Zachary Sports for Aug. 13, 2015 _lowres

Photo provided by Tafari Beard -- Tafari Beard Jr., left, of Baton Rouge, and Marco Romero, of Kansas, pose before their bout in the 85-pound division for 9- to 10-year-olds at the 15th annual Ringside World Championships in Independence, Missouri. Beard Jr. lost in a split decision to Romero.

Four boxers from the Red Stick Boxing Club competed in the 15th annual Ringside World Championships in Independence, Missouri, on Aug. 3-8 at the Independence Events Center. The tournament featured 2,000 boxers from around the world competing in 62 divisions in six rings. A total of 262 champions were crowned. The team is coached by Zachary resident Tafari Beard.

The tournament for amateur boxers ages 8 and older attracted kids from most of the United States as well as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada, Great Britain and even Kazakhstan.

“Our results were a little disappointing. We didn’t do as well as we had hoped,” Beard said of the four Red Stick fighters who made the trip to Missouri along with his father, Orcini. “The kids competed really well, but we didn’t get the decisions. But we’re still young and we’re learning. We’ll be back next year.”

Leading the way for Red Stick was Treyvean Beard, who lost to Alan Garcia, of Ulysses, Kansas, in the championship match of the boys’ bantamweight class (96-101 pounds) for 11- and 12-year-olds.

“He fought well, but he didn’t get the decision,” Tafari Beard said.

Two Red Stick boxers earned third-place finishes at the prestigious tournament.

Tavorian Anderson finished third in the 9- and 10-year-old age group.

“He lost to an Arizona kid,” Beard said. “The kid ran us and mauled. We outboxed him, but we didn’t get the decision.”

Also finishing third was Tafari Beard Jr., who lost in a split decision in a rematch against Marco Romero, from Merriam, Kansas. The two had battled in the 85-pound division for 9- to 10-year-olds last month at the USA Boxing National Prep/Junior Olympic Tournament in Charleston, West Virginia. Beard Jr. is entering fifth grade at Copper Mill Elementary.

“Tough kid. They both fought a good fight; could have gone either way,” Tafari Beard said.

The other member of the team to make the trip was Michael Anderson, who lost in a preliminary round.

Beard said he wanted to take four more boxers he trains, but they had already started school, and for them, school is their top priority and missing classes is not an option.

Depending on upcoming school obligations, next up for the Red Stick boxers is the Governors Games on Aug. 21-23 in Lafayette. Also on the schedule are Paul Murphy Title Belts on Sept. 3-6 in Atlanta, the National Brown Gloves Tournament in Dallas in November, then the State Silver Gloves qualifier in Lafayette in December. There may be a few other matches around Louisiana in between.

“It’ll give the kids the national exposure they need, and we go and compete and compete to win,” said Beard, a detective with the Baton Rouge Police Department in the Financial Crimes unit. “They only compete in boxing because they don’t have much time for other sports. This requires such a commitment to training.

“But I stress to them the importance of doing their school work first and this is second. When the kids get involved with boxing, I tell them, ‘This might be the hardest thing you ever do in your life. But you’re going to love it.’ They see the other kids training and how dedicate to it they are. They want to be successful, too.”

Send sports news, photos and stats to Howard Arceneaux at harceneaux@theadvocate.com.