2023 Baraka Bouts Final Results
Kim “The Grillmaster” Nguyen (Gold) def. Elle “The Greek Freak” Strogilos (Blue)
After a touching bell toll tribute to the late boxing referee and Mendoza College of Business teaching professor Mike Montalbano, the opening bout of the finals was underway. Met with plenty of cheers from the crowd, Nguyen took over early with plenty of contact as Strogilos assumed the defensive for the duration of the first. In the second round, Strogilos managed to land respectable jabs despite several skilled dodging maneuvers by Nguyen. Nguyen came out swinging in the third, landed some damaging blows as Strogilos made a valiant effort to counter. Ultimately, by split decision, it was Nguyen who took home the win in the first bout.
Sarah “Midshipmenace” Nowak (Gold) def. Ellie “The Hammer” Hammerschmitt (Blue)
There was no shortage of energy as the second bout of the night got underway. An early stumble to the ground by Nowak briefly paused the contest. Nevertheless, Nowak quickly regrouped and took the offensive, despite expert dodging by Hammerschmitt. At the end of the round, a successful right hook by Hammerschmitt caused the crowd to erupt. In round two, the two women got in close, able to both deliver direct blows, though Nowak moved around the ring with more aggression and proactivity than Hammerschmitt as the ending bell sounded. In the third, both women put up a strong fight with impressive contact that caused the referee to separate the clinch. By split-decision, Nowak captured the championship in this bout.
Nicole “Knuckles” Lies (Gold) def. Abby “Silence of the” Lamm (Blue)
It was a scrappy first round, as both women delivered repeated blows in the ring. However, Lies assumed more accuracy and control as time went on, with Lamm unable to regroup until the round ended. Round two saw much of the same dance, with Lies gaining control again by the time the bell tolled. Both women gave it all in round three. Lies delivered direct punches to the face and body shots that left Lamm unstable. Out of the gold corner, Lies captured the trophy in this contest by a unanimous decision.
Lauren “Blondie” Buetow (Gold) def. Sami “The Smaller” Jorgensen (Blue)
After a brief feeling-out period, Buetow kicked off the action with a few strong jabs that connected with Jorgensen’s head straight up the middle. Jorgensen fought back the best she could, but Buetow largely controlled the first round, pushing the pace and mostly dictating the engagements in the opening 90 seconds. Jorgensen came out of the break forcefully, landing a few body shots. Buetow quickly replied with a strong headshot and eventually forced a count as she cornered Jorgensen with a some strong blows. The rest of the second round was slower, with both fighters taking deep breaths and saving energy for the final round. Buetow once again won the round’s opening exchanges, pushing Jorgensen to the ropes twice in the opening 30 seconds. The rest of the round saw both fighters seemingly low on energy, but Buetow found the last of her reserves to land a strong head blow that closed the bout. It was a dominant display from Buetow, who won the championship via unanimous decision.
Frankie “Frank the Tank” Masciopinto (Gold) def. Maggie “Read the Observer” Eastland (Blue)
Editor’s Note: Eastland is Editor-in-Chief of The Observer.
The bout started at a high pace with Eastland scooting in and out of Masciopinto’s range and throwing jabs. Masciopinto counterpunched with varying rates of success, but landed a few solid shots. This dynamic continued for much of the first round as the two engaged one another, looking for openings and throwing rapid jabs in a tight opening frame. Eastland came out of the gate quickly and landed a few strong shots, much to the delight of her ringside support. Eastland threw more often, but the patient Masciopinto found good spots to reply and landed some forceful blows to Eastland’s headgear. Undeterred, Eastland kept up her fast pace as Masciopinto seemingly invited the pressure but landed consistently. Dueling chants of “Maggie” and “Frankie” kicked off the third round as Eastland kept up her high-paced attack. Masciopinto seemed to find a groove though, pushing Eastland and dictating the pace for the middle portion of the round. Eastland made a strong final argument, landing a hard blow that forced a count for Masciopinto just before the bell. Despite the count late in the third, Masciopinto had done enough. The referee raised her hand and she was crowned the champion by unanimous decision.
Lily “The Chelsea Dagger” Whitman (Blue) def. Caroline “Wasian Persuasion” Landry (Gold)
It was a manic start to the bout with Landry getting the better of the opening exchanges and even dislodging Whitman’s headgear. The quick pace kept up throughout the round, but Whitman found her feet and landed a few blows of her own. The fight was mostly going on up close, with the pair nearly clinching near end of the of the round. The opening exchanges were fairly even in the second round until Landry landed a hit, causing Whitman to lose her balance and hit the canvas. She quickly stood up but received a count regardless. Once the bout resumed, the two fighters seemed more patient until Whitman closed the distance and landed a solid combination shortly before the bell. The patience was all gone at the start of the third as both fighters came out throwing haymakers. They kept trading blows, throwing with all they had until they clinched and the referee intervened. It was an even end to the round as they both emptied the reserves and threw all the punches they had left. After a tightly contested bout, the judges gave Whitman the championship via split decision.
Gabi “Texan Perfection” Cano (Gold) def. Maria “La Leche” Silvestri (Blue)
Both boxers came out swinging, much to the excitement of both sets of fans. After exchanging blows to the head, Silvestri knocked Cano to the ground toward the end of the first and she received a standing eight count. She stumbled again but remained on her feet to finish the first round. Silvestri continued to push Cano around during the second round and was able to back her into the ropes several times before Cano eventually landed a solid headshot. The round ended with Silvestri receiving a standing eight count. Both competitors landed a lot of punches in the third round and Silvestri received a second standing eight count, even though she continued to direct Cano around the ring. After the final bell, Cano was awarded the victory in a unanimous decision.
Olivia “Manny” Mancuso (Blue) def. Annie “Big Ann” Guinan (Gold)
Throughout the fight, the two moved at each other quickly and struck with authority. Mancuso seemed to favor shots to the body while Guinan tended to aim higher. Guinan backed Mancuso back into the ropes toward the end of the first round before Mancuso landed the last strike of the round. Mancuso seemed to maintain her control until Guinan suddenly took the upper hand and forced her back about 10 feet and into the ropes again. Both landed solid shots on their opponent until the bell at the end of the second round. To start the third, Mancuso put her fists into Guinan’s face several times and dodged a key blow. Finally, Mancuso forced Guinan to receive a standing eight count, which stopped the clock. After that, Mancuso was driven toward the ropes twice more as the third round ended. In a split decision, the judges awarded Mancuso the victory.
Ocean “The Matador” Leto (Blue) def. JJ “Soldier Boy” Jorgensen (Gold)
In the final bout of the night, Jorgensen came out strong, doling out strike after strike to her opponent. This opening barrage resulted in a standing eight count and several pushes into the ropes. Leto landed a few punches of her own to end the first round. Jorgensen controlled the contest again through the second round, pushing Leto around the ring. The referee broke the pair up several times. Leto landed a few head shots in a row, and Jorgensen received a standing eight count. Leto let her guard down, and the referee checked her helmet, but she came back to push Jorgensen back around the ring. At the end of the round, Jorgensen kept Leto away and delivered a few key hits to end the fight. In the final decision of the night, the judges named Leto the winner by split decision.