The Golden Gloves began in 1928 in Chicago, Illinois before expanding to New York City, New York. Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield, and Mike Tyson have all been Golden Gloves champions over the years. The Mid-South Golden Gloves has been one of the organizations franchises since the earliest days of the Golden Gloves. It consists of boxing teams brought in from Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The Mid-South Golden Gloves became a franchise around 1934 in Memphis, Tennessee, and was sponsored by the local newspaper there. This was during the time when 8 regions between New York and Chicago boxed off annually to determine the final winner in each weight division between state territories. In 1964 the
national organization became known as 'Golden Gloves of America' and expanded to 32 franchises (Including the existing Mid-South Golden Gloves) that boxed off annually in a week-long national tournament to determine their national champion.
The Mid-South Golden Gloves was hosted in Memphis, Tennessee from 1934 until 1969. It was then moved to Jackson, Tennessee where it was hosted from 1970-1989. It was then moved to North Little Rock, Arkansas where it has been hosted since 1990 to the present day.
The Mid-South Golden Gloves franchise has produced several national Golden Gloves champions, a few members of the Olympic boxing team, and several future world professional boxing champions in its rich 86-year history. Recently, Jermain Taylor represented the Mid-South Golden Gloves from 1997 to 1999 and won two national Golden Gloves titles before winning an Olympic bronze medal in 2000, and then beating Bernard Hopkins in 2005 to capture the undisputed Middleweight championship of the world. Lastly, Caleb Plant represented the Mid-South Golden Gloves franchise in 2011 where he won a national Golden Gloves championship before becoming a 2012 Olympic boxing team alternate. Plant is now the current IBF Super-Middleweight champion heading for a showdown with Canelo Alvarez for the undisputed title in September.
Memphis Office of Youth Services and Pete Mitchell, who runs Restoration House Boxing Academy, worked together to bring Golden Gloves back to Memphis after 50+ years.