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Baraka Bouts champions crowned

, and | Monday, November 18, 2019

Karen “Can I speak to Your Manager” Alvarez def. Danielle “Mighty Muffin” Harold

The first fight of the night started out as everybody expected: heated. Both fighters came out of their corners with intensity. There were few moments in the first round where the two were not engaged. Sophomore Danielle “Mighty Muffin” Harold landed a series of punches, and her opponent, Karen “Can I Speak to Your Manager” Alvarez, responded with a volley of her own. Late in the first, Alvarez, from Cavanaugh Hall, landed a big clean hit on Harold, her classmate from Flaherty Hall. At the start of the second, both fighters came out hard. Harold seemed to dominate the fight at the beginning, but Alvarez found her composure and responded to every punch with one of her own. Going into the third, it looked like Harold would win the fight based off of points alone. With that, the fighters met each other head on, and Harold applied pressure for the majority of the round. Alvarez, staying on her back foot, was able to land a few big hits to the head when given some room, and Alvarez was named winner by split decision.

Ellie “Night Night” McCarthy def. Dania “Ka-Chow” Abdul Rahman

Badin Hall junior Dania “Ka-Chow” Abdul Rahman started the fight aggressively. She charged out of her corner, meeting Ryan Hall junior Ellie “Night Night” McCarthy head on. McCarthy responded in turn, using her reach to her advantage. Late in the first, Abdul Rahman took a big hit and was pushed into the ropes. McCarthy kept blue at bay throughout the first and attacked at will. At the start of the second, Abdul Rahman, once again, came out charging. This round, Abdul Rahman was trying to stay under McCarthy’s reach. She kept on the pressure, knowing that she needed to accumulate points. McCarthy did not stop competing, responding to every hit with one of her own. Going into the third, both fighters had demonstrated their right to be in the ring. Abdul Rahman came out with her arms swinging, and McCarthy only engaged when Abdul Rahman was within her range, letting her opponent come to her. Abdul Rahman landed an impressive series of body shots in the middle of the third. The fight ended with both boxers heaving everything they had at each other. The winner, by split decision, was McCarthy.

Allison Thornton | The Observer
Ellie “Night Night” McCarthy, left, trades blows with Dania “Ka-Chow” Abdul Rahman during the Baraka Bouts finals Sunday night in the Dankhe Ballroom.

Cam “Can’t Touch This” Dowd def. Kate “Whack” Zawacki

The fight started with both fighters eager to get started. After an initial exchange of punches, Badin Hall sophomore Cam “Can’t Touch This” Dowd turned on the pressure and landed a series of barely-contested blows. McGlinn Hall senior Kate “Whack” Zawacki, trying to keep distance in the first, was pushed into the ropes more than once. At the start of the second, Zawacki came out her corner much more aggressively. Dowd met every one of her punches with ones of her own. In the middle of the second, Zawacki landed an undisputed combination, forcing Dowd to back off. By the start of the third, the fighters had earned each other’s respect. Going into the third, the fighters engaged mostly in the center of the ring. Dowd managed to push Zawacki back a few times, but Zawacki was never met without giving a fight. Tired from a long fight, both fighters managed to land mostly undisputed punches at the end of the contest. Dowd was named winner by split decision.

Sydney “The Sloth” Carlino def. Molly O’Connor

At the first bell, the fighters were quick to start. There was a clear size difference in this fight, with Cavanaugh Hall junior Sydney “The Sloth” Carlino being a lot smaller than her opponent, fellow Cavanaugh junior Molly O’Connor. Carlino moved around the ring a lot, forcing O’Connor to chase after her. When the two engaged, O’Connor would hit high and Carlino would hit low. Each fighter used her opponent’s size as an advantage. In the second round, the fighters, once again, met in the middle of the ring. They exchanged jabs, and Carlino landed a meaningful series of shots to O’Connor’s head. O’Connor tried to use her reach to keep Carlino at bay, but Carlino continued finding a way under. In the third round, the two fighters were very much engaged. Carlino continued applying pressure and, this round, O’Connor was meeting her shot for shot. O’Connor made contact with Carlino’s head, forcing her back on multiple occasions. Carlino won by unanimous decision.

Liz “Lights Out” Kerner def. Carly “The Wall” Hall

Both fighters came out aggressive in the first round, but both Carly Hall and Liz Kerner kept steady defenses for the majority of the first round. As time wore down in the first round, Kerner, a Pasquerilla West sophomore, found a steady stream of success with low body blows followed by hard uppercuts aimed at Hall’s headgear. 

Hall, a sophomore in Pasquerilla East, fixed her approach to start the second round, sending multiple left jabs through Kerner’s hands. However, Hall left her own hands too far apart, and Kerner delivered a quick jab that sent Hall to the mat briefly. The bell rang with Hall firmly in control of the bout. 

Kerner didn’t slow down, loading up with a crushing right jab that stunned Hall. Comfortable with her efforts to that point, Kerner settled into a defensive approach to see out the rest of the bout. Kerner earned the victory via unanimous decision.

Delany “Sharkface” Bolton def. Jen “Kinetic Jenergy” Lies

Delany Bolton came out the aggressor and pushed Jen Lies around the ropes, repeatedly pounding Lies’ headgear. After struggling through the first half of the round, Lies responded with a couple of blows to slow Bolton’s ongoing attack at the first bell. 

“Sharkface” didn’t slow down in the second round. She frequently utilized combinations, leading with a left jab before following with a powerful right hook that often found its mark on the side of Lies’ headgear. Lies, a Lewis senior, was able to crack Bolton’s defense a few times, landing a handful of jabs, but Bolton largely controlled the round. 

Lies came out needing an aggressive and dominant third round and found space for a few hard jabs to start the round. But Bolton’s signature right hook continued to do significant damage and as the round wore on, Bolton prioritized defense to preserve the victory. It was more than enough as the Welsh Family Hall senior won by unanimous decision. 

Megan “Mamba” Voigt def. Sophia “Lights Out” Sheehy

Round one was an entertaining back-and-forth affair, with both fighters covering large portions of the ring. It was Megan Voigt who often was able to back Sophia Sheehy into the corner, but Sheehy, a Cavanaugh Hall junior, was able to keep her hands up and avoid any massive blows. Voigt, a sophomore from Howard Hall, seemed to tire near the end of the first round and took a couple of body shots. 

The second round was slightly calmer than the first round. Voigt patiently probed for weak links in her opponent’s defense. Sheehy held her own, but Voigt found a hole in the last ten seconds, pummeling Sheehy up against the ropes and landing a bevy of body blows. 

Sheehy provided an excellent defensive show at the start of the third round, often baiting Voigt into an aggressive attack before evading and launching a counterattack. Unfortunately, Sheehy’s defensive stand was not enough to make up for the first two rounds of steady attacks she endured. Voigt was named the winner by unanimous decision. 

Molly “The Silent G” Giglia def. Kelly Ward

A tense first round saw both fighters shuffle around the center, with decisive punches hard to come by. It was Molly “The Silent G” Giglia who landed the first big blow, a resounding right hook against Ward’s headgear.

Giglia stayed aggressive in the second round, but the Pangborn sophomore Ward showed composure in handling many of the blows thrown at her. However, offense against Giglia’s steady defense was hard to find, and the bell rang with Ward still searching for a strong offensive combination. 

Sensing the urgency, Ward came out decidedly more aggressive, but the fast-paced style didn’t bother Giglia; the Cavanaugh senior continued to display exemplary defense and pleaded her case to the judges with a few more left jabs that cracked Ward’s defense. Giglia sealed the victory with a final combination that ended with a powerful right-handed hook to Ward’s headgear, propelling her to a victory by unanimous decision. 

Ally “Oops” Desrosiers def. Caitlyn “The Warden” Ward

The first round saw two fighters with polar-opposite strategies. The taller fighter, the off-campus graduate student Ward, attempted to keep Desrosiers at a distance and deliver damage from afar. Desrosiers preferred to get in close, firing a multitude of quick body jabs. Both fighters landed several blows in an even first round. 

The second round was much of the same, with neither fighter appearing to gain a significant advantage. Ward controlled the center of the ring, as Desrosiers spent much of the round near the ropes, but the Pasquerilla West junior’s defense held strong and she found room for a few strong left jabs and appeared to have a slight edge at the second bell.

The bout was up for grabs entering the third round, and it was Ward who first made her case, pushing Desrosiers against the ropes with a series of combinations. However, Desrosiers responded with a resounding left hook that briefly stunned Ward. Desrosiers carried her momentum through the rest of the round, utilizing an apparent second wind to repeatedly crack Ward’s defenses. Her strong finish earned her a unanimous decision victory. 

Maggie “Luxembux” Farrell def. Gwen “Mary Lou” McCain

McCain, the senior representing Lewis Hall, started the bout by throwing some fake punches and settling the nerves of the greener fighter Farrell, a sophomore representing Walsh Hall. The fighters would both go after each other’s head after this brief starting exchange. McCain continued to throw false punches and then unleash a series of hooks on Farrell’s head. Both fighters ignored the other’s body in the first round, aiming for the vulnerable head area instead. The second round would open in much the same fashion, with both fighters engaging on series of wide hooks. It appeared through two rounds that McCain had landed more shots to her opponent’s head, but not without taking damage as Farrell landed plenty of hooks and jabs herself. McCain would would wait for Farrell to throw the first punch in the final round. Farrell, sensing the walls closing in, would continue to look for a big shot to McCain’s head, but McCain was having none of it; she lowered her head and in the third and final round, she finally started attacking the body, leaving her head exposed and open to Farrell’s heavy hooks. Farrell’s effort in the third was enough to get her the victory, though, as she was declared winner by split decision. 

Maggie Gallagher def. Kaleigh “Python” Brauns

Brauns, a junior representing Pasquerilla West, landed the first shot of the match on the much younger Gallagher, a freshman representing Howard Hall. Gallagher was able to respond well to the opening punch, however, landing several blows on her opponent’s head. Brauns was not ready to give in this early, and she sent Gallagher flying against the ropes to end the first round. Gallagher was the one who would throw the first combination in the second round, and the tide of the fight would soon quickly turn in her favor. Gallagher sent Brauns up against the ropes in the first exchange of the round and on two other occasions. The second round concluded in a stark contrast to the first, with Gallagher bullying Brauns against the rope as the bell to end the round sounded. Gallagher opened the third round to the same tone as the second had ended. The power of Gallagher’s jabs sent her opponent stumbling back to the ropes several more times in the final round, and the referee paused the fight to check on her just before the final bell rang. Gallagher was declared winner by unanimous decision, but in a show of sportsmanship, Brauns was still grinning ear to ear when the final decision was announced.

Erin “The Big Mac” Doyle def. Alexis “Texas” Driscoll 

Both fighters came into the match with heads of steam and attacked the other with lightning quick combinations in the first round. Erin Doyle, a junior representing Pasquerilla East, appeared to be getting the better of her captain, Driscoll, a junior representing Lewis Hall. Blood appeared to be flowing from the head of Driscoll after she got up from her stool, which gave her a little more time to recover from the onslaught. Doyle went hunting in the second, smelling the imminent victory on the horizon if she continued to stay collected and land her shots on the quickly-fading Driscoll. Doyle showed no mercy in the third and final round, which she opened with strong jabs to the head of Driscoll. She attacked when the time called for it and retreated when her opponent thought about responding. Her shots were far too much for Driscoll to handle, as the referee paused the fight just before the bell to conclude the match was set to ring, just for the sake of cleaning the blood dripping off of her face onto her gloves. When it was all said and done, Doyle was declared winner by unanimous decision.

Molly “You’re So Tall” Hartlage def. Isabel “Goose” Gese

In the final bout of the evening, Hartlage, a senior representing Pasquerilla West, faced Gese, the junior representing Badin. Hartlage open the fight with a quick jab to Gese’s head, but Gese was fast to respond, landing jabs to Hartlage’s head and then attacking her body when she would cover her head up. Hartlage landed a  heavy shot to Gese’s head that sent a wave of cheers throughout the crowd, but, preferring quantity over quality, Gese had landed several more punches than her opponent. Hartlage landed some big right hooks to start the second round, but Gese wasn’t fazed in the slightest. She responded with her own series of punches to Gese’s head, and heading into the third, it was easy to say that it could be anybody’s fight to conclude the evening. Hartlage started the first round swinging hard and often, and Gese had no choice but to push her opponent out of her reach, but even this was no easy feat, as the length of Hartlage seemed to give her a good advantage over Gese. Both fighters continued to exchange blows to conclude the final round, and neither was left without battle wounds when the referee raised Hartlage’s hand, declaring her winner by unanimous decision. 


About Inigo Yturralde

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A senior marketing and ACMS major at Notre Dame, I've countered the success I've enjoyed as a New England sports fan with the painful existence of a Notre Dame football fan.

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About Jimmy Ward

Jimmy is a senior at Holy Cross College, where he studies English and sports management. He is originally from Westfield, Indiana. Currently, Jimmy serves as an associate sports editor at The Observer. You can find him at @jimmyyward on Twitter.

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