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Bouts champs are crowned

Joe Meixell | Monday, March 5, 2007

Sagar Navare took the first fight of the night Saturday in a split decision against Chris Izaguirre.

Both fighters fought the first round conservatively and although Navare was slightly more aggressive, neither landed many punches. The fighting opened up near the end of the round, when Izaguirre landed a few combinations. Izaguirre took over in the second round, three times landing a body-to-head combination that culminated in a left hook to Navare’s head.

The third round became much more intense – Navare landed two successive shots to Izaguirre’s head, and Izaguirre struck home with several solid hooks and crosses.

The two fighters fought last year in the quarterfinals, so Navare felt he had a better idea of how Izaguirre would attack.

“Last year, he’d let me come and then just wail on me,” Navare said. “This year I kept my distance, you know, ‘you come in first, see what happens.'”

132 lb.

Paul “Squints” Oddy def. Chris “Cougar” Cugliari

Although Oddy won the fight in a unanimous decision, neither fighter took a clear advantage in the first round. Both threw accurate punches and hit home with some of them.

In the second round, Oddy’s right hand helped him land some straight shots to Cugliari’s head. Oddy would wait until his opponent attacked and then counter-punch with his right. Cugliari came back in the third round, pressuring Oddy all over the ring, but Oddy ended the round in dramatic fashion, landing four straight hard rights to Cugliari’s head as the round expired.

140 lb.

Kris “El Azteca” Perez def. Christopher Hartstein

Perez’s power led him to a unanimous victory.

Perez put a lot of pressure on Hartstein, forcing him around the ring and using his exceptionally hard punches to keep Hartstein from accomplishing anything offensive.

The second round saw more of the same. Perez would capitalize on the opening every time Hartstein threw a punch.

Hartstein started landing some punches in the beginning of the third round, but by the end Perez’s power was too much for him. Perez was too quick defensively for Hartstein as well, bobbing his head and keeping Hartstein from getting a bead on him.

145 lb.

Lawrence “The Boston Massacre” Sullivan def. Mike “I’m On the Poster” Hennig

Sullivan won one of the most exciting fights of the night in a unanimous decision.

Hennig’s upper-body movement was very good in the first round, keeping Sullivan from landing many punches to the head. The fighters used the entire ring and moved quickly and often. Sullivan took advantage of Hennig’s lowered defenses at the end of the second round and was finally able to land some hard punches.

Both fighters were exhausted in the third round and struggling just to throw a punch, but Sullivan had more stamina. Both fighters wrapped up often, forcing most of the punches in the round to be thrown from close range.

Sullivan said conditioning played a large role in the match, and thought his training with the Marine ROTC aided him greatly.

“Running with the Marines every morning is good – it leaves you no choice but to get your road work in, which helps me,” Sullivan said. “[Hennig]’s in great shape. He was pushing the pace, and when he wasn’t, I was pushing the pace.”

150 lb.

Tommy “One Two Three” Forr def. Joseph “Thor’s Hammer” Leary

Forr’s superior height and reach were large factors in his victory by unanimous decision.

The first round of the fight displayed Forr’s size advantage. His height and reach kept Leary from landing many of his strong left hooks. The second round started quickly and fiercely and gave Forr a chance to pepper Leary’s body with his uppercuts. Forr’s power also kept Leary at a distance.

The third round again started fast but slowed, and neither fighter was able to pressure the other significantly.

155 lb.

Dan “You’re In the Lion’s Den Now” Rodgers def. Bret “The Mail Never Stops” Shapot

Rodgers’ size and hard right hook led the way in this win by unanimous decision. Rodgers put Shapot on the mat in the middle of the first round with a hard right, but Shapot bounced right back up, smiling, and the fight continued.

Rodgers had a slight height advantage over Shapot, meaning most of Shapot’s best punches were body shots. It also meant Rodgers landed more shots to the head. Shapot overcame this to land some strong lefts to Rodgers’ face in the second round.

Rodgers landed two successive hard rights to the side of Shapot’s head early in the third round. Later in the round, he would take complete control, landing numerous hard rights over Shapot’s lowered gloves. The referee stopped the fight and looked like he was going to call it, but at Shapot’s insistence, he let it continue.

Despite his insistence on going the distance, Shapot was unable to make up any ground on the score sheets.

Parfait Mwez def. Ryan “Seoul Man” Smith

Mwez won the split-decision bout that saw many changes in momentum and no domination by either fighter.

Mwez’s combinations were working well in the first round. Although Smith hit Mwez hard in the second round, Mwez’s jab became a larger factor and helped his combinations become even more effective. Smith continued to be aggressive, taking advantage when Mwez lowered his hands.

Smith came out hard in the third round and threw his hooks hard and often, striking Mwez with a good number of them. Mwez was exhausted at the end of the round and had trouble throwing a punch, but had done enough in the earlier rounds to convince the judges.

“The deciding factor of the fight was scoring a lot of points early and taking that first round,” Mwez said. “I feel like I was able to throw many high impact punches when both of us were fresh and as result I found myself in a position of maintaining the lead as opposed to playing catch-up.”

163 lb.

Chris Calderone def. Alex Duffy

Calderone, the more aggressive of the two fighters in this bout, threw enough jabs and power shots to Duffy’s body to give him the split-decision victory.

Calderone alternated between a right-handed and left-handed stance and was able to dodge most of Duffy’s power punches until the third round. Duffy mounted a charge late in the final round but Calderone had scored enough early to withstand the comeback.

“It was tough to win once and even tougher to win twice because everyone’s going after you,” said Calderone, a senior who was also a champion last year. “It’s just a great way to go out, knowing that I’ll probably never step into a ring like that again.”

165 lb.

Preston Carter def. Michael Smith

After Carter landed an array of hooks and straight power punches to Smith’s head, the referee was forced to stop the fight 1:15 into the third round.

Carter came out firing, landing several devastating combinations in the early rounds. Even after having his own nose bloodied in the second round, Carter did not relent, attacking his overmatched opponent’s face and body.

“It felt really good,” said Carter, who also garnered Best Boxer honors for the tournament.

“It was a good fight, so it was very satisfying to win.”

170 lb.

Steven Hansen def. Conor McLaughlin

Hansen set the tone for this fight soon after the opening bell as he trapped McLaughlin against the ropes several times and repeatedly pieced together overpowering combinations. The referee stopped the fight 1:57 into the second round after Hansen cornered his opponent and launched a series of technical punches to the head and body.

“It felt amazing to have all that hard work and training pay off and not have to go to a third round,” Hansen said.

175 lb.

Mike Lee def. Andrew Massari

Lee landed a monster one-two combination 1:48 into the final round, making it his third fight in a row that had to be stopped prematurely.

Massari had a reach advantage but was unable to keep his opponent away from his body throughout the bout. Lee used both hands effectively to land hooks and keep Massari off-balance. Lee appeared to tire in the third round but was still able to bloody his overmatched opponent before the fight was called.

180 lb.

Dan Ward def. Leo Rubinkowski

Dan Ward won a unanimous decision to take home his second title in three years.

In the first round, Ward, a senior captain, defended himself well against the taller Rubinkowski and countered most of the punches his opponent threw at him. As the fight went on, Ward remained in control and landed several long combinations on his way to victory.

Ward displayed good offensive technique in the decisive third round and was able to bloody Rubinkowski’s face.

“That’s a great way to cap off my Bengal Bouts career,” said Ward, who was the default champion as a sophomore and a split-decision loser in the finals last year.

“It’s an incredible feeling of personal fulfillment to win an actual championship bout.”

Heavyweight

Stu Stypula def. Pat Burns

Both fighters came out of their corners aggressively, and the two traded punches for much of the first two rounds. But the quicker Stypula was able to land more punches early on before completely overmatching his opponent in the third round.

Midway through the second, Stypula landed a long combination, paused and stepped back, then landed a straight left that sent Burns sprawling to the canvas. Stypula tried to put his opponent away soon after but Burns responded with a powerful combination of his own just before the bell sounded.

Stypula regained his composure and dispatched his opponent early in the final round, forcing the referee to stop the fight 34 seconds in.

Super Heavyweight

Tony Cunningham def. Pat McInerney

Cunningham gained the upper hand early and held on to earn the split-decision victory. Cunningham landed several combinations to McInerney’s body in the first round and used powerful right hooks to keep McInerney away from him as the fight wore on.

McInerney appeared to have more left in the tank during the third round, but Cunningham landed enough punches to bloody his opponent and get the win.