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Baraka Bouts: Women duke it out for charity

Joe Meixell | Friday, December 7, 2007

Forty-four women fought Thursday night in front of a packed auxiliary gymnasium in the Joyce Center to raise money for eastern African schools in the annual Baraka Bouts.

“These girls have come a long way,” Baraka Bouts president Whitney Endsley said.

Laura “Lil’ Laura” Okonokhua def. Sarah “Make it Rain” Layne

In the opening fight, sophomore Laura “Lil’ Laura” Okonokhua took it to junior Sarah “Make it Rain” Layne in a unanimous decision.

From the opening bell, it was obvious that the two fighters had very different strategies in mind. Layne employed mostly jabs and body shots, though she did land a few critical blows to the head. Okonokhua, on the other hand, seemed to be only aiming for Layne’s head. This paid dividends as early in the second round the fight had to be stopped because Layne’s nose began to bleed.

Toward the end of the second round, after suffering numerous hooks to the head, Layne took an eight count from the referee before continuing the fight. After the restart, the fight continued its previous pattern, with Okonokhua landing blow after blow to the head until the judges ruled unanimously in her favor.

Anna Dwyer def. Jackie “The Black Knight” Sheridan

Freshman Anna Dwyer won the second fight of the evening, defeating junior Jackie “The Black Knight” Sheridan by unanimous decision.

Sheridan came out in the first round employing a combination of quick jabs and sweeping hooks. But Dwyer went entirely on the offensive, landing several hard shots to the head.

After a fairly even first round, Sheridan entered the second round with a change of strategy, peppering Dwyer with a flurry of punches very early in the round. Dwyer took advantage of Sheridan’s lack of defense by continuing to unload hooks to her opponent’s head. Sheridan’s nose started bleeding just a few seconds before the end of the second round.

About a minute into the third round, Sheridan knocked Dwyer to the floor, and looked to be making a late rally. After a brief restart, however, Dwyer found a second wind and hit Sheridan with several blows to the head, securing her unanimous victory.

Jenna “The Hebrew Hammer” Zigman def. Lauren “The Polacca Punishment” Kopsky

In the third round, junior Lauren “The Polacca Punishment” Kopsky took too many punches early and fell to a junior from Walsh Hall, Jenna “The Hebrew Hammer” Zigman in a unanimous decision.

Sarah “This Is My First Time” Burch def. Keaton “The Beast” Van Beveran

It may have been her first bout, but Clearwater, Kansas’s junior Sarah “This is My First Time” Burch fought her way to a win over Pasquerilla West’s Keaton “The Beast” Van Beveran. Burch showed the moxie of a veteran, taking punches and responding with a flurry of her own.

Alyssa “Fists of Fury” Hartsell def. Maeve “The Mauler” Maher

Freshman Alyssa “Fists of Fury” Hartsell defeated freshman Maeve “The Mauler” Maher also by unanimous decision. Both fighters were freshmen fighting in their first career bout, but that didn’t hurt their enthusiasm as both were aggressive right from the beginning. Hartsell began landing punches late and came away with the victory.

Sara “Awesome” Fossum def. Sarah “The Mean Cuss from the C-Bus” Angle

Sophomore Sara “Awesome” Fossum proved she didn’t need an “h” in her name to take down freshman Sarah “The Mean Cuss from the C-bus” Angle. Angle put up a keen fight, but she couldn’t stand up to the older fighter.

Whitney “Double Fistin” Endsley def. Kyle “R.I.P.” Rocca

Endsley, a senior from Kohler, Wisc., took a break from her president’s duties to take down Kyle “R.I.P.” Rocca. Fighting under the nickname “Double Fistin,” Endsley showed the poise and precision of a veteran in defeating her opponent.

Jen “Heartbreaker” Leong def. Catherine Crawford

In a battle of two seniors, senior Jen “Heartbreaker” Leong beat senior Catherine Crawford. Both fighter showed good discipline and deflected blows, showing their experience in the ring.

Ezinne “The Nigerian Nightmare” Ndukwe def. Jackie “Ace” Spengler

In one of the closest fights of the night, sophomore Ezinne “The Nigerian Nightmare” Ndukwe took down sophomore Jackie “Ace” Spengler. The two traded blows for most of the contest before Ndukwe finally won in a split decision.

Ndukwe is the sister of former Notre Dame and current Cincinnati Bengals safety Chinedum Ndukwe.

Tarah “The Tarah-rizer” Brown def. Colleen “The Taste You Trust” McCormick

In another battle of seniors, senior Tarah “The Tarah-rizer” Brown defeated senior Colleen “The Taste You Trust” McCormick. As with the other all-senior fights, this one featured good fundamentals and a close battle. In the end, however, Brown came out on top.

Carolyn Hersh def. Maureen “The Machine” Sefton

Sophomore Carolyn Hersh didn’t need a nickname to take down senior Maureen “The Machine” Sefton with a combination of solid technique and well-timed blows. Sefton retaliated with flurries of her own, but when it came time for the judges decision, Hersh was declared the winner.

Kelly “Real Deal” Davin def. Meghan “I’d hit that” Silentz

Freshman Kelly “Real Deal” Davin hits hard – so hard in fact that her fight with Meghan “I’d hit that” Silentz had to be stopped early with a technical knockout victory for Davin.

Dee “Stroyer” Gulis def. Casey “Queso” Carney

Sophomore Casey “Queso” Carney didn’t have quite enough cheese to beat sophomore Dee “Stroyer” Gulis.

Gulis landed thunderous blows and while Carney stood up to them, she was unable to retaliate enough to stave off defeat.

Emily “Rocky” Rickert def. Kia “The Hurt” Johnson

Sophomore Emily “Rocky” Rickert not only went the distance against sophomore Kia “The Hurt” Johnson, she came away with the victory. Rickert used solid technique to finish off Johnson.

Emily “Hard Hitting” Harig def. Amy “The Attacker” Libardi

Sophomore Emily “Hard Hitting” Harig lived up to her nickname in taking down freshman Amy “The Attacker” Libardi, landing several huge punches and coming away with the victory.