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Bengal Bouts opens 90th season with preliminaries

, , , , and | Friday, February 14, 2020

Observer File Photo
Two fighters compete in the Danhke Ballroom of the Duncan Student Center in the annual Bengal Bouts Tournament. The Bengal Bouts Tournament, of which the proceeds go to Holy Cross Missions in Bangladesh, was started by Knute Rockne and is now in its 90th season.

Kevin “Bad Attendance” Bhatt (Off Campus) def. Jacob Abel (Dunne Hall) 

The first match of the night commenced as Bhatt, an off campus graduate student, attempted to land a flurry of quick jabs. Abel, a freshman from Dunne Hall, blocked most of Bhatt’s offensive before driving him across the ring into the ropes. As round one ended, Abel tried to land a forceful uppercut, but he missed and crashed into the corner. Both boxers became more aggressive in the second round and traded strong shots to the head. After a period of grappling, each boxer connected on a few strikes to his opponent’s side. Abel then let loose a burst of energy as he landed a punishing barrage to Bhatt’s body. In the final round, Abel appeared to be physically exhausted. Bhatt took advantage of this development as he connected on many punishing uppercuts to Abel’s head and achieved a split decision victory. 


Patrick “Yellow Hat” Campbell (Knott Hall) def. Nathan Shemwell (Keenan Hall)

After the opening bell, Campbell, a freshman from Knott Hall, tested Shemwell’s defense with a series of jabs. Shemwell, a freshman from Keenan Hall, ducked under one of Campbell’s punches and landed an impressive counter strike. Both boxers relied on a strategy of patience and each seemed to anticipate the other’s next move. Shemwell pushed Campbell into the corner but took heavy damage in the process. In round two, Campbell connected on a few uppercuts to Shemwell’s head, but Shemwell responded with a well-timed counter. As the match continued into the final round, the energy seemed to be sapped out of each boxer. Campbell was able to break through Shemwell’s blocking technique and landed multiple strong swings, which proved to be the difference as he won in a split decision.     


Mike “Duck” Everett (Morrissey Manor) def. Max “Full Send” Forbes (Keenan Hall)

Both boxers opened the match with ambitious swings and traded some powerful jabs to the body. Everett, representing Morrissey Manor, controlled the pace of the fight as he pushed Keenan’s own Max Forbes around the ring. Much to the crowd’s amusement, the referee stopped the fight due Everett’s shoe becoming untied. Forbes tended to work from below as he would connect on a few body shots before swinging for the head. In the second and third rounds, the momentum of the match started to work in Everett’s favor, and, even as Forbes backed him into a corner, Everett performed some very forceful counter maneuvers. Everett then landed some of the hardest hits of the night, and Forbes looked visibly dazed as he took multiple shots to the head. Everett ended up winning by unanimous decision. 


Ryan “The Barnimal” Lokhorst (Morrissey Manor) def. Anthony “Please Don’t Hurt Me” O’Sullivan (O’Neill Family Hall) 

Lokhorst, a senior from Morrissey, started off the match on a tear, landing a quick succession of jabs to O’Sullivan’s head. O’Sullivan, a sophomore from O’Neill, responded with a few powerful swings of his own. Then, in one of the most epic moments of the night, both boxers connected on a huge strike and touched their gloves at full extension. Moving into the second round, both contestants dodged the other’s offensive before O’Sullivan knocked Lokhorst’s mouthguard out. The crowd responded with a thundering chant, which seemed to boost Lokhorst’s energy. The Barnimal ended the round on a high note with a few strong shots to O’Sullivan’s body. In the last moments, O’Sullivan made an amazing final effort and pushed Lokhorst to the ropes; however, Lokhorst escaped this rough situation as his mouthguard fell out again and the match was paused. After much deliberation, Lokhorst was awarded victory in a split decision. 


Tom “Tex” Edwards (Knott Hall) def. Mason “ShortStack” Sponem (Duncan Hall)

After a few seconds spent feeling each other out, it was Sponem who got the early jump in the bout. Fueled by a large Duncan hall fan section, the junior opted for a series of quick combinations and landed several body shots. Edwards was able to respond with a clean shot to Sponem’s headgear at the end of the first round. At the start of the second, it was the sophomore “Tex” who landed nearly every shot. Leading with a short left jab and a crushing right hook, the Knott Hall resident built a healthy cushion. Edwards didn’t relent in the third round and fended off Sponem’s aggressive approach and landed another series of combinations to secure a victory by unanimous decision. 


Jack “Fun-Sized” Phillips (Knott Hall) def. Liam “Hey I’ll Be Your Formal Date” Nugent (Dunne Hall)

The younger fighter by a significant margin, Phillips, the freshman Knott Hall resident, approached the bout with poise and a strong game-plan. He feigned in and out, maintained a strong defense and squeezed several left-handed jabs in between his opponent’s gloves before the first bell. The left jab proved to be “Fun-Sized’s” main source of offense, as he did not give his opponent much, but his lefty attack opened up some right-handed hooks which he turned into some solid body blows. The third round began with the bout still very much undecided, and both boxers came out looking to land high quantities of blows. Phillips landed the first major blows with two strong right hooks to Nugent’s headgear. The Dunne Hall senior stayed with his opponent though, patiently probing for a hole in Phillips’ defenses. To the delight of the Knott Hall contingent surrounding the ring, Phillips was announced a split-decision winner of the hotly-contested bout. 


Dominick “EverestAutomotiveMarket.com” Oddo (Off Campus) def. Tim “Jim Jompson” Thompson (Off Campus)

Boasting quite possibly the best mustache in the whole Bengal Bouts field, Oddo came out with a viciously aggressive approach and landed a series of strong combinations, fueled by a thundering right uppercut. The bout between two off-campus fighters went the graduate student Oddo’s way first as he switched the point of attack, drilling the senior Thompson with a series of left hooks in the second round. Although “Jim Jompson” found some success with quick jabs to the body, he still spent much of the round bouncing around the ropes, trying to avoid Oddo’s combinations. Oddo seemed comfortable in his lead and was content to largely backpedal around the ring in the third round. He never gave up any decisive combinations, closing out the victory in unanimous fashion.


Hector “Bueno” Juarez (Fisher) def. Clay “The Rajun Cajun” Talbot (Dunne Hall)

Both fighters came out swinging, each landing multiple solid hits in the first round. The Morrissey freshman Juarez landed multiple shots to the head towards the end of the round. Juarez continued to land more punches in the second round as Talbot, the Dunne sophomore, appeared to tire, although he landed hits as well. Both came out with renewed energy to open the third, Talbot seeming to regain his strength, landing multiple head shots right at the end of the bout, but it wasn’t enough to make up for Juarez’s early dominance, who took the victory by split decision. 


Jamie “Greek Freak” Marines (Morrissey Manor) def. Alec “LaLa” Vasquez (Keough Hall) 

The Keough sophomore Vasquez came out of the gate strong, unleashing a flurry of punches, but as the round wore on, Morrissey’s sophomore Marines landed punches as well. The fighters traded head shots in the second round, neither seemingly worried about deflecting the other’s punches. In the third round, they continued to batter each other, each landing multiple solid shots. The referee briefly stopped the third round, and after the break, the two deflected each other’s punches until time was called. In what was a very close fight, Marines prevailed in a split decision. 


Adam “Fringe Guy #2” Dillon  (Sorin College) def. Steve “Certainly” Provencher (Sorin College) 

Both fighters opened the fight with a barrage of punches, the referee having to stop the fight multiple times in the first round. They continued to batter each other in the second, with the sophomore Dillon landing the majority of hits, pinning the senior Provencher against the ropes multiple times. Provencher landed some punches of his own toward the end of round two. Round three opened with a similar intensity, and was evenly matched throughout the round, but Dillon’s strength in the early rounds proved too much. He won in a split decision.


Evan Molka (Keough Hall) def. Tim “Tam with Hands of Ham” Leisenring (Morrissey Manor)

Leisenring landed multiple hits early, but the Keough freshman Molka came back with some solid headshots toward the end of the first as Leisenring tired, with the Morrissey senior being pinned against the ropes toward the end of the round. Molka continued to batter Leisenring as the second round wore on, but Leisenring battled back with some hits of his own. Both fighters seemed to tire as the third round started, but after a quick break, the intensity was back, and both landed hits. Molka was victorious by split decision. 


Kevin “Blood and” Gore (Off Campus) def. Quinn “It to Win it” Bardwell (Carroll Hall) 

The fight opened defensively, but as the round continued, both fighters developed an intensity, with the sophomore Bardwell landing headshots early. However, the graduate student Gore pinned him against the ropes and landed multiple punches right before the bell. The fighters continued to batter each other in the second round, each landing solid punches, but Gore looked dominant at times. However, after landing a hard shot to the body, Bardwell knocked Gore to the ground to end the second round. The fighters began round three ferociously, each landing headshots. It appeared to be a very close fight, but Gore’s early punches were enough to earn him a unanimous decision win. 


Brendan “Wavy” Gage (Dunne Hall) def. Sirak “[Nickname goes here]” Negash (Morrissey Manor) 

Gage gained the first advantage of the contest, as both fighters landed hits before Gage’s managed to put Negash on his heels. The Houston native would respond however and use his length to keep Gage at bay, but Gage would record a solid series to finish the opener.

Negash came out looking to assert his will in the second round, leaning in in an attempt to use his reach to his advantage. Gage managed a few shots of his own, but Negash’s strategy paid off as he caused Gage to begin bleeding from his nose, bringing the fight to a halt. After beginning again, Negash looked to maintain his assertiveness, but Gage used the brief break to catch his breath. Even so, Negash’s strategy seemed foolproof, as Gage couldn’t take advantage of any openings.

In the final stanza, Negash backed Gage into the ropes to chants of “Let’s go Sirak” from his contingent in the crowd. Gage fought to stay on balance as he looked to avoid Negash before there was another stoppage for Gage’s injury. Gage managed to land a few final shots which made the referee inspect Negash before the final bell sounded. In the end, Negash’s aggressiveness proved to be his demise as Gage blocked enough hits and found enough openings to win by split decision.


Hayden “Heaters” Hoekstra (Morrissey Manor) def. Ian “Lights Out” Martin (Keenan Hall)

Hoekstra was the first to throw a punch, but Martin immediately ducked and looked to counter. “Lights out” soon proved to be the aggressor as he landed a few headshots and prompted “Heaters” to back away and regather. Hoekstra landed a brief succession of hits before Martin countered with a couple to close the first round.

Hoekstra looked to be more cautious in the second round, still instigating the fighting and landing a few headshots before quickly retreating. However, Martin’s brute strength enabled him to draw blood from Hoekstra and force a stoppage. As the fight continued, Hoekstra landed another quick burst, but Martin blocked it and more bleeding led to another break in the action. The breaks seemed to revitalize Hoekstra, as a second wind led to another flurry before the referee checked on Martin to end round two.

Martin looked to make up ground in the final round, trying to close the space and use his strength to his advantage. Martin landed a strong shot and ensuring series as Hoekstra looked to wrap him up. After one more stoppage for Hoekstra’s injury, Martin landed a final shot before the bell rang. Ultimately, Hoekstra’s strategy paid off as he was awarded the bout by split decision.


Greg “The Leg” McKenna (St. Edward’s Hall) def. Drew “The Iron” Curtin (Keenan Hall) 

McKenna looked to be assertive, but Curtin stayed low and looked to duck under McKenna to expose him from underneath. McKenna managed a few hits with hooks from his wingspan, but Curtin had better balanced and put McKenna on the retreat to end the first.

McKenna maintained resiliency in the second round, managing to put Curtin on the defensive and nearly backing him into the ropes on a couple of occasions. Curtin created space to regroup and managed a series that forced McKenna back, but both fighters landed a few clean hits to end round two.

Both fighters knew what was at stake in the final period and came out looking revived. It became a war of attrition as McKenna forced Curtin to the ropes before the latter flipped it on “The Leg.” McKenna landed one last hook to end the bout to chants of “break a leg” from the crowd. McKenna ended up pulling out the victory by split decision.


Alex “Jack” Potts (Duncan Hall) def. “Whose Mean” Tom Walsh (Keenan Hall)

Both fighters were tentative to begin, tapping gloves as they looked for an opening. Walsh looked to break the ice, and Potts promptly took the opening and landed a brutal shot to Walsh’s head that sent him into the ropes. Walsh then created space and looked to find an opening, but once more Potts exposed him and threw Walsh off balance with two more blows to the head.

Walsh sensed he needed to make something happen in the second round and leaned into his attacks a bit more, but Potts’ ferocity proved a handful as he kept finding openings.

The second and third rounds closed and opened the same way, with both fighters once more examining. The crowd looked to get Walsh going with chants of “Whose Mean Tom,” but Potts wouldn’t let him off the hook and the referee stepped in to inspect Walsh. Potts wrapped up the bout with another strong series as he claimed the bout by unanimous decision.


Chasen “Gumdrop” Brutocao (O’Neill Family Hall) def. Nico “Rough Rider” Robalin (Knott Hall)

The fight began with chants of “hear we go Gumdrop” from the crowd, as Brutocao was light on his feet and looked to find an opening, but Robalin had the strength to force Brutocao off balance and send him stumbling to the ground. However, Gumdrop responded by taking advantage of close space.

In the second round Brutocao managed to string together a nice series and found his niche as he took advantage whenever “Rough Rider” looked to close the space. Brutocao stayed light on his feet and managed to land shots to Robalin’s body.

Robalin looked to make up lost ground in the final round, finding a second win and not letting Brutocao take advantage of any openings as he had been. Brutocao appeared to go on the defensive, but he responded to Robalin’s attacks with a couple of shots before retreating. Gumdrop landed a headshot on Robalin’s final advance that sent the crowd into a frenzy and led the ref to evaluate Robalin right before the final bell. Ultimately, Brutocao’s strategy paid off as he won by unanimous decision.


Mitch “Dirty Birdie” DeBoskey (Alumni Hall) def. Adam El-Hajj (O’Neill Family Hall)

The first round started out with some back and forth action initially, but DeBoskey, a junior from Alumni Hall, landed the first big hit against El-Hajj, a sophomore from O’Neill Family Hall. At the end of the first round both DeBoskey and El-Hajj landed some big hits. Both fighters came out swinging to start the second round, and DeBoskey landed some big punches before the two got entangled. As the second round came to a close, there was still no clear winner. To start the third round, El Hajj threw some big punches out of the gate, but DeBoskey responded and landed some big combos of his own. DeBoskey ended the fight in a big way by pinning El-Hajj in the corner. In the end, DeBoskey was awarded the win in a split decision.


Nico “All-Business” Young Robles (Dunne Hall) def. Nate Dombrowski (Morrissey Manor)

Robles, a sophomore from Dunne Hall, came out of the gates swinging, landing some big punches early and forcing Dombrowski, a senior from Morrissey, on the defense. Dombrowski defended well, though, and fought back to land a couple combos of his own at the end of the first round. To start the second round, both fighters came out of the gate fast, and Dombrowski had some solid counter attacks on Robles’ punches. In the third round, Robles asserted his dominance and landed a big combo and then pinned Dombrowski in the corner. In the end, it was Robles who clearly dominated the fight and won by unanimous decision.


Dean “(Sug)ar” Maloney (Fisher Hall) def. Drew “The Menace” Morgan (Fisher Hall)

Morgan, a freshman from Keenan Hall, came out of the gates fast and landed some big punches against Maloney, a sophomore from Fisher Hall. Maloney survived Morgan’s early punches, though, and the fight slowed down significantly towards the end of the first round. The action started a lot more slowly in the second round, and Maloney landed some solid punches against Morgan. Morgan seemed to gain some momentum, but got scolded by the referee for a punch in the head, and at the end of the second round, there was still no clear winner. In the third round, it was Maloney that came out swinging, forcing Morgan on the defensive early. Morgan needed a timeout and both fighters began to lay a barrage of punches on each other. When all was said and done, the fight was very competitive and well-contested by both boxers, but Maloney was given the win by split decision.


Luke Slahor  (Duncan Hall) def. Shane “Wasn’t No Fun” Johnson (Off Campus)

Both fighters came out fast in round one, with Johnson evading Slahor’s efforts swiftly in the first round. Johnson, an off campus senior, came with a few shots of his own midway through the round, landing several combinations to Slahor’s head and body. Slahor would return with a few combinations of his own, landing several shots to Johnson’s body. Round two was of a similar tempo, Johnson coming out with a straight to the left side of Slahor, the freshman in Duncan Hall. The fighters continued to exchange shots until a short break in the action midway through the round. Slahor would throw a cross, which Johnson ducked under, and Johnson came back with a combination to the body of Slahor. Going into round three, there was no clear winner as both fighters had exchanged some solid shots. Slahor came out strong in the third round, with Johnson appearing a bit winded. Nevertheless, Johnson managed to stay in the round by dodging a number of Slahor’s efforts. Ultimately, Slahor was declared the winner by split decision in a very close fight. 


George “I want chocolate” O’Sullivan (Off Campus) def. Kevin “Bo” Beaugez (Off Campus)

Beaugez came out strong in the blue corner, starting the fight with some combinations to O’Sullivan’s left side. But O’Sullivan was quick to bounce back, and the fighters went on the exchange a number of blows. O’Sullivan, the off campus senior, would go on to land a strong cross to Beaugez’s right side halfway through the round, sending the off campus grad student to the floor and bringing on a stoppage in the fight. In the second round, the pace was a bit slower at the start. Each fighter seemed more cautious of the other, but O’Sullivan went on the attack halfway through the round. He would hold the advantage throughout the round. In the final round, O’Sullivan took the offensive once again, quick to charge Beaugez with a straight to the body after the bell rang. Beaugez appeared fatigued, but he worked to evade the efforts of O’Sullivan, and he even landed a solid hook to O’Sullivan’s right side to end the contest. Ultimately, O’Sullivan was named the winner by split decision. 


Ethan Meyer (Dillon Hall) def. Jack “The Hammer” Heatherman (Knott Hall)

Both fighters came out on the attack in this one, with Heatherman and Meyer throwing two straights that cancelled each other out. Seconds later, Meyer, the Dillon Hall sophomore, swung a huge left hook which Heatherman, the Knott Hall freshman, impressively evaded. Each fighter would go on to land a combination of his own, but Meyer would land a vicious straight that brought on a stoppage in the fight. The round ended in favor of Meyer on account of that blow. In the second round, Heatherman came out with a combination, eager to gain some ground, but Meyer would evade the effort, and soon after, Heatherman would be hit with another tough straight to the head. Merely seconds later, Meyer hit Heatherman with another hard cross, and the official stopped the fight once again. Heading into the third round Meyer held a clear advantage. The fighters came out with a bit less energy, but Meyer took advantage of Heatherman’s fatigue and landed a powerful combination to the face of Heatherman, which prompted yet another stoppage in the fight. Seconds later, Meyer came again with a strong hook, and another stoppage ensued. Ultimately, Meyer was declared the winner by unanimous decision. 


Mitch Koppinger (Dunne Hall) def. Brian “Uncle B” Holmes (Morrissey Manor)

Both fighters came out on the offensive in the first round. Koppinger, the Dunne Hall senior who held a significant height advantage, managed to land several combinations to the body of Holmes, the graduate student out of Morrissey Manor. However, Holmes bounced back with a couple of solid shots himself. The round ended with some highlights from each fighter. In the second round, Koppinger landed a combination to the body of Holmes which sent him drifting backwards, but Holmes came back with a strong shot to the face of Koppinger to even things out. Both fighters stepped off of each other for a bit, taking a breather in what had been a high energy bout. But soon enough, Holmes would come with a straight to the body of Koppinger before the bell rang to end the second round. Koppinger started the final round on top, landing a few shots to the head and body of Holmes, but Holmes landed a significant cross to the face of Koppinger seconds later. Holmes assumed the defensive after that, and Koppinger took advantage, landing a strong combination to the body of Holmes which prompted the official to stop the action. The round ended soon after, and in the end, Koppinger was named the victor by unanimous decision. 


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Hayden is the former sports editor of The Observer. When he's not working toward his four majors (physics and film, television & theatre) and three minors (journalism, ethics & democracy), you can probably find him hopelessly trying to save his beloved Zahm House from being wiped out. He plans to attend law school at a TBD location after graduation.

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A junior 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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Nate is a junior majoring in chemical engineering. He is originally from a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota and is currently living in Siegfried Hall. Some of his passions include running, cross country skiing, and getting too worked up about Notre Dame and Minnesota sports teams.

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