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Bengal Bouts raises money for Bangladesh

Lisa Schultz | Monday, February 28, 2005

Members of the Notre Dame Boxing Club have been training for weeks in preparation for the Bengal Bouts, a boxing tournament celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. All boxers have been training at least two hours a day five to six days a week for the past seven weeks. “I just figured it’d be something to keep me in shape, and it’s something I wanted to try,” said Zahm freshman Sean Wieland. Preliminary rounds begin today at 6 p.m. in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse. The tournament culminates with the finals on Mar. 19.The original boxing club began in 1920s under guidance of former football coach Knute Rockne. Bengal Bouts, founded by coach Dominic “Nappy” Napolitano, got its name when the club began fundraising for the mission work of the Holy Cross priests, brothers and sisters in Bangladesh. Napolitano once said, “Strong bodies fight, that weak bodies may be nourished.” This has become the motto of Notre Dame boxing. “It’s cool to be a part of something bigger than yourself,” said Wieland. All profits from the Bengal Bouts are donated to the Holy Cross Missions for the missionary work in Bangladesh. Besides tickets sales, money is raised through program advertising, program sales, T-shirt sales and donations. A general admission pass for all days is $10.Father Basil Moreau, CSC, began missionary work in Bangladesh in 1853 at the request of Pope Pius IX. Now the Holy Cross missionaries are responsible for many projects including school construction and maintenance of wells and other sanitary facilities. The hallmark of the Bangladesh missions is education programs. Missionaries build village schools and provide education for catechists and village teachers in a predominantly Muslim state.Returning boxing alumni have a series of scheduled events for the finals weekend. A welcome reception in the stadium press box kicks off the weekend on March 18. On Saturday, a boxing room open house, mass in the JACC auxiliary gym, cocktails in the JACC concourse and a banquet in the JACC monogram room all lead up to the final rounds starting at 8 p.m.