POUGHKEEPSIE – Emani Stackhouse and Noel Dancy are amateur boxers from Poughkeepsie High School who are making a difference in their community. Both fighters were competing against opponents from the Hudson Valley when APJ Boxing Club presented Halloween Boxing at Poughkeepsie High School on Oct. 28.
Kariym Patterson, owner of APJ Boxing Club in the Town of Poughkeepsie, said 700-plus people were expected to attend this event. “I’m extremely excited,” Patterson said of the event and the high school boxers. “These students, I’ve seen them personally train. They’ve worked super hard for this. For them to go in front of their hometown and fight, it takes a lot of guts. I commend them for doing this.”
Stackhouse, the youngest of seven children in her family, has done well in the Poughkeepsie school community, earning the Fred Hanlon leadership award in 2021 and staying on the top of her principal’s academic list for her entire freshman year. The 15-year-old sophomore also is a youth leader at Central Baptist Church and received the Youth of the Year award given by the Central Hudson Baptist Association.
This will be Stackhouse’s second amateur fight, and she’ll fight in the 132-pound weight class. “As soon as I found out I was fighting at the high school, I told my friends,” she said. “I told them to tell their parents. It’s my hometown. You should come to support me.”
Dancy started training after his aunt, Victoria Lodge, encouraged him to join Finish Strong Wellness Center in Poughkeepsie. The 17-year-old senior has given back to his community by volunteering at Warring Elementary School and serving as a youth mentor at Finish Strong’s afterschool program and summer camp.
Dancy, who is trained by wellness center founder and executive director Dennis Woodbine, is making his amateur boxing debut. “I’m really excited,” said Dancy, who will box in the 147-pound weight class.
“I just enjoy boxing. It’s taught me discipline and I like to exercise.”
Poughkeepsie High School sophomore Emani Stackhouse trains with boxer and trainer Mike Marchesona at APJ Boxing Club in the Town of Poughkeepsie.