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Baraka Bouts: Freshman Carmack among winning fighters Sunday

Jack���Yusko, Adam���Llorens, Jack���Hefferon and Kelsey���Manning | Tuesday, November 23, 2010

In one of the few unanimous decisions of the night, freshman Anna Carmack defeated Rebecca Buczkowski, a junior, in an all-out slugfest. Carmack and Buczkowski forsook defense in exchange for punishing offense. These two tough-as-nails fighters ignored personal pain and focused solely on dishing out damage to the other boxer.

Carmack packed one of the most powerful jabs seen throughout the night, catching her opponent off guard. Buczkowski used a variety of body shots and blows to the head, but Carmack’s unstoppable offensive style allowed her to simply roll with the punches she received and strike back harder. Carmack’s punishing combinations to the face scored her many points and ensured her advancement to the next round of fights.

Natalie “I Choose You” Baldasare def. Terry “Dragonball Z-” Ely

Through her unique style of slow-but-steady power punches, Baldasare defeated Ely in a split decision.

Baldasare dominated the first round, landing a multitude of power punches on Ely’s head and body, forcing her to play defense.

However, once the second bell sounded, Ely shot out like a cannonball and went after Baldasare. By forcing her opponent into the corner for the majority of the round, it seemed as if the fight was Ely’s to lose.

Baldasare used Ely’s style to combat her in the final round, as she too came out firing. The quick and powerful punches proved to be too much for Ely in the end.

Eileen “Cheech’ n” Chong def. Rachel “Sharin’ is Carin'” Perron

Both boxers came into the fight not wanting to make the first mistake. As a result, neither side in the first round threw many punches.

Chong came out in the second round with the mindset of going after Perron. By doing this, Chong dominated the round, forcing Perron into the corner on multiple occasions.

Knowing she had to put up a better fight in the final round, Perron landed body shot after body shot on Chong, forcing her opponent to skip in circles around her. The swift style of Chong prevailed, as she defeated Perron in a split decision.

Maggie “One Man Wolfpack” Duffy def. Carolyn “Sweet Dee” Sever

Hindered by an early nose injury, Duffy used her quick and athletic style to defeat Sever by a split decision.

The first and second rounds had the same storyline — Sever throwing a host of power punches while the agile Duffy combated them with quick body shots.

Sever threw quicker punches in the third round, knowing she was down and needed to make a combat. However, it was too little, too late, as Duffy was victorious in the end.

Laura “Stuntin’ Like Mufassa” Semeraro def. Jill “Just Jill” Giunco

Semeraro and Giunco could be described as mirror-image boxers. Both used full arm extension body punches that were neither rapid nor forceful. This style lasted only one round.

The second and third rounds were filled with Semeraro and Giunco trying to win the offensive battle, as neither seemed to want to play defense for long. By both using a steady diet of body and head shots, the physical aspect of the sport was taking a toll on the boxers. By a split decision, Semeraro was deemed victorious.

Maureen “The Mongrel” Koegel def. Courtney “The Cobra” Currier

Koegel’s early dominance and strong punching allowed her to defeat Currier in a unanimous decision.

Both fighters came out strong, throwing a barrage of punches early, with little regard for defense. In the second round, Koegel was able to land several big rights by forcing Currier up against the ropes and keeping her in tight.

In the third round, Koegel appeared to fatigue, and Currier used her wingspan to land long jabs, and appeared to win the round. Koegel’s initial effort, though, was enough for the victory.

Carleigh “Boom Goes the Dynamite” Moore def. Erin “Feel the” Byrne

Both fighters came out on the defensive, blocking most of each other’s punches in a somewhat reserved first round, although Byrne was able to get in some big shots to the head of Moore.

The second round was much more aggressive on both sides. Moore was able to find more success with the sudden change of pace, but Byrne was still able to land several jabs to the head.

Moore found her game in the final round, as she was able to block most of Byrne’s punches and deliver several big hits to the head of her opponent.

That late rally seemed to put Moore over the top, and she won by split decision.

Anne “The Southern Belleringer” Allare def. Michelle “The Pink Power Ranger” Notardonato

The last fight of the night in Ring A was a true contrast of styles.

In the first round, Notardonato moved quickly, landing flurries of quick punches and using the entire ring to open up Allare. Allare, on the other hand, stayed in the center of the ring and was able to land a handful of hard blows.

Notardonato blocked most of Allare’s punches early in the second round, and continued to land quick body blows. Allare showed more energy in the second half of the round, landing several huge punches that put Notardonato on the run.

Allare landed almost of the punches in the final round, and took control of the contest. Notardonato rallied late but it was not enough, as Allare won by split decision.

Justine “Insane” Murnane def. Mariana “Chupacabras” Fonseca

In a unanimous victory, senior Murnane came out of the gate on the offensive, showing her resolve right from the outset.

“I still have a long way to go with technique, but I was determined to enter the ring and use everything I had learned in the last two and a half months,” the first-year fighter said. “I just had to believe that I could do it.

In the second round, Fonseca retaliated with a massive blow that knocked Murnane’s faceguard loose, but Murnane remained poised and finished out the fight with a steady third round, showing no signs of her previous nerves.

“I had been nervous for days before the bouts, but once I got into the ring it was just like in practice,” Murnane said. “I was calm, but excited. I could hear my friends cheering for me the whole time. It helped me keep in mind the great cause that we were all contributing to.”

Megan “Mick” Zagger def. Deborah “The O’Nihilator” Olmstead

In yet another unanimous victory, the young enthusiastic Zagger started attacking from the first bell. Though Zagger said she was concerned about facing Olmstead, a three-year veteran to the Bouts, the sophomore was certainly not cautious in the ring.

“You get a lot more confident when you’re all dressed in the gear with the gloves on,” Zagger said. “My strategy was to throw lots of jabs and body shots to mix it up and get as many points as possible.”

In the second round, Zagger did just that, with an incredible round that stunned the more experienced Olmstead. Both boxers showed impressive energy in the third, but Zagger stayed on top for the vast majority of the contest. As far as the outcome, Zagger was pleasantly surprised.

“I never would have expected a unanimous win, but my coach and corner captain were so enthusiastic the whole time and kept saying I was being intense,” she said. “So despite how tired I was, I was rather confident that I would win.”

Breanna “Don’t Stop BRE-lieving” Stachowski def. Claire “Cuddly Bear” Cotter

Stachowski, who ultimately took the fight in unanimous fashion, showed strategic control in the first round. Eventually, though, she started taking advantage of Cotter’s lapses in blocking, which led to a stellar second round for the Welsh Family junior.

“My strategy was to just make it through all three rounds without getting knocked out,” Stachowski said. “I heard Claire was a great boxer and she really put up a tough fight.”

Stachowski hopes to continue in the sport next year, and recommends the Bouts to anyone considering it.

“The two plus months of training and learning how to box was an awesome experience,” Stachowski said. “The time commitment is worth it, and it is very unlikely you’ll ever get another opportunity in your life to learn this sport.”

Viviana “So Do I!” Kim def. Kat “I Have a Green Card” Rodriguez

In a battle of co-captains, Kim bested Rodriguez in a tight split-decision contest. Both fighters showed astonishing quickness throughout the fight, especially Kim, who managed to force Rodriguez into corners several times throughout. Though it was Kim’s third year in bouts, it was her first win. As far as strategy goes, Kim said her experience taught her to be practical going into the fight.

“Honestly, it doesn’t really matter what your strategy is a lot of times because once you get inside the ring, everything changes,” the senior said. “I had all these combinations I wanted to throw, different movements I wanted to use, but all I remember doing was throwing ones and twos and punching through my opponent’s punches instead of moving my head.”

Though the bout was certainly an intense one, Rodriguez and Kim kept it lighthearted at times.

“At one point we both tried to fake each other out and then slipped each other’s fakes at the same exact moment,” Kim said. “We were just smiling and laughing at each other through our head gears and mouth guards.”

Kat “-astrophe” Leach def. Jen “Psy” Coe

Leach grabbed hold of the momentum from the start in what would wind up being a split-decision victory for the Walsh Hall sophomore. As a first-year fighter, Leach said she focused on her technique during the bout, and it paid off.

“The captains and coaches are great at getting us in shape and teaching us how to box,” Leach said. “I just wanted to be confident and focus on doing the simple things well.”

In the second round, Coe took back much of that momentum, but Leach was strong defensively and stayed mobile for the remainder of the fight. The third round continued with Leach holding strong and showing a poise characteristic of a more experienced fighter, which earned the Illinois native her first Baraka Bouts victory.

Holly “Hacksaw” Hinz def. Christina “Make You Quaver” Nypaver

Though Holly “Hacksaw” Hinz is known in the Notre Dame boxing community to “break faces”, Nypaver managed to make her quiver a little bit. In the end though, Hinz outlasted Nypaver with her remarkable endurance in this split-decision victory.

Both fighters put their notable agility to good use in the fight, making for a very close contest. Ultimately though, Hinz showed why her Baraka Bouts record is 3-0 with her strategic pacing and endurance, which paid off in the third round. The Michigan native credited her opponent with the closest match she has ever fought and was overall grateful for her experience with the program.

“Being a part of Baraka Bouts has been an awesome experience these last three years,” Hinz said. “It feels great to go out with a win.”

Anna “Thunda Punch” Dwyer def. Jenny “The Dahminator” Dahm

Though Dahm possessed a significant height advantage, Dwyer was clearly not intimidated as she ended the night with a unanimous victory, bringing her Baraka Bouts career record to 4-0. As this year’s co-president of Baraka Bouts, Dwyer showed her experience throughout the fight, especially with her defense and stamina.

Even when Dahm landed a series of solid punches in the second round, Dwyer remained in motion and in control, and her high energy level in the third was evidence of her years of experience in the sport. Dwyer’s commitment to Baraka Bouts is founded not only on her love of the sport but on her dedication to the Holy Cross mission in Uganda, where she studied abroad.

“I have meant a lot of amazing people through the boxing program — fellow boxers, coaches, staff, alumni, Holy Cross fathers, brothers and sisters both here and in Uganda and students in Uganda,” the New York native said. “Notre Dame is known for its community spirit, and this is magnified within the boxing programs.”

Dwyer’s unanimous victory in her final match represented much more than just one fight — it was a culmination of four years of training, a commitment to the Holy Cross Mission in East Africa and a year of leadership of the program.