Fighters win championships in Bengal Bouts finals
Joaquin “Masagana” Camara def. Michael “Munchkin” Kappaz
The first fight of the evening was evenly matched, with Keenan junior Camara getting a strong start, almost sending Kappaz, an Alumni senior, to the ground. Kappaz recovered quickly, relying on his right hook to get himself back in the fight. Kappaz pinned Camara against the ropes for a moment, connecting on a series of body shots. The round came to a close with neither fighter showing a clear advantage. Camara said the first round went according to plan for him.
“It was absolutely vital that I get that good start,” Camara said. “[Kappaz] knocked out his first two opponents and is a very hard hitter and excellent boxer. He uses strong, powerful hooks and uppercuts. I knew I had to set the tone early with aggression, as well as keep my defense responsible.”
In the second round, Camara began to control the pace, delivering quick combinations to Kappaz’s chest. Kappaz began to break down Camara’s defense with right hooks, but when it looked like the tide might turn in his favor, Camara connected on an effective combination to the body of Kappaz to maintain his dominance. Camara appeared strongest in the final round, as he landed thundering punches to Kappaz’s side and stayed strong through the final bell.
Camara was declared the winner by unanimous decision. He credited his confidence and faith in himself with helping him secure the win.
“Tonight was just lots of preparation, heart and faith that I was ready and that God gave me everything I needed to win,” Camara said. “[Kappaz] is a very explosive fighter and he’s very technically skilled. He’s got a lot of power combined with mental toughness. He’s one of the strongest fighters I’ve ever faced mentally, and I knew he would never back down. He’s a defending champion, so it feels good to go out and do what I wanted to do. It’s something I’ve worked for so long, so it feels good to get my heart out there and give it all I had. Win or lose, my goal tonight was to give it all I had.”
Alex “El Cadejo” Alcantara def. Matthew “Raindrop” Yoder
Alcantara, a senior from Alumni, opened the fight aggressively by attacking with quick uppercuts to the face of Yoder, an O’Neill junior. Alcantara coupled his explosive offense with effective defense, ducking and dodging Yoder’s punches. Alcantara delivered impactful blows, using his left hook to gain an upper hand.
Both fighters began to tire by the second round, allowing their punches to become sloppier, and the official had to separate them three times. Alcantara continued to rely on his left hook and Yoder attempted jabs to the face, though he was not a match for Alcantara’s aggression. Yoder was trapped against the ropes twice and worked his way out with right jabs to Alcantara’s side. In the final round, Alcantara got close to his opponent, using the lack of space to find openings on the inside.
Alcantara was declared the winner by unanimous decision. He said the key to his victory was his dedication to the sport over the past three years and mental toughness during the fight.
“It’s not really about tonight — it’s about the whole process,” Alcantara said. “I trusted the process. I’ve been pushing through for three years straight and this night is a culmination of three years of hard work. It’s nothing I did today. It’s nothing I did yesterday. It’s about putting in the hard work for three years, setting your goal and achieving it. I just mentally prepared myself going into it, knowing that it was going to be a grueling fight. I’ve never really been in that situation before, but I told myself that if I was, I would never back down or let someone get the best of me.”
“Sloppy” Joe Guilfoile def. Chip Blood
Blood, a Sorin senior, and Guilfoile, an off-campus senior, left it all in the ring culminating in a vicious third round that left both fighters catching their breath for minutes after the conclusion.
The first round started slowly, with both fighters feeling each other out. Blood started out his attack by moving Guilfoile around the ring, with Guilfoile giving up ground to start. Guilfoile was then able to turn the momentum of the fight around and get Blood against the ropes, but was unable to land any significant blows.
Guilfoile came out on the attack in the second round, landing several shots to Blood’s face. Blood was able to battle back and knock Guilfoile to the floor, causing the referee to give him a countdown. After this short break, the fight seemed to shift and take on a new nature, as both fighters went on the offensive. Guilfoile took over at the end of the second round, knocking Blood into the ropes.
Both fighters were visibly tired in the third round and were forced to dig deep to land punches. Blood was able to move Guilfoile around the ring, but Guilfoile battled back late, landing quality combinations right before the bell, leading to him receiving the victory by unanimous decision.
Guilfoile was excited after the fight, but also discussed the fact that, in his mind, the fight was too close to call.
“I must’ve landed a punch or two more,” Guilfoile said. “It was a battle for all six minutes. It felt very even all the way through. … The feeling [of winning] is incredible, there were a lot of years of hard work that came together into one fight. It’s incredible.”
Gregory Arts def. Garett “FedEx” Schmelling
The fight between Arts, a Carroll junior, and Schmelling, a Fisher senior, was even throughout, but a quality start and big finish from Arts were enough to earn him the split-decision victory. The fight started with both fighters dancing around each other, trying to get a read. Arts came out on the attack and knocked Schmelling to one knee. Schmelling was able to bounce back up to try to continue the fight.
Schmelling came out strong in the second round, landing several combinations right after the opening bell. Arts danced around the ring a bit, shifting into a slightly more defensive style than he exhibited in the first round. Schmelling went after Arts hard late in the round, putting him against the ropes and causing several tie-ups. Arts was able to land a few before the bell, but Schmelling controlled the pace of the fight.
Both fighters were visibly tired in the final round and slowed down the pace of the fight. Arts’s height and length advantage allowed him to deflect Schmelling’s attack effectively. Arts operated mainly off countering Schmelling in the third round. At the end of the round, Arts found his aggression again, attacking hard as the fight drew to its conclusion. He landed several strong punches and was able to clinch the split decision victory. While Arts felt Schmelling was a tough opponent, the victory made all the preparation for the fight worth it.
“[Schmelling] was strong; he had stamina; he hit hard,” Arts said. “Very tough. The split decision win shows how close things were out there. … [Winning] is an awesome feeling; it feels really good.”
Paddy “The Notorious” Lawler def. Timothy “Squad Socks” McDermott
This match between Lawler, a junior representing Fisher, and McDermott, an O’Neill sophomore, was characterized by its intensity and high energy as both fighters tried to land the first punch. Early in the first round, Lawler pinned McDermott against the ropes and proceeded to land a series of punches. McDermott responded with strikes of his own and his southpaw style clearly impacted Lawler’s comfort in the ring. Both fighters landed blows throughout the first round while trying to gain the upper hand.
McDermott came out swinging in the second round, hoping to regain momentum. He had a clear advantage in reach, but Lawler countered by working to get inside positioning on his opponent. Lawler refused to concede control of the match, pinning McDermott into the corner and landing a fast series of strong, effective hits. The official had to pause the action for McDermott to recover before the end of the second round.
Exhaustion began to set in early in the third round for McDermott as he stumbled over his own feet. Lawler continued to be aggressive, sending a series of uncontrolled hits to the head of his opponent and was named victorious by unanimous decision.
“Historically, I’m a very aggressive boxer … but today the key was tight punches and conserving that energy,” Lawler said. “[McDermott is an] awesome competitor … I would describe that as one of the most fiercely competitive fights I’ve had in the tournament.”
Jack “Not the Guy from Lost” Shepard def. Jack “Hammer” Corrigan
Shepard, a Knott graduate student, took an aggressive start, alternating several jabs and crosses. Shepard used his long reach to back Corrigan, a senior from Morrissey, into a corner, landing a series of punches while pinning him against the ropes. Corrigan appeared disoriented by Shepard’s left-handed attacks, and he was unable to muster a solid response throughout the first round.
Corrigan showed off his agility early in the second round, evading several hits from Shepard. He recovered some momentum by pinning Shepard to the ropes and landing a series of impactful body shots. Shepard sought to keep Corrigan off-guard by throwing a series of soft jabs, constantly forcing his opponent to move. Fatigue began to set in for both fighters late in the second round, and the punches slowed dramatically.
To begin the third round, Corrigan landed a series of effective hits to Shepard’s face, but Shepard responded with a combination of hits to Corrigan’s ribs. Shepard’s reach proved especially useful in the final period. Corrigan whiffed on a strong hook and Shepard took advantage with a strong hit to Corrigan’s head. Shepard was named victorious by unanimous decision.
Shepard had nothing but praise for his opponent after the fight.
“[Corrigan] has got a huge heart, he’s a hell of a competitor, he hits hard, and he’s just a great guy,” Shepard said. “[My keys to success were] my length, my conditioning and I worked hard this year. I was just able to pull it together in the last round and do enough to win.”
Dan “Thunder Road” Andree def. Cam “Crash Cadillac” Nolan
Both Andree, an off-campus senior, and Nolan, a Duncan sophomore, showed off their agility early in the first round, evading initial jabs from each other. Andree landed a series of punches to Nolan’s head, but Nolan responded by pinning Andree against the ropes. After a brief pause in the action, Nolan threw a strong left hook that handed against the side of Andree’s face before the end of the first round.
Andree attempted to take advantage of his long reach by throwing the first punches of the second round. He used a series of jabs and crosses to keep Nolan at bay. Andree landed an effective combination to Nolan’s head, causing his nose to bleed. Despite the injury, Nolan countered with a combination of hits to Andree’s body.
Both fighters displayed intensity despite their fatigue. In the third round, they quickly became entangled. Nolan was showing the most serious signs of fatigue, and Andree landed a series of hits to his opponent’s face. Nolan refused to give in, although he appeared disoriented. He fought to pin Andree against the ropes, but Nolan’s rally was not enough to overcome his disadvantages in reach and endurance. Andree was named victorious by split decision and credited his ability to control the spacing of the fight with his length with the win.
“[Nolan] hit me hard. He caught me with a couple really good hooks and got me in the corner a couple times,” Andree said. “I took control of the middle of the ring and tried to keep him out with my straight punches.”
Jack Considine def. Montana “Louisianimal” Giordano
Both Considine, a Dillon senior, and Giordano, a sophomore in Alumni, took turns on the attack in the first round, as each fighter landed quick, successive blows while still leaving much to be decided over the next couple of rounds. They circled each other and attempted to get a feel for the other’s style and strengths.
As the second round got underway, the back-and-forth style of the fight continued between the two competitors. As the contest developed further, Considine and Giordano began to take more aggressive approaches, advancing on each other and landing more punches. Considine was able to make more of an impact, drawing blood in the middle of the second after delivering a combination of punches, but Giordano continued to keep up the pressure, refusing to back down, even after the fight had to be stopped to clean him up.
The third round opened in a lively fashion with Giordano being able to get Considine on the ropes on multiple occasions. However, Considine was able to fight back effectively, showing his ability to steer his way out of trouble and continue to deliver blows to his opponent. This proved to be enough as Considine won by unanimous decision.
Ultimately, in what was a high-energy fight from the start, Considine credited his ability to fight off the fatigue as a major factor in helping him pick up the victory.
“I knew I only had two minutes left in the third, and so I had to come out swinging again due to the fact that it was my last two minutes ever in the ring,” Considine said. “I was motivated having all my friends there cheering for me, so I think it was a combination of those two factors.”
Considine was also awarded the annual Larry Ash “Best Boxer” award after the tournament ended for his success in the ring and as the club’s president.
Pat “The Quiet Man” Gordon def. Ryan “Eat at Yaz’s” Richelsen
The heavy weight fight between Richelsen, a sophomore in Morrissey, and Gordon, a Keough junior, served as a rematch of the quarterfinals from a year ago, a contest in which Gordon came out on top. Early on, it was Richelsen who spent most of the time on the attack. Gordon, however, was able to counter and go on the attack himself before the first round concluded. He noted this as one of the biggest successes he had throughout the fight.
“[Richelsen] is an extremely tough fighter,” Gordon said. “He can take a power shot and keep walking through it, and it’s something not a lot of guys can do. He kept applying pressure, and so much props to him for doing that, but I was able to handle it somewhat well. ”
In the second round, both fighters kept their distance as they attempted to determine each others’ strengths and in an attempt to conserve energy. Eventually, the two brought the fight into closer quarters, as each delivered a heavy flurry of jabs on the other. Gordon controlled much of this stretch as he landed the majority of his blows, while Richelsen struggled to do answer.
In the third and final round, Gordon immediately started on the attack. Richelsen kept Gordon from getting into too much of a rhythm, however, and was able to work his way out of trouble. Ultimately, however, Gordon’s hit were able to make more of an impact, giving him the victory by unanimous decision.