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Valenzuela moves closer to defending title

Luke Busam | Thursday, March 4, 2004

Jon Valenzuela will advance to his second Bengal Bouts final after taking a close split-decision win over senior Pedro Alves in the 135-pounds weight class. Alves came out strong in round one attacking the experienced junior, but it was Valenzuela who connected first after a quick slip. Alves continued to initiate contact, but Valenzuela successfully slipped under his lead left and connected to score. Valenzuela tested his right hook a number of times in the second and as the round ending he was beginning to find success with it. Alves look strong at the start of round three and dominated the early exchanges. Valenzuela was able to get inside and score important body shots as Alves covered.Michael Schmitt fought well and earned his place in the finals against Jon Valenzuela by coming out on top in a called match against left-handed Larry Hofman. Early in round one, Hofman dominated and landed two scoring lefts. Hofman was effective in using his jab to set up his strong left, but Schmitt refused to relent and fought hard throughout the round. Schmitt came out quick after the bell to start round two and initiated a big exchange. Hofman began taking some harder shots and Schmitt kept them coming, throwing three or four punches to every one of Hofman’s.In round three, Schmitt still dominated the punch count and contacted well early in the round. A standing eight-count was given midway thru the third after Hofman took a rough shot to the head. After the short break, Schmitt continued to dominate. Shortly thereafter a second eight-count was given to Hofman prompting the referee to stop the contest [RSC] with 29 seconds left to go in the third round.Hofman fought well, but the late blows and sheer number of punches thrown by Schmitt caught up with him and ended the contest.

145 poundsLuke Dillon’s powerful right hooks overcame the straight, accurate jabs of Mark Pfizenmayer in the first bout of the 145-pound weight class. Pfizenmayer initiated contact well, but Dillon replied every time, often finishing with devastating right hooks.Dillon’s hooks continued to find their target throughout the round. Pfizenmayer was not deterred, however, and his punches remained straight and consistent throughout the well-fought first round.Early in round two, Pfizenmayer took over for a bit, throwing more and avoiding Dillon’s hook. Although Dillon’s defense was strong throughout the round, Pfizenmayer was able to contact more than leather several times.Despite a high contact exchange to start the third, neither boxer appeared the least bit tired in the final round. Though gloves contacted only gloves in early exchanges, Dillon’s right came alive again late in the third, prompting a clinch by Pfizenmayer. Both were scoring well and taking hard shots as the match ended. In a tremendous fight with many high quality blows, both boxers proved they were worthy of the semifinals and more. Dillon won in a split decision and the finals await him on St. Patrick’s Day. Senior Paul Robinson secured his first appearance in the Bengal Bout finals by winning a called fight against sophomore Todd Strobel. Robinson left the corner fast and closed in on Strobel hard to start the match. Following a clinch, Strobel began to work his jab well and a strong six-punch combo put Robinson on the ropes. Robinson came off the ropes well, replying right away with a large combo of his own, earning him an eight-count on Strobel. Strobel didn’t seem phased by the stop and came out well after the eight-count.In round two, Robinson dominated early, forcing Strobel to the corner and landing often. Robinson’s jabs came in hard and he worked the body well as Strobel tried to clinch. Late in the second, Strobel’s jab worked effectively, ending a clean, technical round of boxing.Robinson came out strong again in the third round with a huge combo to start the round, which left Strobel hunched over. The fight was called 18 seconds into the final round with Robinson the victor. 150 poundsT.J. D’Agostino is making his second trip to the finals after beating freshman Jordan Runge. Any butterflies Runge had were quickly dismissed by his first attack on D’Agostino. His first round in the semifinals was superb. Runge threw often and accurately in the first round as D’Agostino struggled to find his groove. Runge scored well as he aggressively brought the match to D’Agostino.D’Agostino threw significantly more punches in round two and he worked the high-low combination well. Runge’s hands began to drop as the round continued, and D’Agostino’s punches found little inhibiting defense. D’Agostino forced a standing eight-count on Runge with 1:15 in the round.In round three, D’Agostino used his high-low combos again while Runge stuck with an upstairs one-two.Another standing eight was counted on Runge at one minute into the final round. Runge’s defense held up through the final 30 seconds despite D’Agostino’s numerous punch combos.D’Agostino’s slow start was no indication of the later rounds. Though both boxers fighters looked great, the lone freshman in tonight’s semifinals was unable to overcome the veteran.D’Agostino won in a unanimous decision. Left-handed Jon Pribaz overcame junior captain Galen Loughrey in the second bout of the 150-pound division. Both boxers moved well and picked their punches and combos carefully in round one. Pribaz initiated in most exchanges, but Loughrey didn’t seem thrown off the by the lefty at all. It was an even round dominated by defense, which was expected from the two veterans.Early in round two, Pribaz had a number of good scores. Punches were coming straight and hard from both boxers, but superior defense prevailed again in the second. Both boxers found only leather or air with attacks.In round three, even, hard and on-target punches found only protective gloves. Loughrey went to body well in the final round and found success there. The last 30 seconds saw an increase in punch count from both fighters. Pribaz kept his attacks coming, and though many found only Loughrey’s protective hand, enough punches snuck through to earn him the unanimous decision win in the evenly matched bout.