Bengal Bouts concludes semifinal round
Dan “The Emotional Punching Bag” Wilborn def. Diego “Fuego” Arias
In the first bout of the night, both competitors came out of their corners ready to fight. Morrissey senior Diego Arias started off the fight by aiming his shots at his opponent’s head. Dan Wilborn, an Alumni senior, did the opposite and targeted the body. The fighters kept minimal distance between each other throughout the first round. It was clear that this style of combat was fatiguing both fighters. Wilborn came into the second round quick on his feet, but Arias used his reach to hold his opponent at bay. The Morrissey senior landed a huge body shot as he pushed Wilborn into the corner and onto the ropes. Wilborn managed to sneak out, and he landed a few powerful hits before the end of the round.
Wilborn kicked off the third and final round by landing a number of accurate combinations, as Arias struggled to keep his distance in the same way that he had during the rest of the fight. Regardless, Arias managed to push Wilborn into the ropes to get back in the fight. In response, Wilborn fought back with multiple landed combinations. The end of the fight proved to be a real slugfest, with each contender fighting until the last breath. The winner, by unanimous decision, was Wilborn.
Aidan “Ace” Becklund def. Evan “Almighty” Muller
Zahm sophomore Evan Muller started off the fight with a lot of intensity. As Dunne freshman Aidan Becklund bobbed around the ring, Muller looked to take the fight straight to him. Muller continued to close his opponent down throughout the round, but Becklund managed to dance his way out of reach almost every time. The fight followed a similar pattern: The fighters exchanged a few blows and then would be broken up, either by the referee or by the Dunne freshman’s quick feet. In the second round, Becklund began using his reach to his advantage, sneaking in jabs while keeping a safe distance. Every time Muller encroached on his opponent’s territory, Becklund responded with a retaliatory series of blows before fleeing to safety.
In the third round, both fighters left it all out on the canvas. Becklund came out into the round with more eagerness to hit, but that did not stop his older opponent from ducking under his reach and sneaking shots to the body. Toward the end of the final round, Becklund resorted to holding onto Muller’s gloves in order to keep him at bay. The winner, by split decision, was Becklund.
Joe “Pa” Purcell def. Dominic “Woke Up Feeling Pretty Dangerous” Angelotti
Dillon senior Joe Purcell came out of his corner and immediately began using his reach to his advantage. Keeping off-campus graduate student Dominic Angelotti at bay, Purcell was able to land a series of quick blows. Angelotti, eager to fight, kept attempting to duck below Purcell’s reach and connect on a swing. Every time Angelotti got close, his opponent would hit him with a series of punches to the head and body. Late in the first round, Purcell managed to push Angelotti up onto the ropes and land a brutal combination. In the second round, Angelotti found a second wind and was able to land a body shot for every one of Purcell’s long-range shots to the head. For the first time in the fight, Angelotti gave his opponent an even contest, but Purcell closed out the second round with a powerful uppercut to Angelotti’s chin.
At the start of the third, both fighters bobbed around in the middle of the ring and exchanged an equal series of blows. Angelotti landed a combination of mean body shots with a brutal right hook. In this round, Purcell kept less distance between him and his opponent and increased the intensity of his punches. Purcell was declared the winner via unanimous decision.
Leonard “Typhoon” Calvo def. Ryan “Short Stack” Smith
Both fighters started off by exchanging a series of blows. Keough sophomore Leonard Calvo dodged punches as his opponent, Morrissey sophomore Ryan Smith, attempted to land multiple combinations. Calvo landed a few quick jabs to the head, and Smith responded with a series of punches to the body. Smith forced his shorter opponent to continuously dodge punches as he rained down multiple quick punches. Calvo responded by landing a series of body and head shots. The Keough sophomore’s strategy was to duck down and get under Smith’s reach, while the Morrissey sophomore responded with strong defense.
Both fighters started off the third round equally energetic. They each landed significant blows and earned each other’s respect. As the round came to a close, both fighters increased the intensity of their punches. Smith ended the fight with a mean jab and uppercut right before the bell. However, at the end of this heated fight, Calvo was declared the winner via unanimous decision.
Michael “The K.O.” Feijoo def. Henry “Dancing Queen” Davis
Michael Feijoo, a senior captain from Morrissey, wasted no time in throwing the first punches of the fight. When Henry Davis, a senior from Duncan, tried to land hits, Feijoo used his elusiveness to dip and dodge punches and counteract the hits. At the start of the second round, Davis came out swinging, but that quickly backfired as Feijoo hit him with flurries. Davis did turn the narrative later in the round when he knocked Feijoo to the ground. The last round found both fighters aggressively swinging for the fences, but about halfway through the round, both were visibly tired. After the final bell rang, Feijoo won the match by unanimous decision.
Kyle “Nemo” Mettler def. Aidan “Backbreaker” Dillon
Both fighters in this match came out swinging in an incredibly tight first round. The next round saw Aidan Dillon, a Keenan freshman, pinning Kyle Mettler, an Alumni sophomore, to the ropes in an effort to slow him down. Throughout this round, Mettler was able to control the tempo of the match, but Dillon got in a face hit right as the bell rang. Dillon looked tired by the final round — only trying to land big hits — while Mettler’s stamina was highlighted by his ability to attack in flurries. Ultimately, this stamina won out as Mettler took the match in a unanimous decision.
Nick “The Soviet Stinger” Kiene def. Marcelo “el Chelo” Castellanos
It was a battle of contradictory styles in this freshman vs. senior matchup. Senior Nick Kiene representing Keenan Hall, was patient in the face of Alumni freshman Marcelo Castellanos’ home-run-hitting style. The first two rounds proved to be a very close affair as both fighters looked tired by midway through the second round. By the last round, it seemed that Kiene had a slight lead in the contest because of his shiftiness, but Castellanos was able to land some strong combos before tiring out too much. After the last bell, the judges were split but decided that Kiene bested Castellano.
Luke “Flavor” Fraser def. Luke “Riff” Rafferty
Duncan senior Luke Rafferty was quick to show off his strength by landing big hits on Alumni sophomore Luke Fraser early in the first round, but by the round’s end, Fraser had reversed the momentum. While Rafferty was the aggressor, it was Fraser who was able to capitalize on counter moves to establish control of the fight. Fatigue set in for Rafferty by the last round, which led him to resort to big swings that left him vulnerable to Fraser’s flurries. Fraser was able to nab the unanimous victory to advance to the finals.
Taylor “Bam Bam” Vucinich def. Tommy “T-Train” Perea
Taylor Vucinich, a junior from Alumni Hall, and Tommy Perea, an off-campus graduate student, engaged in a big-swing-filled contest. The first round was a back-and-forth battle of flurries, while the second round was a nonstop big-hits fight. Unlike many of the other fights, both fighters’ energies seemed unaffected well into the final round, with each keeping up the pace, but with Vucinich able to connect on more late-round swings. The judges unanimously decided that Vucinich bested Perea.
Ryan “Jessie’s Girl” Green def. Josh Tabar
This was a tight fight from the get-go, as Keough senior Ryan Green and Morrissey freshman Josh Tabar traded control of the match. In the second round, it became evident that it was a contrast of styles with Green’s patience going up against Tabar’s aggression, and Green took control of the match by the end of the round. In the last round, Green was in complete control of the tempo of the fight and was able to effectively connect throughout the round. While Tabar came out strong to start the fight, Green’s patience prevailed and led him to the split-decision win.
Dan “Pilgrim” O’Brien def. Thomas “Clipz” Hintz
Dan O’Brien began by landing several big hits on Thomas Hintz, causing the O’Neill sophomore to take a lower posture. Hintz fought back for a couple of seconds, but then found himself back on the defensive. O’Brien, a sophomore in St. Edward’s, landed a big hit on Hintz toward the end of the first period that left Hintz visibly frozen for a moment. O’Brien started off aggressive in the second round, briefly getting Hintz against the ropes, but Hintz once again fought back before regaining his composure. Hintz then found a flash of brilliance, pinning O’Brien against the corner before O’Brien escaped via a hold. O’Brien got a breather, but was then pushed against the ropes again by Hintz, who finished a strong second round.
Hintz found new life with the energy of his supporters, which fueled a flurry of big hits on O’Brien, forcing his opponent against the ropes again and trying to maintain his stance as both fighters kept giving up big hits. Both men duked it out in the final moments with clear exhaustion on both sides. The final round proved to be the deciding period, and O’Brien walked away victorious via unanimous decision.
Jay “Nighthawk” Eversole def. Jack “Down with Big Pharma” Rogers
Both fighters started off the bout with dodge after dodge before trading huge hits. Jay Eversole, a Keough sophomore, was able to find an advantage, pushing Jack Rogers to the corner twice. Rogers, a junior in Morrissey Manor, kept Eversole in the middle of the ring for the round, but the sophomore kept finding success with big swings. After a couple of separations by the referee, Eversole gained a substantial momentum boost from a solid opening showing.
Rogers kept attempting more 1-2 combos on Eversole in the second round. Eversole however, kept dodging big swings from Rogers and countering with strong right swings, and Rogers got pushed to the corner again after a big hit to the body by Eversole. Rogers looked to make a big push in the final round and got a couple of big hits on Eversole, who fought back and landed huge punches on Rogers that caused the referee to pause action and check on the junior. Eversole closed out the round with Rogers pinned against the ropes, and the judges gave him the win via unanimous decision.
Michael “The Mayor of Flavortown” Krecek def. Dennis “The Blue Robot from Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots” Krivda
Both fighters started off throwing big swings but connecting on just a few of them. As the action picked up, Michael Krecek took control of the round. Dennis Krivda, a sophomore in O’Neill Family Hall, lost his balance several times, and — visibly trying to regain his footing — he took a few big hits to the head, causing the referee to pause action to check up him. The match regained some balance in the second round as both men kept going at each other, with both giving up big hits. A blood issue with Krivda prompted the referee to pause action, but the fight eventually resumed, and a push by Krivda caused Krecek, a senior in Morrissey Manor, to trip up and land on the ropes. Both men continued to compete hard with a spot in the finals on the line. The referee checked up on a bloodied Krivda after taking hits that further busted his facial wounds, and the sophomore took several hits to the head in the final moments of the round. Krecek had control of the fight from midway in the opening round until the end, and he ultimately earned the win via unanimous decision.
Eric “Cheese Sandwich” Requet def. Cam “Crash Cadillac” Nolan
Eric Requet tried to keep Cam Nolan on his toes, but Nolan was quick to adjust to Requet’s incessant head shots and came back to dish a flurry of head shots of his own. Using his reach to his advantage, Nolan, a senior in Duncan Hall, kept Requet no more than an arms-length away during the final seconds of the opening round. Nolan went for big hits in the early moments of the second round, but Requet fought back and got Nolan on the ropes. Requet, a junior in Sorin College, landed some big hits on Nolan and continued to push his opponent against the ropes. Requet’s side of the room was buzzing with excitement as Nolan kept taking big hits and started to show signs of exhaustion. Nolan was up against the ropes and took a huge hit to the head in the final sequence of the second round.
With the crowds chanting the fighters’ names, both men pushed each other against the ropes in the final round. Requet landed a big hit on Nolan and then hit him once more. Nolan tumbled onto the ropes and had to be checked on by the referee. Requet got another big hit on Nolan that made Nolan take several steps back, and the referee checked on Nolan once again. The round ended after the second checkup by the referee, and the judges, despite being split in their decision, ultimately awarded the victory to Requet.
Montana “Louisianimal” Giordano def. Andrew “Razor” Sharpe
Alumni senior Montana Giordano went on the offensive early with a flurry of quick hits, but he was met with a similar offensive from Andrew Sharpe. Sharpe, a sophomore in Knott Hall, caught Giordano stumbling and got him onto the ropes with a big hit. Giordano seemed less eager to punch as he realized that Sharpe was going to bring the fight to him. The round slowed down toward the end as Sharpe patiently waited for Giordano to be in a vulnerable position.
Giordano’s second-round approach seemed to be landing a punch and then stepping back for space. Sharpe caught Giordano, however, and both men gave up big hits in another flurry of quick punches. Giordano kept holding Sharpe every time Sharpe seemed to gain momentum. Giordano dodged a huge swing from Sharpe in the final round, which caused Sharpe to lose his balance. Giordano aimed to use his feet more as he tried to move around, but Sharpe got a big hit on Giordano and quickly stepped back to maintain distance. Sharpe reversed it back and got a big hit on Giordano, who was clearly tired. Just as Sharpe’s supporters urged him to attack the exhausted Giordano, the bell rang. Sharpe’s efforts were too little too late as Giordano won via unanimous decision.
Jack “Smiles” McDermott def. Patrick “Tricky P” O’Shea
Both fighters tested one another’s responsiveness early, but Jack McDermott got the upper hand after landing several big hits on Patrick O’Shea, who had to get checked by the referee. McDermott, a senior in O’Neill Family Hall, was quick to land hits on O’Shea despite O’Shea lowering his body and covering his head. O’Shea, a senior representing Keough Hall, came out more defensive in the second round, and McDermott caught O’Shea with a flurry of jabs to the body in which O’Shea prioritized guarding his head. McDermott’s quick feet caused trouble for O’Shea, who had difficulty keeping up with his opponent’s lateral movement. McDermott started the final round with a display of offensive brilliance. He teased O’Shea with a jab and patiently waited for the right moment to strike with powerful hooks. With constant quick footwork, McDermott kept O’Shea on the defensive for the whole round and won the matchup via unanimous decision.
Nick “Old School” Waytula def. Ali Thomas Jr.
Ali Thomas Jr. came out of the gates swinging and pushing Nick Waytula. Waytula seemed surprised as he took a bit of time to recover and adjust to the attacks. Thomas Jr., a Duncan junior, demonstrated an ability to match his opponent’s punches in power and quickness. The first round ended with slow action as Waytula, a senior in Alumni, tried to find a hole in Thomas Jr.’s defense. While “The Final Countdown” by Europe played, action was plentiful in the second round as Thomas Jr. pushed Waytula into the corner and hit him with a succession of quick big body hits. Waytula, the taller fighter, got Thomas Jr. briefly on the ropes, but Thomas Jr. recovered. Waytula then used his height advantage to go at Thomas Jr.’s head and push him to the ropes, but Thomas Jr. countered and got Waytula on the ropes himself.
Waytula came out aggressively in the final round, going for a flurry of hits on Thomas Jr., who was able to break the momentum, but the referee stopped action as Waytula had blood on his face. Thomas Jr. stayed defensive, waiting for Waytula to show a weakness. The action slowed in the second half of the final round as both competitors showed their exhaustion. In the end, Waytula won the bout via unanimous decision.
Ryan “Eat at Yaz’s” Richelsen def. Fr. Nathan “Priest Mode” O’Halloran
Chants of “Priest Mode!” came from Fr. Nathan O’Halloran’s corner, and Ryan Richelsen’s corner had a giant cardboard cutout of its fighter to create quite the atmosphere for the final bout of the night. The taller O’Halloran tried to use his reach to keep Richelsen moving in the first round, but Richelsen — a Morrissey senior — was quick and landed uppercut-like hits on his opponent. Richelsen pushed O’Halloran to the ropes, but the off-campus graduate student quickly recovered, landing a big hit to close out the opening period.
Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” played to start the second round as Richelsen went on a punching frenzy and had O’Halloran in the corner, allowing the former to begin to take control of the fight. Richelsen got O’Halloran in the corner once again and landed a couple of big hits, then came at O’Halloran with successive head-shot attempts. O’Halloran, however, fought back with his own series of head shots. Halfway through the round, both fighters were tired, and O’Halloran gave up head shots to close out the match and the night. Richelsen took home the victory via unanimous decision and was the last man with his hand raised for the semifinals.