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Giordano ready to claim title after three-straight runner-up finishes

| Friday, March 1, 2019

When he arrived on campus his freshman year, Montana Giordano had no idea what was in store for him at Notre Dame — and he certainly had no idea what was in store for him as a member of Bengal Bouts. But regardless, the senior from Belle Chasse, Louisiana, has become an integral part of the organization, despite not having intentions of joining the club when he decided to come to South Bend for college.

“I was looking for an [extracurricular], and Bengal Bouts caught my attention,” Giordano said in an email. “I have stuck with it through the [years] because I enjoy the brotherhood the club has to offer and the incredible service opportunity of helping the Holy Cross [missions] in Bangladesh.”

Over the years, Giordano has steadily risen to the top of the club he once knew nothing about, proving himself as both a leader and an athlete. His senior season has been no exception: Giordano has excelled both in and out of the ring, being chosen as one of eight captains and advancing to the finals in the 202-lbs. weight class.

The Alumni Hall senior has cruised through both the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds this year, beating both of his opponents by unanimous decision. In the quarterfinals, Giordano bested Duncan senior Conner Futa, and in the semifinals he overcame a late rally from Knott sophomore Andrew Sharpe to punch his ticket to the final competition. Now, Giordano looks ahead to a matchup against a fellow senior, Jack McDermott, a native of O’Neill Family Hall, who also won his semifinal fight via unanimous decision.

Looking forward to one of the biggest fights of his career, Giordano said he still cherishes the very first time he ever stepped into the ring, citing it as one of the best things about being part of the club.

“My favorite memory was walking into the ring for my first bout freshman year,” Giordano said. “There was lots of nerves and excitement to finally get in the ring.”

With the first fight of his freshman year, Giordano started himself down a path of legacy within the club, earning himself a spot in the finals each and every year that he has competed. But each year — just like his opponent in Friday’s bout — he has fallen short of the ultimate title. As a freshman, Giordano fell to Pat Gordon, a then-sophomore from Keough Hall, in the 207-lbs. division. The subsequent year, Giordano fought valiantly in the 199-lbs. division but ultimately lost to then-Dillion senior and club president Jack Considine. Despite the loss he suffered in 2017, Giordano cites the fight as an important moment for him.

“My favorite fight was my sophomore year final against Jack [Considine],” Giordano said. “There wasn’t much defensive involved, and we both gave it everything we had.”

Last year, Giordano once again faced off against an older student and club captain, and he found himself unable to finish the job as a result. In the 204-lbs. division, then-senior Jackson Wrete immediately put Giordano on the defensive, with both men fighting aggressively until the end.

Now in his senior season, Giordano is finally in the position that his opponents have been in the past few years. As a senior and captain, Giordano will look to capitalize on his experience and fitness in what will be the final fight of his career.

Regardless of the immense success he has had as a three-time finalist, Giordano doesn’t cite the fighting as the best part about being a member of Bengal Bouts.

“The most valuable part of this experience is knowing that you will have a real impact on the lives of others through our support for the Holy Cross missions in Bangladesh,” Giordano said.

Having made an impact in the program throughout the years, Giordano will look to finally capture the ever-elusive title that he’s been searching for the past four years. But even after the final bell rings Friday, Giordano knows Bengal Bouts won’t actually be over for him.

“The bonds I have made in this club will last forever,” he said.

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