Montauk Fighter Begins With a Win

He’s looking forward to the Golden Gloves
Richie Daunt will be pulling for Luis Mancilla at the Pure Breed tournament in the Bronx Saturday. Jack Graves

    On the eve of his first-ever boxing bout, Richie Daunt, 23, a 141-pounder from Montauk, said during a conversation at The Star last week that he was both excited and nervous, “though not too nervous . . . actually, I can’t wait,” the well-tattooed fighter said with a broad smile.

    The waiting came to an end in a three-round bout at the Pure Breed tournament in the Bronx Friday night, and the result was what Daunt, who has been sparring in the past few years with the Mancilla brothers of Springs, Luis and Juan, had hoped for — a unanimous decision.

    When he took his gloves off, though, he and his trainers saw that his right thumb “was a little disfigured.” The break (there was ligament damage too) prompted him not to fight a second-round match on Saturday.

    A win at the Pure Breed tourney, in which Luis Mancilla, a 2011 Golden Gloves finalist, is to contend Saturday, at 132 pounds, would have enabled Daunt to move up from the novice to the open division, and thus serve as a stepping stone to a pro career.

    “Absolutely, I plan to fight in the Golden Gloves,” Daunt said in reply to a question Monday morning. “It’s about a month from now. By that time the thumb should be healed.”

    At the moment, then, the undaunted fighter, who has cooked at Montauk and Amagansett restaurants since his early teens, is undefeated.

    Recently, he said during the conversation at The Star, he had given the Meeting House restaurant two weeks’ notice so that he could train full time. The 70-hour workweeks of summer and the beer-drinking that accompanied them had left him out of shape, he said. Consequently, he had to lose 21 pounds, which he did thanks largely to a diet of vegetables, lean meat, “and a lot of fish — it’s good I live in Montauk.” Oh yes, and no beer.

    Daunt will be pulling for Luis Mancilla tomorrow. “He and Juan were the ones who got me interested in boxing, when we all were at East Hampton High School. . . . Luis is a very good fighter for his class. He has fast hands and hits with power. He knows how to move — he bobs and weaves very well. Juan, who’s in Mexico City now, training with Juan Manuel Marquez, is more of a power puncher. He can move too, but he’s in a bigger weight class [152] where they slug it out.”

    “I thought he got robbed in the final,” Daunt said of Luis Mancilla’s 2011 Golden Gloves loss. “Louie has 15 fights now. When we spar and he hits me I don’t know whether to throw up or shit!”

    There were “a lot fewer fighters in the open division,” Daunt continued, “so Louie could well go up against somebody with 100 fights — anyone who doesn’t want to turn pro.”

    As for the tattoos, one says, “Keep your head up — God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.”

    Another says, “God, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

    And yet another: “Live like there’s no tomorrow.”

    Which Richie Daunt seems to be doing.