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Even though mixed martial arts has managed to capture the imagination of a generation of fight fans, Magruder’s Golden Gloves program still brings kids in, and the program is growing.

“We put a lot of resources in the junior program (ages 8-16),” he said. “The kids are there, as long as the opportunities are there for them, and we offer those opportunities. The amateur coaches are amazing, and recently the D.C. Department of Recreation has really stepped up.

“We’ve grown 30 to 35 percent over the last four or five years,” Magruder said. “It jumped 13 percent this year, and we’ve seen an increase each year, and we have had one of the largest turnouts in the Golden Gloves tournament. We have a great staff that helps create these opportunities.”

For those kids who win Saturday night, Golden Gloves will pay their expenses and help them with equipment to move on to the regional and national tournaments.

“People still love amateur boxing,” Magruder said. “They will come out and support it.”

They do because Bobby Magruder, who Sugar Ray Leonard called “the man” when he was an amateur fighter, is still in the ring fighting for amateur boxing.

Thom Loverro is co-host of “The Sports Fix,” noon to 2 p.m. daily on ESPN 980 radio and