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Bengal Bouts: Sweet science for some, sour for others

Alex West, Douglas Farmer, Christopher Masoud, Molly Sammon, Daniel Madden and Eric Prister | Wednesday, February 18, 2009

  The fighters in Notre Dame’s Bengal Bouts took to the ring again Tuesday in quarterfinal action.

130 pounds

Chris “Cougar” Cugliari def. Nicholas Bock

Cugliari set the tone for the night with a commanding unanimous victory, keeping Bock on his toes from the opening bell. He pinned Bock on the ropes and unleashed a series of blows in the first round.

Although quick on his feet, Bock wasn’t able to establish a rhythm for himself, as he was forced to play defense for most of the match.

Cugliari used an effective combo of alternating jabs followed by a vicious uppercut to cause Bock’s nose to bleed. Bock was unable to regain his form in the third round.

Michael “The Silver City Slugger” Sayles def. Kyle “Hops, Pops, Jones, Big Cheese” Blanco

The match opened up slowly as both fighters tried to get a feel for each other. But as the first round closed, Sayles moved on the offensive, landing a set of powerful jabs and hooks.

Blanco adjusted, blocking some of Sayles quick punches with his long arms and quick reflexes. He began to show signs of fatigue in the second round and Sayles took advantage with his powerful left jab, forcing a bloody nose.

The third round was much like the second, as Sayles continued to dominate Blanco by pinning him on the ropes. Sayles’ superior form and quickness were awarded with a unanimous victory.

Joe “David Hassel” Hof def. Christopher Bennett

Hof came into the fight with a reach advantage, and he utilized it early. Hof took the first round in which neither fighter seemed too eager to engage.

Bennett came out firing early, trapping Hof against the ropes and unleashing a flurry before the senior could get away. Hof responded with combinations of his own at the end, but it wasn’t enough to take the round.

Bennett started the final round with a good series of combos, but Hof wouldn’t be denied. Hof used consistent striking through the later half of the round to earn the round and split decision victory.

Sean McNichols def. Brian “Ghostlands” Robillard

McNichols utilized effective counter-punching throughout the fight. The first round saw McNichols counter while moving away Robillard.

Robillard came out aggressive in the second round, initiating most of the exchanges but landing only a few big shots as the senior continued to avoid most of Robillard’s punches. McNichols’ counters were more accurate, as he landed a few big headshots of his own.

McNichols continued the counter-game, but Robillard seemed to know he was behind. The freshman came out aggressive and landed some big shots to take the round, but it was not enough, as McNichols took the split decision victory.

140 pounds

Kris “El Azteca” Perez def. Daniel “The Pandemic” Panzl

Perez, a three-time champion, outpunched and outmaneuvered Panzl from bell to bell to earn the unanimous victory. Despite Panzl’s bigger size, the agility and quick feet of Perez proved to be too much for the young fighter.

A combination of powerful hooks and violent uppercuts kept Panzl from establishing any sort of rhythm en route to a unanimous victory for Perez.

Michael Johnston def. Scott “Crowbar” Lahr

Johnston’s use of a left, right, left, right jab combo gave Lahr problems all night as he cruised to a unanimous victory.

Despite Lahr’s lanky frame and long arms, Johnston’s persistent approach and aggressive use of hooks and jabs allowed him to control the tempo from the start. Lahr was unable to adapt as the match progressed, leaving him open to Johnston’s attacks.

Kieran “The Bulge” Bulger def. Andrew “The King of Sting” Dupont

Bulger was in good form as he defeated the Knott freshman in a unanimous decision to advance to a semifinal meeting with favorite Kris Perez. Bulger dominated the first round, scoring an early knockdown and kept up the pressure throughout the round.

Dupont showed improved defense in the second round, but the fight had to be stopped in order to stop his bleeding. He showed renewed aggression after the stoppage, but Bulger continued to win their exchanges.

Knowing he was down, Dupont came out swinging in the final round, finally causing some damage. The effort wore him down, however, and was not enough to earn the win.

Eric Feduska def. Nick “Bronco” Bortolotti

In a fight that saw plenty of action, Bortolotti, a freshman from Sorin, came out aggressive and scored a knockdown in the first round that drew heavy support from the crowd. Not even the bell was enough to stop “Bronco” or his senior opponent from Fisher, as they continued fighting against the ropes for a few seconds after the round ended.

Feduska, who had a first-round bye, came out aggressively in the second round, initiating and winning nearly every exchange of the round. After starting strong, Bortolotti appeared content to defend in the second.

Bortolotti went back on the offensive early in the third, but he was quickly forced to back down. The senior had him on the run throughout the end of the round, doing serious damage en-route to a unanimous victory.

145 pounds

Bobby Powers def. Matthew “Lunchbox” Elster

Powers showed why he reached the finals as a freshman last year.

In the first round, Powers pinned Elster against the ropes twice with his hammer-like jabs and ferocious hooks.

Elster managed to maneuver himself out of harm’s way momentarily, but Powers chased him down for the first knockdown of the night.

After Elster was knocked down again, the referee stopped the contest with 45 seconds left in the second round, giving Powers the victory.

James “Francis” Woods def. Stephen “The Editor” Mattingly

Mattingly established himself early in the match as the two fighters got a feel for each other in the opening round, but Woods quickly fought back.

Through brute force, Woods was able to pin Mattingly early in the match with a series of powerful jabs and wide hooks. Mattingly began to expose Woods’ sometimes-wild attacks, connecting with some key jabs and cuts.

In one of the best fights of the night, the fatigued Mattingly was unable to throw Woods out of his rhythm as he held on for the unanimous victory.

Albert “Hispanic causing Panic” Toscano def. Mike Magill

In a battle between two freshmen, Magill was unable to use his reach advantage. Toscano got Magill into the corner early and dealt some serious punishment throughout the first round.

The second round started slowly but was otherwise much the same. Magill was still unable to use his reach, and Toscano trapped him against the ropes late to take a two-round lead.

The third round was relatively even, despite Magill using his reach advantage, with both fighters scoring at times. Toscano won by unanimous decision.

Mark Weber def. Ryan “Will Power” Slaney

Slaney gave it his all in an effort to end the Boxing Club President’s run in his first fight after a bye, but came up short. Slaney countered Weber’s early aggression with flurries, but most were simply deflected, with Weber winning on the strength of his exchanges against the ropes in the first round.

Weber scored throughout the second round as Slaney spent most of the round dodging, and sometimes running, from Weber’s attacks.

Slaney came out strong and aggressive in the final round, tiring Weber early. Slaney gassed himself before the round finished and could have won it, but it wasn’t enough, as Weber took a unanimous decision.

147 pounds

Joey “Thor’s Hammer” Leary def. Ted Heilbron

Leary came out of the gates like a madman, landing a flurry of jabs and hooks on the unsuspecting face and body of his opponent. Leary exhibited quick feet and good instincts as he cornered Heilbron, who was unable to establish a rhythm early.

As the match progressed, however, Heilbron found some success with the left jab against the smaller frame of Leary. Leary began showing signs of fatigue in the second round, and Heilbron quickly took advantage.

But Leary quickly regained control in the third round, showing more aggression and rediscovering his jab and hook combo. Leary emerged as the unanimous victor in an evenly-fought match.

Patrick “The South Bend Sniper” Kibbe def. Michael “Blitzkrieg” Burns

The match appeared to be one-sided in the first round, as Burns came out strong with a series of powerful jabs and ferocious hooks. Burns managed to corner Kibbe for a flurry of punches to the face and body.

But the tide began to turn in the second round, as Kibbe began to take advantage of his long arms and quick feet to land some uppercuts and jab combos. Burns also landed some punches to Kibbe’s face.

As the third round began, the match was up for grabs. Kibbe began an onslaught of quick jabs and plenty of hooks, and Burns retaliated by knocking Kibbe to the ground. But Kibbe recovered to win a remarkable match by split-decision.

Brian “BK Special” Koepsel def. Andrew “AK-47” Kristiansen

In what was a slugfest from the start, Koepsel took advantage during the exchanges in the first, but neither fighter was willing to back down.

The second round started out slower, but that didn’t last long, as the fighters began trading flurries in the middle of the round. Koepsel again came out slightly ahead, but Kristiansen did a fair amount of damage as well.

Kristiansen came out aggressive in the third round, which was as much of a brawl as the rest of the fight. Although both fighters tired before the round ended, Kristiansen’s performance was not quite enough as Koepsel took a unanimous decision.

Brian Desplinter def. Kevin Ortenzio

Desplinter showed why he is a former Bouts champ, dictating the pace for much of the fight. The first round featured few exchanges, with the Alumni senior using his reach to keep Ortenzio at bay.

Desplinter continued using his reach advantage throughout the second round, keeping Ortenzio from getting inside. When the freshman was able to get inside Desplinter’s guard, he landed some good body punches, but not enough to win the round.

In the final round, Ortenzio overcame Desplinter’s reach advantage, but Desplinter’s ability to dictate the pace helped him cruise to a unanimous decision victory.

150 pounds

Timothy “Slayer” Thayer def. Inoh “Lights Out” Choe

The match started off slowly as both fighters tried to get a feel for each other early. Thayer managed to pin Choe against the ropes and didn’t look back from there.

Choe was in a defensive mode for most of the match as he tried to block Thayer’s left jab, right hook combo. Choe was pinned against the ropes, but recovered with a couple of dukes and jabs.

Thayer took care of business in the third round to earn the unanimous victory against a visibly fatigued Choe.

Matt “Poz” Posluszny vs. Connor Keenan

Posluszny seized control of the match’s tempo from the opening bell, getting the unanimous victory against his young opponent.

Posluszny came out with strong left jabs and consistently landed a left, left, right jab combo to neutralize Keenan for three rounds. Keenan still managed to land punches against the longer-armed Posluszny.

In the final round, Keenan showed signs of fatigue as Posluszny finished the job with a couple of hard right jabs and wide hooks.

Jamie “Sweet Rays of Sunshine” Koepsel def. Tomas “The Boss” Castillo

Neither fighter appeared scared of the other from the beginning, as the two were happy to stand and swing throughout much of the fight. Koepsel appeared to get the advantage and won the round late after Castillo started out strong in the first.

The second round featured more exchanges, with an early stoppage to clean up Castillo’s blood. Castillo again started out strong, but the blood stoppage left the round a toss-up.

In the final round, the two again settled for accepting punishment as a price for dealing their own. Koepsel appeared to take the round with his performance late and was rewarded with a split decision victory to advance to the semifinals.

Mark Bennett def. Adam Cowden

Bennett started out the first round with a fury of combos and uppercuts, pounding Cowden in the face. In the second round, Bennett fought back by landing several right hooks to Cowden’s head.

In the third round, both fighters showed fatigue as they started out the round tentatively trying to land jabs. Bennett prevailed in a split decision.

155 pounds

Nathan “I am Legend” Rothenberger def. Joey Brown

Rothenberger started quickly in the first round with jabs to Brown. Brown landed several right-handed punches of his own before landing a powerful combo at the end.

Rothenberger began taking control late in the second round after he landed several combos to Brown’s head. In the third round, Rothenberger pushed Brown up against the ropes while landing a series of successful combos.

Rothenberger finished strong to win a split decision.

Alex “Speedy” Gonzalez def. Kevin Goodwin

Gonzalez began the match with several quick shots before retreating into defense. He repeated this strategy to gain an advantage against Goodwin, who was never able to answer the flurries from Gonzalez.

In the second round, Gonzalez brought his intensity higher, landing several big combos to Goodwin’s head. Gonzalez finished his domination by continuing on the offensive in the third round.

Gonzalez won in a unanimous decision.

Dan Rodgers def. D.J. McGill

In the first round, Rodgers did the majority of the chasing of his opponent, but McGill threw the more accurate punches. Later in round, Rodgers threw right hook shots, cutting McGill’s chin.

In the second round, Rodgers brought better blocking abilities to the ring, but McGill showed tenacity. In the third and most decisive round, McGill seemed to be coming back, especially as Rodgers tired, but a series of combo throws from Rodgers supplied the most damage. Rodgers was awarded a unanimous victory.

John Maier def. Steve Simeonidis

Simeonidis’ strong left uppercut pinned his opponent in the corner early in the first round, but Maier was able to take himself off the ropes early.

In the second round, both boxers came back into the ring with better blocking strategies. The tables turned, as Maier showed Simeonidis the ropes.

In the third round, Simeonidis got Maier backed into the corner and started aiming for Maier’s stomach, but Maier was able to recapture domination of the ring.

Maier showed some excellent combo throws in the remaining few seconds, and a strong right-handed blow affected Simeonidis’s ability to continue competing. The referee stopped the contest with 30 seconds left in the third round in Maier’s favor.

160 pounds

Caleb “The Shark Attack” Laux def. Patrick Martin

Early in the first round, Martin tried to use his long reach to his advantage, landing several jabs on Laux. Laux was able to land a series of hooks and combos at the end of the first round to gain momentum.

In the second round, both fighters cast defense aside, landing a furious barrage of combos to each other. Laux took complete control in the third round after he countered several of Martin’s errant jabs late in the match.

Laux won in a unanimous decision.

Jordan Bucci def. David “That’s what she said” Costanzo

In a display of speed, both Bucci and Costanzo exchanged quick combos early in the first round. Neither fighter could take control of the match, with both fighters exchanging jabs and combos.

Late in the third round, Bucci was able to land a big shot and then retreat, protecting himself from being scored upon and giving himself the advantage down the stretch. Bucci won in a split decision.

Jim Devereaux def. Nate Juarez

In the first round, both boxers stayed relatively cautious, displaying excellent blocking abilities. Combo throws from Juarez started the hitting, and Devereaux followed suit.

In the second round, Juarez did the majority of the chasing, but Devereaux threw the most damaging punches. In the third round, Devereaux got Juarez into the corner for some added points near the end. Devereaux won a split decision.

Mark Witte def. Adam Steinbach

Witte took the offensive in the opening round, forcing Steinbach to retreat. Steinbach began to aim for Witte’s body, but Witte still did the most damage with mainly right-handed punches.

Witte opened the second round with a combination. Steinbach kept his right hand back, hoping to find an opening to unleash it – but that chance never came.

Witte’s quick combos allowed him to take control and earn the unanimous decision.

165 pounds

Jack Peterson def. Brian “The Best Looking” Salvi

In a fierce fight, Salvi took the early advantage by landing a big right hook on Peterson. When Peterson tried to counter, Salvi was able to land a few more solid combo shots.

Peterson began to take back momentum, landing several jabs to Salvi’s head in the second round. With the outcome still in doubt in the third round, Peterson started quick with a big right hand.

Late in the third, Salvi landed a combo, but he left himself open and allowed Peterson to counter with his own combo, leading to a split decision victory for Peterson.

Alex “Check Out These Chicken Legs” Duffy def. Paul Amiri

Duffy made quick work of Amiri in just two rounds. Duffy began the match with a series of combinations that caught Amiri off guard.

Late in the first, Duffy landed a powerful combo to Amiri’s head. It was more of the same in the second round as Duffy took control. Seconds into the round, Duffy landed another combo that eventually led to a victory.

Daniel Brennan def. Andrew Massari

Locked in a stalemate of even punches for the majority of the first round, Brennan broke up the monotony with a right hook that threw Massari against the ropes as the round ended.

In the second round, Massari came into the ring a bit more offensive, but Brennan threw a few intense combos that tipped the match in his favor.

In the third round, both boxers showed signs of dizzying, but Brennan took charge of the ring with a solid right hook that sent Massari to the corner.

Though Massari came back in the ring refreshed, Brennan finished the match with a series of solid power combo throws, including a tough blow to Massari’s chin to end the round and the match. Brennan won in a split decision.

Matt Hopke def. J. Barrick Bollman

Just a few seconds in, Hopke nearly knocked over his freshman opponent by using his reach advantage. A few combos later, Bollman fell to the ground for just a moment, but bounced back up.

In the second round, Hopke almost cornered Bollman, but Bollman repeatedly dodged him. As Bollman adopted the strategy of going for Hopke’s stomach, Hopke responded with a combo before the end of the round. Early in the third round, Hopke caught Bollman by surprise with a right hook and a left jab.

Hopke’s left hook with a few seconds remaining sealed the unanimous victory.

170 Pounds

Matt “The Abominable Snowman” Paletta def. Joe Langenfeld

Paletta started the first round early with a combo to the head of Langenfeld. While Langenfeld tried to counter, Paletta continued to pummel him with an effective left hook.

Early in the second round, Langenfeld landed a combo that knocked Paletta off his feet. Paletta responded by landing a combo, followed by a powerful right hook.

Paletta capped off his performance in the third round with a big combo that put Langenfeld on the defensive for the rest of the fight. Paletta won in a unanimous decision.

Bernardo Garcia def. Vincent Keneally

Keneally started the first round by landing three right jabs to Garcia’s head. Garcia matched Keneally’s jabs with a few of his own before landing a combo to Keneally’s head and body.

Garcia capped off the first round with a right hook just before the round ended. Garcia took complete control of the bout with several combos in the second round and sealed it with an uppercut to Keneally’s jaw at the end of the round.

Trying to be offensive at the start of the third round, Keneally left himself open to Garcia’s blows after a failed combo attempt. Garcia won in a unanimous decision.

Andres Villalba def. Michael Urciuoli

Urciuoli chased the senior captain against the ropes in the opening seconds, but Villalba’s quickness helped get him out of trouble.

The fight continued to be one of aggression, as Villalba connected on several powerful combos in the second.

The referees called for a quick break due to an apparent eye injury to Villalba, who came back a different boxer after a few moments in his corner. Villalba’s relentless attacks on Urciuoli’s stomach prevented the sophomore from maintaining any stability.

Urciuoli almost got Villalba against the ropes late but was fatigued and couldn’t do much damage before the judges awarded Villalba the unanimous victory.

Alex Kissinger def. Scott Jarvie

Kissinger’s powerful right hook sent his opponent to the floor midway through the first round. Jarvie got back up and went on the offensive, but Kissinger was able to dodge several combos near the ropes.

In the second, Kissinger again used his quickness to avoid the few attacks Jarvie was able to mount, and after a few more right combos, Kissinger sent Jarvie to the mat again.

Kissinger dominated the third round en route to a unanimous victory.

175 Pounds

Jim Hasson def. Joe Hagmann

Hagmann began the match with a quick left jab to Hasson, but Hasson responded with a right hand of his own.

Late in the second round, Hasson took control of the match by landing a series of combos to Hagmann’s head, causing his headgear to malfunction. The headgear plagued Hagmann for much of the third round, and it caused the officials to momentarily stop the match.

Hasson landed combos against Hagmann with little resistance in the end to win by a unanimous decision.

Mike Doran def. Joseph “Money” Meares

From the start of this bout, Doran’s advantage in reach made itself evident, as he used it to exploit Meares’ attacks throughout the round. Yet neither fighter fazed the other in the opening round.

Meares came out aggressive in the second round, blowing past Doran’s long arms with multiple attacks. Doran was taken aback after three strong right hooks from Meares.

As the fight neared its conclusion, the effort to get past Doran’s reach wore Meares out. Before long, Doran had bloodied Meares’ nose with repeated jabs. When the final bell sounded, Doran received a unanimous decision.

Bill Straccia def. Pat “Stonewall” Jackson

Straccia was patient in the opening rounds before making his move, but sealed his unanimous victory with a strong third round.

Both fighters waited for their opportunity in the first round, searching for an opening to make a connection. Neither fighter took an early lead, but Straccia’s hard right hook won him some points in round one.

In the first two rounds, Straccia was trying to land combinations, as Jackson settled for scoring points with his jab. Jackson connected on more punches in the second round.

Straccia came out hard in the third round, connecting on his devastating combinations and forcing Jackson to slow the pace of the fight. Straccia was constantly on the offensive, moving Jackson against the ropes, which boosted him to the victory.

Mike Lee def. Dominic Golab

The first round was evenly-matched, with each boxer able to land a few combos while avoiding any major damaging blows.

In the second, Lee used his patented double-jab combo to wear down Golab while scoring valuable points. Golab landed a few powerful combos, but Lee finished the round with a massive right uppercut and an effective left hook.

Lee’s combinations proved effective again in the third round of his unanimous victory.

185 Pounds

Rafael Diaz def. Brian O’Connor

In a close match, Diaz used his aggressiveness and quickness to defeat O’Connor.

Diaz started out on the offensive early in the first round, initiating each set of blows. Neither fighter dominated the round, but Diaz connected on many solid combinations with his powerful right hand.

Diaz took a different approach in the second round. His reflexes allowed him to wait for O’Connor to make the move before delivering quick counters. O’Connor sealed his victory in the third round, using jabs to defeat the fatigued O’Connor.

Chris Hapak def. Dan “The Irishman” Murphy

From the opening bell, the two fighters displayed contrasting styles. While Murphy would attack relentlessly, Hapak held back and let Murphy come to him. Murphy would work Hapak’s body, while Hapak attacked Murphy’s head.

In the second round, Hapak moved Murphy into the ropes, where he landed a number of body shots before Murphy could tie him up. Seconds before the bell, Hapak landed a strong left to Murphy’s chin.

Both fighters entered the third round throwing many punches, with little thought for defending themselves. As they tired, the two became tangled up and both fell to the canvas. In a close bout, Hapak took the split decision.

John “The Boogie-Woogie Monster” Tchoula def. Jordan Smith

In the opening exchange, Tchoula landed a right hook to Smith’s head, and Tchoula never looked back. By the end of the round, Tchoula used a series of left jabs to set up his right hook.

Tchoula’s right hook dropped Smith into the ropes early and left him with a bloody nose early in the second round. The fight was paused once more after a vicious right uppercut left Smith dazed.

Smith charged out of his corner in the third round, but Tchoula evaded the comeback attempt, and by the end of the round Smith was staggering backwards from Tchoula jabs. Tchoula earned a unanimous victory.

Leo Rubinkowski def. Ted Grossetreuer in a walkover.

200 Pounds

Andrew Lorenz def. Kiel “The Big Kielbasa” Hockett

In a match that did not make it past the first round, Lorenz, a defending champion, came out victorious after a dominating performance that resulted in a win by technical knockout.

Lorenz used his stature to his advantage by pounding the body of Hockett, forcing the under-matched fighter to leave his face open to more devastating blows. The referee stopped the match with 25 seconds left in the first round, as it was clear that Hockett could do nothing to defend himself against the powerful combinations thrown by Lorenz, who looks ready to claim his second consecutive title.

Bart Dear def. Dex Cure

In one of the closest matches of the night, Dear used technique and quickness to pull the upset against the favored Cure. Dear danced around the ring, waiting for Cure to make his move, before countering with consistent jabs and more substantial blows. Constantly on the defensive until he saw an opportunity to attack, Dear connected on more punches than Cure.

Cure continued to attack, but could do nothing about the technical precision employed by Dear. Using a string of body shots which evolved into more forceful blows the face, Cure’s aggressiveness paid off in the third round and he seemed to control the round. His third round performance was not enough, however, and the judges ruled Dear victorious by split decision.

Benford Begay def. Matt “There Will Be Blood” Bono

Frequent Begay combinations stopped Bono from finding his rhythm in this fight. Before the end of the first round, the combos had forced the referee to check on Bono before allowing the fight to continue.

The second round opened as the first concluded, with Begay’s mixture of jabs, hooks, and upper cuts leaving Bono lead-footed. Forty seconds into the round, the referee stopped the bout and awarded Begay the victory.

Patrick “Third-Degree” Burns def. Matt Gray

The fighters spent the majority of the first round feeling each other out, only occasionally throwing jabs. Towards the end of the round, Burns landed two right hooks to Gray’s head.

Gray began the second round aggressively, but Burns continued to land more punches. After Burns placed two three-punch combinations against the side of Gray’s head, Gray staggered to the end of the round.

The referee stopped the fight after the second round, and awarded Burns the victory.