Angelotti highlights importance of Bengal Bouts mission
Alex Bender | Friday, March 1, 2019
As a sophomore transfer from Michigan State, Dominic Angelotti immediately got involved with Bengal Bouts. Now four years later as he wraps up his MBA, Angelotti is in his second year as a captain, and he said it has meant a lot to him along the way to be able to continue to become more involved and learn more about all of the good the event brings.
“Every year you get deeper and deeper into the mission, learning more about where the money is going, and I think especially as a captain I’ve learned this,” Angelotti said. “My first year as a captain I was learning all of this and how we raise it, and my second year I’ve gotten to dive even deeper into that. We have a better idea of, ‘Well, we tried this last year and this worked and these didn’t,’ so we can keep trying to improve. As much as I think from the outside it can seem like a well-oiled machine where you just get a lot of guys to show up and run the program, it’s kind of surprising how much you can play around with it and tinker, and I think that’s kind of interesting.”
Angelotti said the mission of Bengal Bouts means a lot to him. Working toward providing for the impoverished in Bangladesh has been a huge part of this whole process for him, but along the way he’s gotten to know quite a bit about himself as well.
“Wins and losses teach you a lot in the ring and you learn a lot about yourself physically in terms of physical barriers, but more so you learn what mental barriers you can actually surpass,“ Angelotti said. ”There are a lot of challenges that I know I’ve personally had, and you hear stories from others about these hardships and things you can’t prepare for. It provides an opportunity to learn about yourself — especially when things go wrong — and it’s about how you bounce back from it. Everything is a learning experience, and I think that’s kind of cool.”
A big aspect of all that goes into Bengal Bouts is the sense of camaraderie among the fighters, and it’s certainly something Angelotti said he has felt throughout his four years participating in the event.
“We always say to end every fight with a hug or a handshake, so as soon as the fight is over, guys come back before they raise the winner’s hand and do that, or even as soon as that final bell rings,” he said. “You get in the ring and it’s like, ‘Yes, we are opponents, and I want to win the fight as bad as you do,’ but as soon as that last bell rings, we’re teammates and we realize everything we’re doing is toward a bigger cause. At the end of the day we both won because we both helped with the mission and we helped to raise money.”
Despite the individual accountability the bouts require, Angelotti made a point to note the importance of a team effort.
“There really aren’t losers because we’re all on the same team, so it’s a really unique blend,“ he said. ”Obviously it’s an individual sport, and you’re out there alone in the ring, but at the end of the day you are on a team with 150 other guys. It’s an interesting dynamic that I don’t think a lot of other sports have.”
With his time as a part of Bengal Bouts nearly complete, Angelotti — who lost in the semifinal round Monday — is preparing to move on, as next year he will be working as a consultant in Washington D.C. He said he hopes Bengal Bouts “can continue to expand” in the coming years as everyone involved works toward a great cause.
“We obviously get great turnouts every year, and I think this year we have around 120ish or so guys,” Angelotti said. “We’re pretty consistently around that number, but it would be great moving forward if we can increase the money we raise and increase the participation and even just continue to raise awareness of the fights. However possible, keep growing bigger and see where it can go.”