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Bengal Bouts: Fighting commences in 80th year

Kevin Baldwin, Kaitlyn Murphy, Molly Sammon, Matt Robison, Chris Allen and Megan Finneran | Monday, February 15, 2010

After months of training and a few weeks of dedicated fundraising, nearly 200 — 186 to be precise — Notre Dame men fought in the preliminaries of the 2010 Bengal Bouts Saturday. The annual event raises tens of thousands of dollars for the Holy Cross Brothers Missions in Bangladesh. The prelims consisted of 93 fights split between two rings, and began at 1 p.m. Nearly eight hours later, the field was set for Tuesday’s quarterfinals.

173-pound Weight Division

Alex Kissinger def. Peter “Fists Don’t Lie” Mitchell
In the first round, Kissinger immediately got law student Mitchell against the ropes, showing him the menacing threat of his power punching ability. The second round looked like a repeat of the first as the senior chased Mitchell against the ropes again. Mitchell began to lose his poise and almost his balance towards the end of the second round. A right uppercut throw from Kissinger to start the third round clinched the victory, but Mitchell continued to fight despite his inability to keep up with his opponent. Kissinger won by unanimous decision.

Jose Aguirre def. Andrew “This Isn’t Where I Parked My Car” Mitsch

All it took was one round for Aguirre to acquire a victory. After dominating the beginning of the short first round, Aguirre ended it halfway through by knocking Mitsch completely out of the ring.

Kevin “The Night Man” Kray def. Tyler “Everyday I’m Husslin'” DeBoer
Kray held his ground against an extremely aggressive DeBoer to win a split decision in this battle of juniors. DeBoer came out throwing an array of punches, which Kray deftly dodged as few punches were landed. Kray kept his cool and landed a number of headshots that momentarily stopped the fight in the 3rd round, which propelled him to victory.

John Bollman def. Alexander “McGoats” Lewis
Bollman dominated all three rounds of the match, cornering Lewis multiple times. Despite ending the final round with a shot to the face from Lewis, Bollman easily took the match in a split vote.

Michael “Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner” Urciouli def. Paul “Iceman” Amiri
Urciouli’s energy from the opening bell enabled him to prevail over the younger Amiri in a unanimous decision. The junior Urciouli took control of the fight with a flurry of body shots in the first round and was able to slip away from the sophomore Amiri’s counter-attacks for most of the bout. By the third round, Amiri was too tired to mount a comeback and Urciouli coasted to the victory.

Jake Joe def. Zachary “The Southern Sledgehammer” Overbey
Joe and Overbey were full of energy as they began the first round, with both sides throwing a series of fast punches. The second round began with Joe coming out strong, proving his domination. The final round included plenty of action from both sides, and the match ended with a split decision in favor of Joe.

Connor “The Skellator” Skelly def. Andrew “Glass City” Roman
The very physical fight ended with the sophomore Skelly prevailing over the law student Roman in a split decision. Though Roman who was buoyed by one of the biggest cheering sections of the day, Skelly used his height advantage to keep him at bay. Skelly’s punches eventually took too much of a toll on Roman.

Matthew “Cool and Tough” Paletta def. Joseph “Colonel Klinker” Klinker
Both fighters held their own throughout the match. Nonetheless, Paletta dominated all three rounds, cornering Klinker on several occasions. Despite a series of strong punches from Klinker, Paletta won in a unanimous decision.

180-pound Weight Division

Mike Doran def. Leo “Kid Italy” Dipiero

Doran, the 2009 runner-up in the 175-pound division, prevailed in a unanimous decision over the upstart freshman Dipiero. Dipiero started the fight countering the favorite Doran punch for punch. However, as the fight wore on the junior consistently landed punches to Dipiero’s upper body and head. Doran’s endurance was evident as he dominated the final round.

David “Played and It Pleased the Lord” Fosselman def. Adam “The Flying Otter” Twardizik
The first round brought a quick advantage to Fosselman when he knocked down Twardizik twice, despite Twardizik’s height advantage. Twardizik came out fighting at the beginning of the second and his strong push continued throughout the second round, but Fosselman came back even stronger in the third, making the match a very competitive one. Fosselman’s successes of the first round paid off, and the judges decared him a unanimous winner.

Giacomo “Il Capo” Minafra def. Lorenzo “El Nino” Sanchez
In a fight that would have made any of his fellow Zahmbies proud, the sophomore Minafra rode an unrelenting and wild style to a unanimous victory over his fellow sophomore. Minafra’s lefty fighting stance seemed to throw Sanchez off, as he was unable to keep Minafra off the offensive for the entire fight.

Alex “Mac Attack” Macomber def. Brian “Polish Thunder” Kachmarck
Both sides came out swinging aggressively to begin the fight, and the first round ended without a clear advantage to either side, but the second round showed a change of pace when Macomber took over the ring. Despite a few bloody noses for Macomber, he managed to corner Kachmarck and make his mark. Macomber’s distinction lasted until the end, when he earned a unanimous decision.

Nicholas “It’s-a-ME-a” Ponzio def. Daniel “Danimal” Balcarel

This fight, between Bengal Bouts senior captain Ponzio and the freshman Balcarel, appeared to be a mismatch on paper. However, Balcarel kept the fight close and Ponzio escaped with a split decision victory. Balcarel wrapped up Ponzio a couple times after landing combos in the first round, which seemed to aggravate the captain. Ponzio then channeled his anger into a number of furious combos in close range, leading to a knockdown at the close of the fight.

Preston Bennett def. “Big” Ben Ferry
Ferry had the height advantage, but Bennett’s strength evened the playing field. The first round remained fairly neutral, with both fighters throwing punches. Bennett came out hard to begin the second round, but Ferry fought back. At the start of the third round, Bennett’s efforts finally paid off when his powerful punches knocked Ferry to the ground. From there, Bennett’s control was clear, and he won the match unanimously.

Brian “Half-man, Half-hair” O’Connor def. Matthew “Chew ‘em Up” Enzweiler
The junior O’Connor used a combination of elusive defense and strategic headshots to play on the freshman Enzweiler’s offensive style, as O’Connor took the unanimous decision. O’Connor’s consistent headshots appeared to take their toll, as by the end of the bout the freshman Enzweiler was visibly wobbly and unable to put together any decent combinations.

Dominic “Warsaw War Hammer” Golab def. Matthew “Matt” Losego
Both fighters came out quickly, but when things slowed down toward the end of the first round, Golab seemed to come out on top. Golab proved his superiority in the second round, knocking Losego off his feet. Losego came out of his fall looking for revenge, but was faced once again with Golab’s unyielding punches. Golab solidified his control in the third round with a series of hits right to Losego’s face, and ended the match with a unanimous win.

189-pound Weight Division

Bernardo “Blue” Garcia def. Matthew Reedy
The junior Garcia seemed to overpower the law student Reedy as the referee ended the fight five seconds into the 2nd round. Garcia strung together a number of resounding headshots and the fight was stopped a number of times in the first alone. Once the bell rang to start the second round, Garcia unleashed a furious combination, which spelled the end for Reedy.

Christopher “Stubs” Sarkis def. Reid “The Captain” Paape
Neither freshman showed a lack of experience, but Sarkis’s fierce tactics quickly revealed themselves. In the first round, Paape fought back, cornering Sarkis, but during the second round Sarkis showed no mercy, continuously connecting with Paape’s face and drawing blood. The match ended with a unanimous vote in favor of Sarkis.

Jim Hasson def. Joe “Boy Wonder” Garrity
Punches flew in this aggressive fight but the junior Hasson landed more en route to a unanimous victory over the sophomore Garrity.  Both fighters seemed to have good endurance and neither suffered any visible injuries but the decisive factor in the bout was that Hasson’s punches landed more often and more consistently.

John Zivalich def. Christopher “The Jersey Devil” LaCosta
LaCosta’s experience as a sophomore quickly became apparent with his fighting style, but freshman Zivalich never hesitated to fight back. LaCosta started the second round by cornering Zivalich, but he easily slipped away and used his height to stay in the match. The final round played out fairly evenly, with both fighters coming out ready. In the end it was the rookie Zivalich who came out on top by a split decision.

Patrick “The Paddy” Handy def. Pat “Samuel L.” Jackson
The freshman Handy defeated the senior Jackson in this entertaining and lively bout. Handy had trouble early landing punches against Jackson, who kept a stronger and more balanced stance. Ultimately, though, Handy’s power prevailed as a strong right hook knocked down Jackson and allowed Handy to land thunderous headshots as he continued to a split decision victory.

Timothy Wallace def. Eric “Boybert” Herbert
Wallace came out aggressively in the first round, knocking Herbert down early. From there, he only continued to power over the younger Herbert. Wallace continued his control until the end, especially showing through in the final round. Despite a good slew of punches from Herbert, Wallace won the match by a unanimous vote.

Adam “The Sultan of Swing” Zaabel def. Ryan “I Listen to the E-Trade Baby” Landsberg
The sophomore Zaabel, a lefty, dominated this fight against the senior Landsberg en route to a unanimous victory. Zaabel compensated for a disadvantage in height with quick hands that landed a flurry of punches throughout all three rounds. As a result, he wailed consistently on Landsberg’s upper body and head and the outcome was never in question.

William “The Italian Stallion” Straccia def. Jonathan Baker

The first round began with neither side having an advantage, but toward the end Straccia began to take control with a series of shots to Baker’s face, drawing blood and ending the round exhibiting a clear advantage. Baker ended the second round with a series of powerful shots, but Straccia refused to back down in the third round and continued his powerful streak into the end, when he won by a unanimous decision.

205-pound Weight Division

Francis “The Tank” Conway def. Rob “Jolly Green” Ray
In this battle of sophomores, Conway overcame a size disadvantage by simply overpowering the larger Ray. Ray maintained his poise and stayed in the fight the whole time but his wiry, tall frame had a tough time with “The Tank,” who punched him into submission en route to a unanimous decision.

Chistopher Orenchuk def. Matthew “The Heathen Hunter” Stolze
The fighters traded series of punches in the first round, but neither was able to grab control of the match. Orenchuk came out ready to fight in the second round, and despite the returned competition from Stolze, it became clear that Orenchuk was not going to leave without a win. Things slowed down in the third round, but Orenchuk’s intensity lasted long enough to give him the victory in a unanimous decision.

Jason Healy def. Joseph Tingey
The junior Healy physically dominated the overmatched MBA student Tingey en route to a technical knockout. Healy’s punches were so powerful and relentless that Tingey spent most of the fight in a defensive stance and could not mount much of an offensive attack. Ultimately, the fight became too one-sided and the referee decided to stop it early.

Brian “Caesar” Salat def. JP Foley
Freshman Salat came out instantly swinging relentlessly, using his height to overpower law student Foley the entire first and second round. Foley began the final round full of life, but Salat quickly regained control, taking the match in a unanimous vote.

Luke Scullion def. Pat “In the Hat” Behrens
In a bout that lasted just 30 seconds, Scullion, the gigantic MBA student from Britain, pounded the sophomore Behrens into oblivion. The audience could practically feel Scullion’s punches as he pummeled Behrens’ face, causing the referee to stop the fight quickly. Scullion used his enormous frame and long reach to protect his body as he mounted a one-sided offensive.

Jeff “Devil Dog” Hsu def. Alexander “Zero Fun Sir” Toombs
Within seconds of the bell, Hsu took control and maintained it throughout the match, swinging constantly as freshman Toombs tried to hold off the punches. The second round began just as the first had, as Hsu cornered Toombs time and time again. Toombs came into the final round stronger than the previous two, but his efforts fell short of the raw strength of Hsu. After three rounds of almost complete domination, Hsu was awarded a unanimous victory.

John “Papi” Tchoula def. “Mighty” Michael Diaz
The freshman Diaz had no answer for the technically impressive Tchoula, who held his ground and pounded Diaz with numerous headshots in what appeared to be an easy victory for the junior. Tchoula physically overpowered his inexperienced opponent in all three rounds and by round two he was content to defend himself and strategically land jarring headshots to Diaz as he coasted to the unanimous decision.

Heavyweight Division

Kyle “Chief” Roque def. Jeffrey “Broneill” O’Neill
Roque’s height advantage instantly proved to also be an overall advantage. A shot to O’Neill’s nose early in the first round ended the match with a victory for Roque.

Timothy “Silky Smooth” Latham def. Nolan “Keep On” Welsh
In a very close bout, the two heavyweights traded crushing blows for three rounds. Welsh used a bit of a size advantage to stay on the offensive, but ultimately the senior Latham used his experience and guile to land more punches and score the split decision victory by maintaining his poise on the defensive and landing strategic combinations.