Bengal Bouts conclude with final round
Alex “El Cadejo” Alcantara def. Patrick “Il Lupo” Brennan
Alumni sophomores Brennan and Alcantara fought head-to-head in the quickest but most decisive bout of the night. Brennan, known for his methodical style, threw the first punch, but it was Alcantara who clearly dominated the pace of the match with his quick fighting style and aggressive presence. Brennan landed several punches to the his opponent’s head but was no match for Alcantara’s rapid left hook combinations.
“As one of the shorter guys, I’m used to fighting guys who have a lot of reach on me, so the plan was to come out and not be super aggressive. The plan was to work on counters in the beginning and getting insides as the match went on,” Alcantara said.
Within the first minute of the bout, however, Alcantara had cornered Brennan against the edge of the ring and with a final powerful hook to the ribs knocked him down. The referee completed an eight-second count, and suddenly the match was over.
“I was gonna work from the bottom up for three rounds but got a strong left hook, and I knew that, and so I just kept punishing his body, and after I got him good with one I just wanted to end it with the first round because I knew I could,” Alcantara said.
Alcantara claimed the championship by referee-stopped contest.
Peter “The wild Irish Rose” McGinley def. “Sloppy” Joe Guilfoile
The senior McGinley and sophomore Guilfoile exploded at the start of the first round, with McGinely throwing the first four combinations and Guilfoile retaliating with a powerful blow to the face, causing McGinley to draw back. Though Guilfoile ended the first round with another strong, final blow, McGinley had the advantage due to a series of swift triple hook combinations.
The second round saw McGinley on the attack first again, but Guilfoile exhibited a more aggressive fighting style. The sophomore threw numerous hook combinations that culminated with a strong hit to McGinley’s side, forcing him against the ropes. McGinley continued to work the body while Guilfoile concentrated his blows to the face.
McGinley said his defensive tactics kept him in the bout.
“I knew Joe threw more powerful punches than I did, and he’s got a really strong right hand and I gotta be honest, I was a little hesitant coming out that strong. … I wanted to be conscious but it turned into hesitation and was more worried about doing that than landing my own combination,” McGinley said. “My natural approach was to wait for him to come to me and try to counter and be a little more defensive.”
McGinley made a comeback in the final round, quickening the pace of the bout as he launched a left hook, dislodging Guilfoile’s headgear. Guilfoile tried to rally and landed several right jabs but was unable to keep up with McGinley’s aggressive style. With thirty seconds left in the final round, McGinley connected on one last impressive swing. Although Guilfoile landed the last few punches in the bout’s final moments, his strong finish was not enough, as McGinley claimed the championship by split decision.
“[It’s] a little overwhelming — three, four years of hard work kind of manifesting itself in one moment there — so it feels really good,” McGinley said. “I got more confident as the fight went on.”
Devin ”Opel” Duffy def. Kieran Carroll
The junior Carroll threw the first punches against the senior and 2013 148-pound division champion Duffy in a fast-paced first round. Carroll led with a series of quick blows until Duffy connected on a strong swing to Carroll’s face. Duffy continued to push Carroll around the ring, with both fighters ending up tangled in the corner. Duffy managed to pin Carroll against the ropes once more as the first round came to a close.
“That’s how I fight every time,” Duffy said. “I just try to do as much as I can and if I’m not spent at the end, then I wasn’t aggressive enough.”
In the second round, Carroll again tried to take the initiative, but Duffy continued to dominate by landing many triple-jab combinations. Duffy’s tighter punches forced Carroll against the ropes, controlling the pace of the bout. By the final round, Duffy’s endurance was beginning to wear, and Carroll began to execute body shot combinations to force Duffy against the ropes.
“I thought every round went pretty well, but by the third round I was really tired,” Duffy said. “I was just gassed, and at that point it was just hanging on because I thought my jab was sticking. I landed the jab a couple times real nicely in the second round and the third round was just everything I had.”
With twenty seconds left, Duffy had one last burst of energy to fight back and claim the trophy by unanimous decision.
Garrity “Biscuit” McOsker def. Ryan “Attila” Dunn
In a matchup featuring plenty of veteran experience, the senior and two-time champion McOsker started strong against the junior Dunn. He managed to get Dunn into a hold and drag him against the edge of the ring, matching his powerful blows with speed and agility.
McOsker, who has a tendency to increase the pace and number of his punches as the bout goes on, focused on defensive tactics in the first round. Dunn kept up with McOsker, chasing him around the ring, but McOsker managed to retaliate to each jab, controlling the pace of the bout.
“I knew [Dunn was] a really heavy hitter and he just kinda wails on people,” McOsker said. “He doesn’t have the same sort of boxing skill, but he’s been whipping on people because he’s a good puncher, so I wanted to come in there and make sure to box him and box him well. I wanted to come out a little less conservative than I usually box people in the first round because I know that he’s a heavy hitter and he’ll take every opportunity to take big shots.”
Dunn threw the first punches of the second round, but McOsker’s continued his strategy of holds and triple combinations to the abdomen and face. By the end of the second round, there were multiple interruptions by the referee to break holds.
In the final round, Dunn drew back in a defensive effort to avoid McOsker’s advances. McOsker eventually connected on the final hooks of the match, dislodging Dunn’s headgear as the bell sounded to end the final round. In his fourth and final championship, McOsker claimed his third title by unanimous decision.
“I’m excited, I’m relieved,” McOsker said. ‘It was my fourth time in the finals for the championship, [so] you would think it gets very comfortable in this environment [by now], and you would think that trying to go for the third championship tonight would have been more calm, but [there was] the added pressure of this being the last time I boxed at Notre Dame.”
Patrick “Pattycake” Shea def. Gage “American Psycho” O’Connell
The final in the 167-pound weight division was a hard-fought contest between Shea, an off-campus junior, and O’Connell, a graduate student. The first round started quickly as both fighters looked to go on the attack. The action was fast-paced, but the punches landed evenly as both fighters relied on their quick footwork to avoid the heaviest blows.
“Gage is a great fighter. He’s got very quick hands and threw powerful punches,” Shea said. “I knew it was going to be tough and … I guess coming out with a win is all I could have wanted.”
The second round picked up right where the first left off. The boxers opened with a flurry of powerful combinations, but Shea appeared to gain an edge with his slight height advantage. Right at the end of the round, however, O’Connell responded with a combination that landed two blows to Shea’s head.
The start of the third round was just as furious as the prior two, with both fighters looking to attack the head of his opponent. Shea broke open the bout when he landed a jab and forced O’Connell back for the rest of the round. He was declared the winner by unanimous decision.
Shea said it felt good to finally win a title after losing in the championship bout twice before.
“Third time is the charm. It feels great to win,” Shea said. “Losing twice in a row’s pretty tough, especially the second time around. I wasn’t going to lose a third time, and that’s what I was thinking about I the second break before the third [round] and that gave me the motivation to do what I had to do in the third.”
Brendan “Rainman” Lesch def. Jason “Downtown” Ellinwood
Lesch, a graduate student and former varsity soccer player, started off the first round aggressively, and Ellinwood, a junior from Fisher Hall, had trouble fending him off, forcing the referee to briefly halt the fight. Afterwards, Lesch did not let up and continued to impose his will on the fight. Lesch said his plan was to push the action early.
“I tried to come out a little bit bigger,” Lesch said. “That seems to be the way I fight, trying to push the pace a little bit, shake him up early. That was my game plan. I thought it went well. Jason’s such a great fighter.”
Ellinwood picked up the pace in the second round and managed to hit Lesch with a few quick jabs to the face. After the first minute of the round, the action slowed as both fighters seemed to wear down.
Ellinwood began to use his height advantage to keep Lesch at bay to start the third round. Lesch, however, responded with a flurry of blows that led to another stoppage. Lesch continued to push the action after his opponent recovered, but Ellinwood scored multiple counter-punches when Lesch did not connect with his hooks. Ultimately though, Lesch’s strong first round carried him a victory by unanimous decision.
Lesch said his memories of Bengal Bouts are one of the highlights of his time at Notre Dame.
“I’m really just blessed to be a part of [Bengal Bouts],” Lesch said. “That’s more important than being the champion. It’s a great tournament, one of the most fun things I’ve gotten to do while at Notre Dame, and winning this year is something I’ll probably keep with me for a long time.”
Brian “Cheese” Willis def. Bryan Cooley
In the 184-pound weight division, Willis, a junior from Duncan Hall, went up against Cooley, an off-campus senior and club captain. The fight started slowly but quickly heated up with both fighters throwing powerful combinations. Near the end of the round, Cooley managed to get in a few hooks to Willis’ body after he dodged one of Willis’ jabs.
The second round was much more eventful, as both boxers started to open up and take more risks. Cooley landed a strong hook to Willis’ face to start the round, and every time Willis went in, Cooley managed to beat him back with a hook or a jab. Willis said he was impressed with Cooley.
“He was unbelievable,” Willis said. “He hit so hard. Getting in the ring with him was tough with how hard he swings, and even though I’d never sparred with him beforehand, he lived up to his expectations. He’s just so clean as a boxer.”
Willis almost managed to pin Cooley against the ropes at the end of the round, but Cooley forced him back with a series of hooks.
The momentum had swung though.
In the third round, both fighters threw everything they had in their early combinations. Willis managed to break through Cooley’s defenses and back him against the ropes for most of the round. Cooley grew tired and took many blows to his face. Willis’ strong third-round comeback earned him the title as he won by unanimous decision.
“I think that he was beating me going into the third,” Willis said. “I came out a little bit stronger, and I think the length eventually bothered him a little too much. I just landed a few more at the end. He was still hitting me harder.”
Jack Considine def. Patrick Gordon
The 196-pound final pitted Considine, a sophomore from Dillion Hall, against Gordon, a freshman from Keough Hall. Both fighters came out very aggressively. Considine pushed the action early by forcing Gordon to either dodge away or fight on his heels. Gordon used good early footwork to evade Considine’s advances, and both fighters landed only a few good blows in the first round.
The second round was similar to the first as Considine kept moving Gordon around the ring. Gordon responded, however, and gave Considine a bloody nose which stopped the action. Considine’s injured nose appeared to knock him off balance as Gordon landed two big body blows to end the round. Considine said he knew he had to improve his performance in the third round if he wanted to win.
“In the first two rounds I just couldn’t get in on him,” Considine said. “He has a style where he was sitting back and waiting for me to come in, and it works for a while, but after a while it’s just abut scrappiness and throwing punches. Normally I’m a first two-round fighter. It’s the first time I’ve had to come out swinging in the third.”
In the final round, Gordon began to tire and tried to clench with Considine and stall on multiple occasions. Considine also seemed to slow down, and both fighters’ blows lacked the same strength as they did in the first two rounds. In the end, Considine managed to hang on and claim the narrow victory by split decision.
Tyler “Tuna” Plantz def. Jackson “The Flash” Wrede
In the final bout of the night, Plantz, a graduate student, took on Wrede, a freshman from Knott Hall. Though smaller, Plantz, a former varsity football player, attacked Wrede with a fervor early on in the match. However, Wrede managed to land a few good counter-punches that kept the bout interesting. Plantz said his strategy was to be the aggressor early on.
“Its kind of been my mentality going through all of these fights, that if I can kind of get a good couple of shots in early, I can kind of get them on their heels instead of coming in,” Plantz said. “I’ve always got to move inside of longer arms, so being able to dictate the pace of the fight early in the fight worked to my advantage in the last two rounds.”
Wrede was much more disciplined to start the second round and did not back down when Plantz attempted a series of body blows. Both fighters landed a plethora of powerful blows throughout the second round, as Wrede fought his way back into the match.
Wrede began the third round with a ferocious series of hooks, but Plantz managed to weather Wrede’s initial attack. As the fight wore on, Wrede managed to land an increasing number of blows to the face of Plantz, who struggled to keep his defensive guard up. At the conclusion of the bout, the heavyweight championship was awarded to Plantz by unanimous decision because of his early round performances.
Plantz said he owes part of his victory to his friends who cheered him on.
“I couldn’t thank my friends enough,” Plantz said. “Some of my buddies that I’ve always had all four years I’ve been in my dorm, some I met away, some I met through football. That really helped me in the third [round].”