless of weight class.

NEF sets two April bouts

Two boxing matches have been announced for New England Fights’ NEF 22 boxing and mixed martial arts show on April 23 in Lewiston.

Brandon Berry (11-1, seven knockouts) of West Forks will face James Lester (10-9, four KOs) of Detroit, Michigan, in a six-round bout at 140 pounds.

Berry has won three straight fights but will be returning to the junior welterweight ranks after fighting recently in heavier weight classes.

Lester, a product of Detroit’s world-famous Kronk Gym, returned to the ring in 2015 after a three-year absence but has lost his last two bouts, including a unanimous decision to undefeated Dimash Niyazov on Feb. 6 in Detroit.

Also scheduled is a four-round light heavyweight clash between Crowsneck Boutin (0-0-1) and Brandon Montella (3-2, four knockouts).

Boutin, a NEF MMA fixture since 2012 now based in Portland, battled Joel Bishop to a draw in his pro boxing debut at NEF 21 on Feb. 6 in Lewiston.

Montella, a 1998 graduate of Carrabec High School in North Anson, owns and operates a boxing gym in Woburn, Massachusetts. He went 14-7 as an amateur before turning professional in 2015 and was a 2012 New England Golden Gloves champion.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...