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Preliminary rounds of bouts set to start

Joe Meixell | Wednesday, February 25, 2004

The 2004 Bengal Bouts Tournament will begin tonight with a quick touch of gloves between George Hay and Marty Curinka. Hay and Curinka are the first fight of the 135-pound weight class, the lightest group of boxers in this year’s tournament. Hay, a freshman from St. Edward’s meets another first time boxer in Curinka, a sophomore from Zahm. The winner of this fight will move on to face Fisher’s Jon Valenzuela, who went the distance in a tough loss last year to three-time champion Shawn Newburg in the finals of the 125-pound class.

Another pair of first timers squares off in tonight’s second bout, which matches sophomores James Larew and Michael Schmitt. Schmitt is a PLS major from Stanford and Larew is from Sorin. Andrew McGill, a freshman from Zahm, awaits the winner of this fight in Monday’s quarterfinals. Schmitt fought a number of good fighters in sparring sessions and he will need that experience to move on to Monday’s quarterfinals.

Senior Lawrence Hofman will meet Keenan freshman Kenton Villano in the third and final bout of the 135-pound division. Michael Feduska, a junior from Alumni who lost in last year’s quarterfinals to Brian Faist, is the No. 2 seed in the weight class and awaits the winner of the Hofman-Villano match-up.

The remaining two boxers of the 135-pound. class, Pedro Alves and Tim Jaeger, both received first round byes and but will meet each other in the quarterfinals on Monday.

145 pounds

The 145-pound. class is the largest field of boxers in this year’s tournament with 15 participants. Luke Dillon, a senior from Zahm with several years of experience under his belt, has received the lone bye for the weight class and awaits the winner of the James Russell and Richard Cea bout. Cea, a left-handed sophomore from Morrissey, fought a number of opponents from varying weight classes during sparring sessions. Russell is a freshman from Zahm. This fight will be both boxers’ first in the Bengal Bouts.

Alumni freshman Kevin Martin will have to overcome the experience of senior Mark Pfizenmeyer in order to advance to Monday’s quarterfinals. Pfizenmayer fought in last year’s Bengal Bouts, where he lost a close match in the quarterfinals to Chris Hoffman.

Senior Matt Welsh fights Ed Liva, a Dillion sophomore, in the next 145-pound division match. While this is Welsh’s first time fighting under the lights in the Joyce Center, Liva fought in last year’s Bengal Bouts, losing in the quarterfinals to 2003 finalist Bill Wuest.

Senior Chip Marks gained priceless ring experience in last year’s Bengal Bouts, losing a hard battle to 2003 champion Tony Hollowell in the quarterfinals. Marks continued to build his experience by sparring eight times in the last month. Marks faces Keenan freshman Will McCauliffe in the fourth fight of the 145-pound division. McCauliffe will have to be aggressive to overcome Marks tonight.

O’Neill sophomore Todd Strobel faces Zahm junior Matt McConnell in the next fight of the night. Neither boxer has previous Bengal Bouts experience and the fight should be evenly matched.

Senior Joe Schmidlin faces Phil McNicholas tonight. McNicholas is a sophomore from Stanford. Schmidlin fought in last year’s bouts and advanced to the semifinals where he lost to last year’s 140-pound champion Tony Hollowell.

The final match-up of the 145-pound division pits Dillon freshman Mike Burke against the No. 2 seed, senior Paul Robinson. This will be both boxers’ first fight in the Bengal Bouts tournament. Robinson trained with the club last year, but was unable to fight in his first match of the tournament due to medical reasons and was forced to forfeit to law student Paul Harris. This year a healthy Robinson brings the experience of six sparring sessions with him into his fight tonight.

150 pounds

The first fight in the 150-pound division pairs two freshman, Clayton Lougee, from Keough, and Matt Cavo, from Alumni. Though this is both fighters’ first experience fighting in the tournament, Lougee has already laid a solid foundation in sparring sessions, amassing 14 rounds of experience in the last month. The winner of this bout will move on to face senior TJ D’Agostino on Monday night. D’Agostino, who returns to the Bengal Bouts after studying abroad in London last spring, has moved up several weight classes to fight in the 150-pound division. As a sophomore D’Agostino won two impressive battles against Hollowell and Matt Fumagali to become the 135 -pound champion and he is arguably one of the toughest and most experienced fighters in the tournament.

Senior David Harmon meets sophomore Nick Weiler from Alumni in the second fight of the 150-pound division. With six spars, Harmon has a bit more ring experience than Weiler, but this fight is the first in the tournament for both boxers.

Keough freshman Jordan Runge drew Alumni junior Kevin Rycyna in tonight’s bouts. This is the first fight for both in the tournament and they have comparable sparring experience.

St. Edward’s freshman Jon Brewis will meet senior No. 3 seed Jon Pribaz on Monday after Drew Shula withdrew from the tournament.

The final fight of the 150-pound division pairs up Dillon sophomore Will Bezouska and O’Neill freshman Brian Tyrell. While neither fighter has a great deal of experience both received good reviews from coaches during sparring sessions. The winner of this fight moves on to face junior captain Galen Loughrey on Monday. Loughrey, a Dillon resident, made an impressive run in last year’s Bengal Bouts, but was stopped short of the finals by last year’s 155-pound champion, Colin Kerrigan.

153 pounds

Fifth-year architecture student Ryan Duffey is the No. 1 seed in this year’s newly created 153-pound division and he awaits the winner of the bout between sophomore Mike Dolan and senior Matt Jensen. Dolan is fighting is his first Bengal Bouts and has experience similar to that of Jensen.

Alumni freshman Brad Amiri and senior Nathan Schomas fight in the next 153-pound bout. Schomas is a former Notre Dame football player who joined the Boxing Club after his senior season with the team. Both are new to the Bengal Bouts, but each has a full five sparring sessions of experience, including one match against each other. The winner of this fight will move on to face St. Edward’s junior Bobby Gorynski on Monday.

Another group of first time boxers will match up in the next 153-pound bout. Sorin sophomore Brian Garcia and senior Don Zimmer will battle for a spot against Tim Huml in Monday’s quarterfinals. Zimmer has a few more rounds of sparring experience than the speedier Garcia.

Morrissey freshman Brian Grissinger and Dillon sophomore Joe Rehmann are the final fight in the 153-pound class.

155 pounds

Kevin Loria and Paul Hagan comprise the lead fight in the 155-pound division. Loria is a junior from Alumni and Hagan is a sophomore from Zahm. Both are first year boxers. Junior captain Nathan Lohmeyer of O’Neill awaits the winner of this bout in Monday’s quarterfinals.

Knott sophomore Mike Peters drew senior Sean Tucker. Both are first year boxers with similar sparring experience. Keenan sophomore Mark Basola, the division’s No. 4 seed, will fight the winner of this bout.

Alumni sophomore Mike Rooney will meet senior Ted Volz in the ring tonight. Both boxers have looked strong in sparring sessions, despite a bit of blood occasionally drawn from Rooney. The winner of this match will fight Mike Panzica, an experienced junior on Monday.

The final fight of the night is between Adam Burns and Mike Gigante. Burns is a sophomore, and Gigante is a sophomore from Stanford. Both boxers are first timers in the Bengal Bouts with similar sparring records. The winner of this fight will move on to face the No. 2 of the 155-pound division, Brandon Gasser. Gasser was a Bengal Bouts finalist last year, losing a very close match to Juan Diego Vargas.

The Bouts are set to begin at 6:30 p.m. and 23 fights are scheduled.