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BENGAL BOUTS: One step closer

Thomas Barr and Kevin Brennan | Thursday, March 17, 2005

The punches flew and the sweat dripped from the faces of the 44 boxers at the Joyce Center Wednesday, but at the end of the day only two fighters remained in each of the Bengal Bouts’ 11 weight classes.126 poundsSophomore Peter Sarpong sported gold trunks and represented Toms River, N.J. to start off the semi-final round with a decisive victory over David “Whistler” Rowinski. Sarpong knocked down his opponent at the end of the first round and dealt him a standing eight-count in the second to win the contest unanimously. Sarpong will face Daniel “Too Short” Gallegos in the featherweight finals this Saturday. Gallegos, a law student, won a unanimous decision against Morrissey freshman Steve Buchanan.130 poundsJon “Tejano Terror” Valenzuela defeated law student Dmytro “Fun Size” Aponte. The fight had to be stopped with 20 seconds left in the second round. Valenzuela will face Thomas “Quick Mic” Goldrick in the finals. Goldrick, a sophomore out of Chicago, won in a unanimous decision which included two standing eight-counts for his opponent, senior Michael “A Reading from the Book of the Prophet” Feduska.140 poundsIn a showdown between a couple of Pennsylvanians, junior Mike McCann Pittsburgh took the bout in a unanimous decision over Erie’s Andrew McGill. McGill seemed to come alive in the final round, but it proved to be too little too late against McCann’s unrelenting effort. McGill earned the right to face Michael “My Real Name is Meri” Hennig in the finals.Hennig, a sophomore from O’Neill, defeated Dillon junior Will “The Thrill” Bezouska. Bezouska did not back down in the face of Hennig’s aggressive style, but judges unanimously voted in favor of his opponent.150 poundsThe welterweight division semifinal boasted some of the more closely contested fights of the evening. Nate “The Bonzai Kitten” Lohmeyer, an off-campus senior, defeated Keough sophomore Clayton “The Texas Tickler” Lougee in a unanimous decision. The fight was more even than it may appear on paper, despite Lougee’s second-round standing eight-count. Lohmeyer will face off in the final against off-campus senior Tim Huml.Huml defeated Keough sophomore Jordan Runge in a close split decision. Huml broke what looked to be a deadlock with a third-round flurry.155 poundsThe super welterweight semifinals featured some close fights.Mike Panzica, an off-campus senior from Ohio, defeated off-campus MBA student Brian Weldon in a split decision. Panzica was able to secure a victory despite suffering a bloody nose from one of his opponent’s big head shots. Panzica will face Galen “Q.D.E.P.” Loughrey for the 155-pound championship. Loughrey, a Dillon Hall senior, persevered in what looked to be the closest of the non-split decisions against Chris Calderone. Both fighters were aggressive and traded fierce jabs and body shots for most of the fight, which the judges awarded unanimously to Loughrey.160 poundsIn the first semi-final match of the 160-pound weight division, top-seeded Mark “Turn the Other Cheek” Basola showed little mercy for his opponent Adam “Steel Ghost” Burns. Basola withstood a third round rally from Burns to secure a unanimously decided victory. The junior will take on Bobby “The Polish Pistol” Gorynski in the finals at the Joyce Center arena on Saturday night. Gorynski came out firing against Morrissey junior Daniel Liem. Liem’s quick feet could not save him from Gorynski’s powerful right hand, and the judges ruled unanimously in favor of the Polish Pistol165 poundsMark “Rambo” Desplinter outlasted Patrick “No Tomorrow” McMorrow in the opening match of the 165-pound weight class. McMorrow, remaining true to his nickname, was not short on intensity and effort but could not handle the superior mechanics or reach advantage of the top-seeded Desplinter.Desplinter moves on to face Brian “Honey Boy” Nicholson in Saturday’s final room. Nicholson won in a split decision over Colin Kerrigan. Kerrigan struggled against Nicholson’s long left jabs and right hooks.170 poundsThe fight between Justin “The Fleece” Alanis and Brad “Ba Ba Black Sheep” Wanchulak looked at times like a wrestling match with some punches sprinkled in. Wanchulak, an extremely aggressive southpaw, tirelessly went after Alanis, leading to numerous tie-ups. In the third round, however, Alanis knocked down his more unorthodox opponent to ensure a unanimous decision. Alanis will be pitted against Dan “Pound Town” Ward in the finals. Ward defeated Andrew “Down Goes Frazier” Breslin in a competitive split decision that many spectators seemed to question. Breslin, whose first two matches were both called by the referee in the first round, tried to get inside the taller Ward, get some punches in, and get his hands up to defend his face. The strategy seemed to be working as Ward received an eight count from the referee in each of the first two rounds, but the momentum shifted in the third and the judges ruled for Ward.180 poundsIn the Light Heavyweight division, Jim Christoforetti beat Jeff Golen on a unanimous decision. Christoforetti used a combination of quick left jabs and strong right hooks to keep Golen off balance for most of the fight. Golen responded with a strong third round, but it was not enough to take down the top seed. Christoforetti will meet Doug “Six Months in the Hospital or Sudden Death” Bartels in Saturday’s championship round. Bartels dominated Dana Collins from the opening bell, knocking him to the canvas in the fight’s first minute. 22 seconds into the second round, Bartels downed Collins once again, forcing the referee to call the fight. 200 poundsJohnny “Blaze” Griffin picked up right where he left off. The artist formerly known as “Smooth Chocolate,” last year’s champ, had a bye to his semifinal match with Chris “Young One” Adams. Griffin wasted no time getting reacquainted with the ring. His dynamic combination of speed and strength led to a bout-ending knockdown one minute and eight seconds into the second round. Griffin will take on former captain William Zizic in the finals. Zizic defeated Chris Cavanaugh on a unanimous decision in a very well fought match. Zizic’s effective combination of alternating hooks to the body and head neutralized Cavanaugh’s reach advantage. The first and third rounds were extremely close, but Zizic dominated the second, knocking Cavanaugh down with a left jab to the face. Heavyweight The first semifinal match in the heavyweight division did not last very long. Matt Hasbrook, a former football walk-on, set the tone immediately with a barrage of crushing right hooks. The taller, thinner John “You Can’t Beat Around This” Bush had no answer for Hasbrook’s power. The referee called the fight after just one minute and six seconds had elapsed.Hasbrook’s opponent in Saturday’s championship will be Nathan Schroeder. Schroeder defeated Kevin Phipps in the final round of the final match of the night. The first two rounds were fought evenly. Schroeder dominated the third, however, as the worn-out Phipps struggled to counter his opponent’s technique and quickness.