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Bengal Bouts – Semifinals: Bell tolls

Lorenzo Reyes | Thursday, March 1, 2007

Chris Izaguirre started the 129 lb. semifinal round Wednesday by eliminating defending sophomore champion Matt Gelchion by split decision.

The first round was fairly even. Both fighters displayed very good defensive tactics, blocking punches with efficiency. Both boxers traded combinations, but defense dominated the round.

The second round was close as well with polished defensive fighting. Izaguirre, a senior from Zahm, was not intimidated by the former success of Gelchion, a Fisher resident, and the fight continued to be evenly matched as both fighters traded combinations.

Entering the final round in a dead heat, Izaguirre managed to avoid Gelchion’s blows and successfully landed several punches earning him valuable points to separate for the close victory.

Sagar Navare def. Will Marra

Navare, an off-campus senior, received a unanimous decision over Marra in an offensive showcase.

The first round started with crazy combinations being thrown by both fighters, as the beginning minutes became a slugfest. Marra, a junior from Zahm, was able to land some punches because of his height and longer reach.

The second round started with some more tactical boxing, as Navare landed several powerful hooks to go along with his jab.

Navare started the third round by landing some nice jab-hook combinations that kept Marra at bay. After several more exchanges, Marra’s corner needed to clear some blood dripping from the fighter’s nose. Navare proceeded to land more punches to the face as he punched his ticket to Saturday’s finals.

132 lb.

Paul Oddy def. Chris Lee

Off-campus senior Chris Lee fell short to Paul Oddy, a sophomore from Keenan who won unanimously.

The first round saw the fighters exhibit patience, but Oddy displayed superior technique, able to avoid many of Lee’s punches while landing several power punches. Oddy also showed great footwork while earning points from the judges early on.

The second round started with a wild exchange, with Lee landing the majority of punches. However, Oddy quickly countered with a forceful combination, causing a standing eight count.

Both boxers seemed to tire in the third round, as Oddy went to his jab to consistently land punches. In the end, Oddy’s consistent fighting and technique enabled him to advance.

Chris Cugliari def. Connor Cain

Cugliari earned himself a unanimous decision over Cain, an off-campus senior.

The first round showed both fighters display patience. Cugliari, a freshman from Dillon, defended Cain’s charges well with nice footwork and was able to land some early jabs.

Cugliari attempted to not only work Cain’s head in the second round, but targeted his body as well, landing several blows.

Cugliari continued his fine technique in the final round and landed some combinations. Cain, who fought back with a sense of urgency, was able to connect on several late punches, but it wasn’t enough.

140 lb.

Kris Perez def. Eric Feduska

Perez, a sophomore Manorite, became the next unanimous winner, dismissing Feduska.

In the first round, Perez was able to land some solid punches to the body and the head. Feduska, a sophomore from Siegfried, attempted to block many of Perez’s blows but failed early on. Feduska fought back strong and was able to recuperate some points with a strong surge to end the round.

The second round started with Perez trying to land some combinations. Perez’s quickness enabled him to retreat from Feduska’s punches and connect on some counter hooks.

Feduska came out firing in the third, but Perez managed to thwart the attack and land many of his own shots. Both fighters tried to knock their opponent out with some aggressive fighting. Perez worked his jab, until both boxers tired and could not muster much power behind their punches.

Chris Hartstein def. Michael Johnston

Hartstein, a freshman from Keough, entered the final round with a unanimous victory over Johnston.

The fight started slowly, until Hartstein was able to connect on a combination in the first. Johnston, a freshman from Dillon, responded later in the round and proceeded to land a series of powerful jabs and hooks. As the bell rang, Hartstein finished the round off with a nice one-two.

Johnston tried to gain ground on his opponent in the second frame with fancy footwork, but Hartstein quickly responded with powerful counterpunches. Hartstein landed a series of combinations to the head and the body to end the round.

In the final round, the Keough Roo relied on his quick combinations, but Johnston replied with his own barrage of punches. Both fighters displayed fatigue after a close round, but in the end, Hartstein was too much for Johnson.

145 lb.

Mike Hennig def. Matt Posluszny

Hennig will defend his title Saturday after beating Posluszny, a St. Ed’s sophomore, in a unanimous decision.

Posluszny started the first round firing, but Hennig, an off-campus senior, landed a fury of punches as his opponent tried to retreat from the attack. Hennig kept Posluszny off-balance, and the sophomore failed to put much behind his punches.

Round two started with Hennig ferociously charging toward his opponent, landing punches through Pozluszny’s defense. As the round slowed down, both fighters traded combinations.

Chants of “Mike” sounded from the crowd in the third round, and the boxer gave his entourage reason to cheer with several powerful combinations. He continued to be the aggressor of the match, but Posluszny did not back off, connecting on some of his jabs and straights to keep Hennig at bay. By the bell, though, Hennig was the clear winner.

Lawrence Sullivan def. Philip Hicks

Sullivan, an off-campus junior, held off Hicks’ late charge to win one of the night’s most entertaining fights.

Hicks, a junior from Dillon, couldn’t block Sullivan’s early combinations in the first, but he settled down to land some jabs and straights. Sullivan came back with a nice uppercut-jab combination to force a standing eight count.

Sullivan landed quality punches to start round two, but Hicks was able to capitalize on a momentary hole in his opponent’s defense and landed a combination of his own. Hicks blocked well and recuperated some points with efficient counterpunches starting from his jab.

Hicks continued to work his jab over Sullivan’s low hands in the final round. Behind a favorable crowd, Sullivan opened up blood from Hicks’ face.

150 lb.

Tommy Forr def. Alex Gonzalez

Forr, a senior from Morrissey, earned a spot in the final round with a unanimous decision over Gonzalez.

The first round started with both boxers trading punches well. Forr effectively used his height and reach to land his jab. However, Gonzalez fought back with a series of solid connections.

Forr continued to set up his combinations with his jab in the second round. Gonzalez’s blocking improved late in what was a close round.

In the final round Gonzalez continued to draw Forr to the ropes and land punches. Both fighters showed some fatigue, but continued to trade punches as the bell sounded. In the end, Forr’s consistent jab earned enough points for the victory.

Joey Leary def. Jesse Brawer

Both fighters tried desperately to fight their way into the finals, but the honor went to Leary, a sophomore from Dillon, who bested Brawer with a split decision victory.

The first rounded started with Leary landing some head shots through Brawer’s defense. The agile Leary also avoided Brawer’s throws. However, Brawer fought back strong with a surge of combinations to end the round.

Leary played successful defense in the second round, continuing to effectively block Brawer’s punches.

The final round started with Brawer beginning a series of punches in an attempt to score points with the judges. With chants of “Joey” behind him, Leary attempted to land his jab and then retreat to avoid any counterpunches, causing Brawer to waste some attempts. As a result, the judges gave Leary the decision.

155 lb.

Dan Rodgers def. Andrew McGill

In perhaps the biggest upset of the night, Rodgers knocked off senior captain and defending champion McGill in a split decision thriller.

In a patient and technical first round, McGill, an off-campus senior, was able to block well and then counter with a series of power hooks. Rodgers, a sophomore from Siegfried, blocked some of his opponent’s blows, but stayed on the defense throughout the round.

McGill continued his masterful footwork and head movement in the second round, thwarting Rodgers’ attack. McGill shook up Rodgers when he connected his powerful left hook. But Rodgers did not go quietly and landed a nice series of one-two’s stemming from his jab to end the round.

In the final frame, both fighters traded punches into protected defenses. As the crowd cheered to finish off the close fight, Rodgers and McGill each landed their share of punches.

The crowd stood stunned when the referee announced his decision in what was one of the better fights of the night.

Bret Shapot def. Mark Bond

Shapot followed up the drama by flying through Bond, a sophomore from Stanford, in a unanimous decision.

As both fighters traded a series of punches, they fought an even first round.

The second round started with a wild exchange by Bond, but Shapot landed a powerful jab that sent Bond into a standing eight count.

The final round began with Bond fighting desperately to gain points. However, the southpaw continued to land his jab. The round ended in a series of solid exchanges, eventually giving Shapot the nod.

160 lb.

Ryan Smith def. Joseph Meares

Smith, an off-campus senior, advanced to the finals with a split-decision over Meares in a close fight.

Round one saw both boxers patiently wait for weak spots in their opponent’s defense. Smith was the first to land a string of connections. Meares, a St. Ed’s freshman, also landed some combinations in what proved to be an evenly matched, technically sound round.

As the round two bell sounded, both fighters were back at their tactical styles. Meares seemed to be fighting defensively, while Smith aggressively pursued his opponent. Both continued to trade punches effectively.

Both boxers swung wildly in the last round. Smith used his height to land some punches and distance himself from Meares. The defensive strategy was dropped and both boxers traded solid punches. Meares formed a late charge, but could not overtake Smith.

Parfait Mwez def. Hunter Land

Mwez took a split decision from Land, a junior from O’Neill, to march on to the finals.

In round one Mwez, a Zahm senior, landed a series of combinations stemming from his effective jab. Land retreated around the canvas as he tried to avoid his opponent’s blows. Land connected on some counterpunches later in the round.

The second round saw Land connect with a high percentage of his body punches. However, Mwez fought back and harmed his opponent with his hook. Mwez then began to use his jab efficiently to land some head shots.

Both fighters had displayed solid defense until the final round, as some wild exchanges were shared. Both boxers traded punches and the close round came to an end. At the end of the fight, Mwez took the fight with a split-decision.

163 lb.

Chris Calderone def. Bryan Marek

Calderone, an off-campus senior, earned the close victory with a split-decision over Marek.

The first round began patiently, but quickly sped up when a wild exchange ensued. Calderone landed a series of jab-hook combinations, but Marek, a senior from Knott, counterpunched successfully.

Round two began with Marek on the offensive. Calderone was able to land his share of hooks, but Marek responded with his own series of combinations, including a vicious punch to the body.

The final round saw both fighters patiently seek an opening. Calderone was able to land some jabs and straights to the head, but Marek quickly worked the body. Several punches were traded to end the close match. In the end, Calderone advanced to the finals with the decision.

Alex Duffy def. Nazur Ahmed

The first round bells sounded the beginning of one of the most technically impressive fights of the night as Duffy, a sophomore from Dillon, earned his entry into the finals with a split decision win over Ahmed.

Round one began with both fighters patiently awaiting their opportunities to attack. Duffy based his attack off of his jab, which he consistently used throughout the match. Ahmed, a sophomore from Keough, displayed excellent footwork and blocking skills.

The second round continued in the same format as the first. Duffy went back to his jab and continuously landed several to Ahmed’s head. Toward the middle of the round, the fighters began to attempt more punches, and at one point, Ahmed tried to block Duffy’s arsenal of jabs against the ropes.

Both boxers had a legitimate shot at advancing until the final bell. With his masterful footwork and blocking, Duffy was able to land some solid jabs and a powerful hook against Ahmed. In the end, both fighters were bloodied, but Duffy’s persistent jab proved to be the difference maker on his way to the finals.