Categories
Sports

Nine fighters crowned Baraka Bouts champions

Lindsey “Smol Ranger” Michie def. Katherine “Bend It Like” Beckman of Howard Hall

The opening bout of the finals was full of enthusiasm from the crowd, and both boxers came out on the offensive. Michie landed a couple of punches early, but Beckman fought back, using her long reach to land some punches of her own. Michie ended the first round on a high note, though, by landing a series of jabs on Beckman. In the second round, it was Beckman who came out of the gates on the offensive, but Michie responded by landing a huge blow to the head. After the second round, it was still up in the air who would win the fight. In the third, both boxers continued to land blows on each other, but Michie was able to land some punishing blows on Beckman to win it all by unanimous decision. 

Ellie “The Hammer” Hammerschmitt of Pasquerilla East Hall def. Emily “Enemy Jane” Nowak of McGlinn Hall

Hammerschmitt dominated this fight early, landing a huge blow to Nowak in the opening seconds. But Nowak was able to get her footing in the fight and slip out of some of Hammerschmitt’s jabs to land some blows of her own. Nowak came out of the gates on the offensive in the second round, but Hammerschmitt countered with a series of blows on Nowak. Although Nowak responded by landing some punches of her own, Hammerschmitt’s longer reach proved difficult for Nowak to handle, and Hammerschmitt gained control of the fight in the second round. In the final round, Nowak landed some body blows on Hammerschmitt, but Hammerschmitt once again used her strength to pin Nowak against the rails and land more. Ultimately, Hammerschmitt would win the fight by unanimous decision.

Sarah “Midshipmenace” Nowak of Welsh Family Hall def. Lauren “Blondie” Buetow of Flaherty Hall

This fight was highly contested early on, with both boxers landing jabs on each other in the opening seconds. Nowak would gain some momentum as the round progressed by landing some big punches on Buetow. It was Buetow who came out of the gates on the offensive in the second round, but Nowak countered by landing some strong blows on Buetow and knocking her to the ground. Beutow would fight back, however, after getting knocked down and landed some jabs of her own on Nowak. Nowak would then end the second round on a high note by landing some more strong blows on Buetow. In the final round, both boxers looked noticeably tired, and both traded blows with each other over the final seconds of the fight. In the end, Nowak had done enough in the first two rounds to win the fight by split decision. 

Cece “Gigna Ninja” Giarman of Lewis Hall def. Chiara “French Thunder” Thrum of Lewis Hall

The fight between the two Lewis women got off to a quick start with both boxers landing punch after punch on each other. The fighting went back and forth early in the first round, and both boxers were successful in responding to the other’s offensive. Giarman ended the round on a high note, however, by landing some punishing blows on Thrum. In the second round, both boxers came out of the gates on the offensive, but this time it was Giarman that found success by landing a flurry of punches on Thrum. Giarman continued to dominate the second round by landing some more body blows and jabs on her opponent. In the final round, Thrum fought back and landed some jabs on Giarman, forcing Giarman into an eight count. Both boxers started to fatigue towards the end, but Giarman found a second wind to land some punishing blows at the end of the fight. Giarman did enough to ultimately win the fight by unanimous decision.

Lily “The Chelsea Dagger” Whitman of Lyons Hall def. Caroline “Wasian Persuasion” Landry of Lewis Hall

The final round fight between Whitman and Landry began with both fighters landing a flurry of punches. The ref broke up the fight after Whitman landed a headshot; both fighters continued with vengeance. They went back and forth fairly evenly until Whitman landed several shots to end the round. Whitman dominated in the second, backing Landry down with multiple jabs to the head. Landry managed to land a strong punch, but Whitman largely controlled the round. Whitman dominated in the final until Landry knocked Whitman down and gave her a bloody nose. However, this was not enough, and Whitman won the fight by unanimous decision.

Ocean “The Matador” Leto of Welsh Family Hall def. Monica “Mc4” Caponigro of Pasquerilla East

The championship round fight between Caponigro and Leto got off to an exciting start with both fighters throwing rapid punches. Caponigro and Leto moved quickly, and the match remained fairly even until Leto managed multiple successive punches to Caponigro. Caponigro started the second round off by landing a series of punches. But,Leto did not back down, and the two exchanged blows until the bell sounded. The fighters went into the third round with a burst of energy, both fighting with vengeance. Caponigro landed multiple successive punches, which Leto repaid her with a few moments later. Leto attacked fiercely and landed an uppercut and a shot to the face. This late burst pushed Leto ahead, and she won the hard-fought match by unanimous decision.

Kim “The Grillmaster” Nguyen of Walsh Hall def. Nicole “Knuckles” Lies of Welsh Family Hall

Lies controlled the fight at the start, landing successive hits and dodged Nguyen’s punches effectively. She kept Nguyen on her heels for the majority of the first round. Both fighters came into the second round with increased intensity. Nguyen started off strong, but Lies fought back harder and continued to back Nguyen down. Nguyen started to tire towards the end of the second and stayed on the defensive until the bell rang. Lies continued to dominate in the final round, landing multiple hits to the head while also dodging most of Nguyen’s punches. Both fighters were slowing down by the finish, but Nguyen managed to finish strong, landing multiple punches to end the round.. Her performance late in the match earned Nguyen a split victory.

Frankie “Frank the Tank” Masciopinto of McGlinn Hall def. Sabrina “Golden Stinger” Curran of Flaherty Hall

The main event of the evening was the final round contest between Frankie “Frank the Tank” Masciopinto of McGlinn Hall and Sabrina “Golden Stinger” Curran of Flaherty Hall. Sabrina opened the match aggressively, landing several rapid hits and dodging most of Masciopinto’s punches. She kept Masciopinto on her heels and continued to land hits for most of the round. Masciopinto found a burst at the end of the round and backed Curran into a corner before the bell rang. Curren again opened the second round aggressively. The fighters traded punches, but the more technically sound Masciopinto controlled the fight for most of the round. The third round started evenly, with both fighters trading punches with tenacity. Curran then broke ahead, knocking Masciopinto to the ground and then landing a right hook moments later. However, it was not enough, and Masciopinto emerged as the victor by split decision.

JJ “Soldier Boy” Jorgensen def. Jessica “The Adjudicator” Vickery

Vickery did not show for the fight and Jorgensen won by default.

Categories
Sports

Baraka Bouts: Ring A quarterfinal results

The 20th Annual Baraka Bouts commenced on Monday, Nov. 10. Here are the quarterfinal results from Ring A.

Lindsey “Smol Ranger” Michie def. Lauren “Half-Pint” Hubert of Farley Hall

To start the night, both women came out of the gates on the offensive, landing multiple punches on each other, and it was apparent the fight was going to be very competitive. In the second round, it was Michie who started to find a rhythm and land multiple jabs on Hubert. As the round endured, however, both boxers started to fatigue, and Hubert fought back and landed some jabs of her own. Both boxers got a newfound energy in the third round, and this time it was Hubert that came out of the gates firing. Michie would fight back, though, and land some more punches to win the fight by unanimous decision.

Annie “Big Ann” Guinan of Pasquerilla East Hall def. Catie “little boy” Ellis

Guinan came out of the gates strong in this one, landing a flurry of punches on Ellis in the opening seconds. As the round endured, Ellis changed the tide of the fight, knocking Guinan to the ground. To start the second round, Guinan went back to work, landing punch after punch against Ellis. In the third round, though, Ellis fought back, landing some punches of her own against Guinan and pinning her up against the ropes. As Guinan continued to fatigue, Ellis continued to land a flurry of jabs to end the fight. Ultimately, Guinan did enough at the beginning of the fight to win by unanimous decision.

Ryn “Rico” Weiss of Badin Hall def. Aranza “Pistolera” Sierra

Weiss landed some strong jabs early to get the fight going. As the first round endured, Weiss continued to have her way with Sierra, landing punch after punch. In the second round, Weiss flew out of her corner, going after Sierra immediately. Weiss continued to control the pace of the flight throughout the course of the second round. In the final round, Sierra showed some fight, landing some jabs of her own against Weiss. Weiss would land some more jabs to end the fight, though, and ultimately won by unanimous decision.

Monica “Mc4” Caponigro of Pasquerilla East Hall def. Delaney “D MONEY” Smith of McGlinn Hall 

Both boxers came out of the gate on the offensive, and landed a flurry of punches on each other. As the round progressed, Caponigro gained some momentum, landing some jabs on Smith. In the second round, it was Smith who fought back by landing a couple of quick jabs on Caponigro. Both fighters continued to battle in the second round, and it was evident this was about to be a highly contested fight. Caponigro fought back in the third round to land some more jabs on Smith, which was enough for her to win the fight by unanimous decision.

Kim “The Grillmaster” Nguyen of Walsh Hall def. Tess “Boulder Shoulders” Kesler of Walsh Hall 

In the first round, it was Nguyen who came out of the gate firing, landing a couple of jobs on Kesler to start the fight. Nguyen continued to dominate in the first round, landing a string of punches on Kesler to end the opening round. In the second round, Nguyen flew out of the gate and again continued to land punch after punch on Kesler. Nguyen finished the round on a strong note, landing some more jabs against Kesler. In the third round, it was evident that both fighters began to fatigue, but Nguyen continued to control the fight, and she would ultimately win by unanimous decision.


Maggie “Thunderstruck” Langheim def. Katie “Gilgamesh” Gilland of Howard Hall

The first round began with aggression from Langheim, landing numerous jabs with frenetic energy. While Gilland would land some punches of her own, Langheim controlled the pace and seemed to overwhelm a defensive Gilland. In the second round, Gilland came out angry and landed a flurry of punches upon Langheim, who retaliated with pointed counters. Following a brief suspension of play, Gilland would maintain her almost frantic pace and continue to strike, but Langheim remained stout in her defense. The third round was all Langeheim’s, overpowering a fatigued Gilland and dealing a number of jabs. Gilland would land some punches, albeit much less. Langheim would go on to win this spirited bout by unanimous decision. 

Layann Wardeh of Lewis Hall def. Emma “Bad Intentions” Speyrer of Cavanaugh Hall 

Round one began with Wardeh in complete control, pushing Speyrer into corners and landing numerous jabs upon her opponent. Speyrer would rebound, landing punches of her own, but overall, the round was defined by Wardeh’s pace and energy. The second round saw skill on both sides, with Wardeh’s light footwork and lethal punch accuracy on full display alongside Speyrer’s ability to land jabs in defenseless spots. Speyrer elevated to match Wardeh in her aggression. The third round, accompanied by deafening chanting from the crowd, saw both fighters land critical jabs and calm down from their previous energy level. Wardeh of the gold corner would go on to win by an unanimous decision. 

JJ “Soldier Boy” Jorgensen of Lewis Hall def. Kylie “Fireball” Fuerbacher of Welsh Family Hall

The first round began with electric jabs from Jorgensen forcing Fuerbacher to the ground, into the ropes, and staggering all about the ring. Jorgensen’s speedy footwork and pace defined the fight, pushing Fuerbacher across the floor. The second round brought more of the same, with Jorgensen landing jab after jab, forceful hooks, and again forcing Fuerbacher onto the ground. Jorgensen again controlled the fight in the third round, with a lethal hook motion that resulted in staggering punches and hectic defense from Fuerbacher. Fuerbacher mounted a valiant defense but was again brought to the floor of the ring. Jorgensen’s furious fighting style would lead to her winning the bout via unanimous decision. 

Gabi “Texan Perfection” Cano of Pasquerilla West Hall def. Caitlin “Aces” Yarusso of Pasquerilla East Hall

The first round of this fight began with brilliance from both fighters, as both landed jabs on each other, defended with poise and showed continued aggression despite their daunting opponent. Over time, Cano would come to overpower Yarusso in the round, forcing her to defend as she piled up jabs. Cano would open up swinging in round two, landing a flurry of punches and forcing Yarusso into mostly defensive positions. Cano continued to find weak spots in Yarusso’s defense, however, dealing jabs through a combination of hooks and penetration. Round three was characterized by a vigilant Cano dealing punches on a fatigued Yarusso, using a right hook motion to consistently deal jabs. Cano would win the bout by unanimous decision. 

Ellie “The Hammer” Hammerschmitt of Pasquerilla East Hall def. Lauren “Spider Monkey” Glynn of Breen-Phillips Hall 

Round one started off fiercely, as both fighters dealt jabs and fought with an angry pace. Hammershmitt would gradually go on to dominate, landing a flurry of aggressive punches. The second round saw more of the same, as Hammerschmitt pushed Glynn around the floor and dealt a series of jabs. Round three saw both fighters resort to aggressive defensive techniques, with Glynn taking control and bullying Hammerschmitt into the ropes. While Glynn dominated the third round, Hammerschmitt would win by unanimous decision. 

Lily “The Chelsea Dagger” Whitman of Lyons Hall def.  Anna “Power Tower” Prest of Ryan Hall

Whitman started out strong and controlled the pace of the first round. With a bevy of quick jabs and a strong left hook punctuating her attacks, “The Chelsea Dagger” got off to a clear advantage. Whitman’s lethal left continued its onslaught in the second round, jabbing between Prest’s gloves with great frequency. In the third round, Prest, needed to find some momentum but couldn’t avoid the corners of the ring. Whitman, who is looking to go further than last year when she lost in the semifinals, earned an authoritative victory by unanimous decision. 

Hannah “Happle Apple” Vespalec of Welsh Family Hall def. Grace “Haak Attack” Haak of Ryan Hall  

Haak and Vespalec commenced their bout with a frenetic pace. However, it was not with reckless abandon, as both boxers demonstrated composed defense to keep things close. Locked in a tight bout, Vespalec utilized body shots that opened up a clean right hook and a stronger attack before the bell ended the second round. 

Buoyed by a strong cheering section, “Haak Attack” landed the first punches of a pivotal third round. But “Happle Apple” continued to counter and came back with a strong sequence of jabs to avoid a major momentum swing.  As both boxers tired, the bout became a back and forth affair with both boxers exchanging late punches. Ultimately, it was Vespalec’s strong finishes to the last two rounds that proved decisive in a split decision victory. 

Sydney “Angry Elf” Higgins of Lewis Hall def. Mary “Rozemboxer” Rozembajgier of Johnson Family Hall

This bout saw two boxers with wildly contrasting styles competing. The shorter Higgins relied on short jabs while Rozembajgier utilizing her longer reach to connect on a couple of looping hooks. Each boxer controlled one of the first two rounds, with the result remaining in doubt at the second bell. 

“Angry Elf” landed a few early jabs in the crucial final round and then did a fantastic job keeping her gloves high and fending off late offensive surges from “Rozemboxer”. A high-energy bout with both boxers bringing boisterous fan sections concluded with a split-decision victory for Higgins. 

Amber “The Bulldog” May def. Veronica Louise “V-Hulk” Mendoza 

Two graduate students headlined this bout. Mendoza alternated left and right hooks that frequently connected with a strong jab sequence. However, she received a warning for some of those hooks morphing into open-palmed slaps. May withstood the early pressure and controlled second half of the bout. “The Bulldog” came out strong in the third round and evaded some pressure to land a few decisive left jabs. That was enough to grant May the split-decision victory in a hotly-contested round. 

Nicole “Knuckles” Lies of Welsh Family Hall def. Maggie “Read the Observer” Eastland of Pasquerilla West 

Editor’s Note: Eastland is an Assistant Managing Editor at The Observer. 

Lies brought the pressure early in the first round, but Eastland brought strong defense to keep her opponent away from much in the way of decisive blows. “Knuckles”, a junior captain in the club, continued an onslaught of pressure that led to headgear shots. Lies stayed on the offensive throughout and slowly broke down the active defense of Eastland in a dominant second round. The Pasquerilla West junior needed late offense and found a few sharp jabs, but it wasn’t enough. Lies marched on into the semifinals with a victory via unanimous decision. 

Molly “MC Hammer” Caplice of Flaherty Hall def. Colleen “Queen Colleen” Driscoll of Breen Phillips Hall

Caplice, a 2021 runner-up in the Baraka Bouts, fended off an frenetic early attack from Driscoll, allowing the bout to settle into a tence, defensive affair. “Queen Colleen” delivered a right hook early in round two, connecting with Caplice’s headgear. However, “MC Hammer” continued to be patient and her probing left jab began to frequently split the gloves of her opponent. 

Caplice came out with a little more urgency in the third-round, seeking some decisive shots. She landed a handful and maintained her strong defense to earn a unanimous decision victory. 

Emily ”Enemy Jane” Nowak of McGlinn Hall def. Emma “The Enforcer” Hazel of Pasquerilla West 

Ring A’s finale featured a junior in Nowak taking on freshman Emma Hazel. The freshman controlled the early pace and connected on a few hooks, but Nowak found a couple of late combinations to land some punches of her own. 

“Enemy Jane” controlled more of the pace in the second round, as “The Enforcer” took a more defensive approach. Neither boxer, however, landed much in the way of a decisive blow, keeping the evening’s final bout in doubt at the second bell. However, the McGlinn Hall junior demonstrated stronger stamina in a dominant final round, taking the fight to Hazel. While Hazel demonstrated impressive defense, the sustained pressure from Nowak was too much. “Enemy Jane” claimed victory by unanimous decision.

Categories
Sports

Baraka Bouts: Ring B quarterfinal results

The 20th Annual Baraka Bouts commenced on Monday, Nov. 1o. These are the quarterfinal results for Ring B.

Katherine “Bend It Like” Beckman of Howard Hall def. Xiaotong “Michelle” Yuan 

The first fight of the night in Ring B opened with both boxers stepping out on the offensive with flurries of punches. Using her slightly taller frame, Beckman was able to land some hits to the head at the end of the first round. Beckman came out swinging at the beginning of the second round, but Yuan continued to swing back as well. With a loud crowd behind her, Beckman kept landing hits on Yuan, eventually leading to a stoppage near the end of the third round. Beckman won out of the gold corner by unanimous decision. 

Frankie “Frank the Tank” Masciopinto of McGlinn Hall def. MC “Can’t Touch This” Elliot of Walsh Hall

The first round of this bout opened up fairly evenly between freshman Elliot and junior Masciopinto. Both women landed their fair share of hits until Masciopinto began to wear Elliot down with stronger footwork, harder punches and a dominant stance. The bout remained fairly even until Masciopinto eventually overpowered Elliot in the third round by swinging without any breaks. By unanimous decision, junior captain Mascipinto won the bout with an aggressive start-to-finish performance. 

Chiara “French Thunder” Thrum of Lewis Hall def. Maddie “Murph” Murphy of Cavanaugh Hall

Out of the gate, Thrum shook down the thunder with quick, hard punches throughout both the first and second rounds, leaving Murphy on the defensive and unable to deliver many solid hits to Thrum. At the third round bell, Murphy changed the tides with a series of jabs to Thrum, leaving the latter flustered. The late offensive wind, though, was not enough for Murphy to take home the win, with Thrum winning the bout by unanimous decision.

Mary “Red Sky” Quirk of Ryan Hall def. Teresa “T-Bone” Cato of Ryan Hall

This fight between two boxers representing Ryan Hall escalated quickly with both women stepping into the ring prepared to fight on the offensive. With both swinging hard and consistently, a fairly even first round grew into a slight advantage for Quirk in the second as Cato grew fatigued. An already loud crowd grew deafening in the third round as Quirk pushed Cato stumbling into the ropes. After a reset, a few solid hits solidified the bout in Quirk’s favor by unanimous decision. 

Luisa “Karma” Capobianco of Welsh Family Hall def. Ari “The Jurk” Jurkowitz of McGlinn Hall 

The first round saw Capobianco coming out hot, forcing Jurkowitz on the defense. This only lasted for a few seconds, though, as the two danced around the middle of the ring before it was Jurkowitz’s time to attack. The two went back and forth in the first round. The second round again saw Capobianco on the offense, landing multiple hits before pushing Jurkowitz into the corner. The atmosphere was electric as fans for both sides cheered on their competitor. In the third round, Jurkowitz stumbled back after a series of hits from Capobianco. Capobianco would again attempt to corner Jurkowitz, however, she resisted, and the two continued to battle. Ultimately, by unanimous decision, Capobianco was named the winner. 

Sarah “Midshipmenace” Nowak of Welsh Family Hall def. Clary “Scary” Conroy of Pasquerilla West 

Tensions were high at the start of this match, with both competitors throwing hard and fast. Conroy was thrown into the corner before quickly answering and knocking Nowak into the ropes. After a brief pause, both women were back at it. Conroy was saving her energy on the defensive before finding a moment to strike. It was Nowak throwing punches though at the end of the round. The second round again saw both competitors giving it their all. It was Nowak’s turn to push Conroy into the ropes, however, Conroy quickly hit her way out of it. Just as in the first round, the bell rang as Nowak was cornering her opponent. The third round saw Nowak start on the defensive. However, the aggressiveness didn’t subside, and the ref separated them multiple times throughout the round. By split decision, Nowak was crowned winner.  

Lauren “Blondie” Buetow of Flaherty Hall def. Chevelle “Not Even A Little Bit Sorry” Boomershine 

It was Buetow who had the first hit of the match. Boomershine attempted to fight back but was knocked into the ropes by her opponent. In the second match, it was Boomershine’s time; she started the round on the offense, landing multiple hits that forced Buetow back. Buetow instantly retaliated, also knocking Boomershine back. Not only did Buetow come swinging right out of the gates in the third round, but throughout the match, she remained on offense. Anytime Boomershine would have an opening, Buetow would respond in a series of hits, and by unanimous decision, Buetow was named the winner.

Kiera “Red Lightning” Judd of McGlinn Hall def. Ola “The Phantom” Abdalsalam

It was clear how Judd got her nickname as she instantly started the round with a series of quick punches. Abdalsalam was forced into the ropes, and the referee called a break. Another series of hits sent Abdalsalam on the floor. Abdalsalam started the second round with good defense, but Judd was able to break through, sending “The Phantom” into the corner for the fifth time of the night. Abdalsalam was not letting the past rounds affect her, however, and she started the round with a series of punches. Judd would retaliate, sending Abdulsalam to the ground for the second time of the night. The end of the match saw the competitors nod to each other, and Judd was named winner by unanimous decision. 

Caroline “Wasian Persuasion” Landry of Lewis Hall def. Vivienne “The Oblivion” Dragun of Walsh Hall

This match saw both competitors swinging hard, fast and early. Landry landed the first solid hit of the match, but Dragun would not lie idly. Landry would accidentally knock Dragun’s mouthguard out, pausing the match. When the competitors returned, Landry hit a series of punches. Dragun hit back, this time sending Landry backward. The second round again saw both women swinging hard. With ten seconds left, Landry would land multiple hits, but Dragun would swing back, forcing Landry to stumble back again. Both competitors were just as aggressive at the start of the third round, but this time, Landry hit Dragun into the corner. After a mandated break, it was Dragun’s turn to land some punches, but ultimately Landry would win by unanimous decision. 

Emma “Slay-Ferino” Solferino of Lewis Hall def. Nadine “Sweet Hands” Hashem

Solferino was the first to land a punch, and while Hashem would not waiver, Solferino’s hits were endless. It was Hashem’s time to shine in the second round, as she came out hard. However, after a brief pause from the ref, Solferino responded with a series of hits. Hashem then landed a hit directly to Solferino’s face. Solferino would respond, but the clock stopped them before anything else could happen. The third round started off evenly between the competitors, but Solferino was able to push Hashem back with a series of hits. By unanimous decision, Solferino won. 

Luzolo Matundu of Farley Hall def. Kiara “Kiki” Gutierrez Forbes

Matundu got Gutierrez off her feet quickly with her first flurry of punches that forced another stumble which sent her tripping through the ropes early. Matundu would start in again soon after and her quick punches mixed with a misstep from Gutierrez sent the Nicaragua native to the floor. By referee stopped contest in the first round, Matundu took the win. 

Jessica “The Adjudicator” Vickery of Ryan Hall def. Lauren “6 Foot Hero” Barnes of Johnson Family Hall

The pair started an even match, both landing a flurry of punches throughout the first round. What Vickery lacked in height she made up for in speed, landing punches to Barnes’ face and body but when Barnes could stay out of her reach, she landed a few of her own. Barnes opened the second round with a combination but once she got close enough, Vickery stuck a flurry of punches to her. Vickery got Barnes on the ropes about halfway through the round and maintained the rest of the round after that. Barnes opened the third again but Vickery blocked a few of them before Barnes started in on her again, knocking her to the ground. After a quick count, a tired Vickery was back in before Barnes took the round over. It wasn’t enough though as Vickery took the round by split decision. 

Cece “Ginga Ninja” Giarman of Lewis Hall def. Sara “Speed and Violence” Vechinski of Walsh Hall

Giarman struck first against her fellow California native. After Giarman backed her into a corner, Vechinski received a count. Coming out of it, Vechinski landed a few of her own but Giarman’s intense left hook came back to bite as the first round closed. The second round started more evenly but it was Giarman’s mastery of the hook that remained the dominant punch in the fight. However, it would be Vechinski who got the last strike in the round. The third round saw two tired boxers, both of them landing a last set of solid punches but with one more right hook, Giarman won by split decision.

Jenny “The Big Bad” Wolf of Johnson Family Hall def. Hope “Twinkle Toes” Wanken of Lewis Hall

Wolf came out of her corner on the hunt, landing the first flurry of punches and keeping up with Wanken. Relying heavily on her right hook, Wolf connected with Wanken several times to close the first round. Wolf got Wanken on her heels again to start the second before Wanken landed her own combo. Seconds later, Wolf took one more set for herself. Wanken put everything into the last round, coming out of her corner and backing Wolf into her own or against the ropes several times. Wolf’s hook wouldn’t let up though and, by split decision, she won. 

Martha “The Menace” Gluck of Howard Hall def. Maeve “The Menace” Murdock of Pasquerilla East Hall

The first round remained even the whole way through with Gluck and Murdock exchanging punch for punch almost identically. Coming out in the second, Gluck took over for the first half but the round evened again shortly after until Gluck found a second wind to close the round. Gluck took control again early in the third. After a jab-hook combination from Gluck, Murdock received a count just before the round ended. By unanimous decision, Gluck ultimately won.

Ocean “The Matador” Leto of Welsh Family Hall def. Caroline “Bah Bah Bah” Flannery of Ryan Hall

The first round started evenly with strong defensive capabilities from both fighters but just as the round closed, Leto began to break through. Coming out in the second, Flannery threw some successful combinations backing Leto up before a right hook from Leto got Flannery on the run for Leto to get a set of her own punches in. The beginning of the third belonged to Leto who kept Flannery on the run the whole round. When Flannery could keep her still, she landed a few on Leto but it wasn’t enough. By unanimous decision, Leto won the bout.

Categories
Sports

‘It’s about confidence but also humility’: Giarman reflects on time with Notre Dame Boxing

Baraka Bouts began competition at Notre Dame 20 years ago, as a women’s version of Bengal Bouts. The women who have competed have shown that their boxing tournament is just as important as their counterparts’, and now the current leaders are looking to build on these strides even more. 

Cece Giarman is a senior double major in Marketing and American Studies. She is also the vice president of the Notre Dame’s Women’s Boxing Club. After joining the club four years ago as a freshman, Giarman said she is excited for her final year in the ring, and her final opportunity to make an impact on a program that has been so influential on her life. 

Arriving on campus, Giarman knew that she had to get involved in some athletic club and a senior family friend pointed her towards boxing. 

“I’ve always been a part of a team, so coming to Notre Dame without that idea of you know playing a sport with something I was hesitant about just going to college and I was really lucky to find [it] in Baraka,” she said. 

Like most members of the club, Giarman had never boxed before, but soon grew to love the layers of challenge that practicing with the team provided. 

“I’ve always been really into fitness and sports, but the reason I stayed was more than just that physical challenge. It really [is] this trifecta I would say of that physical challenge that comes with boxing, that comes with training for a new sport that I’ve never engaged with, but then going with that mental challenge that’s totally unique to boxing,” Giarman said. “Boxing is very disciplined in a unique way compared to other sports, it’s really about a mix of confidence, but also humility that I had never seen before.”

Although she chose not to compete during her freshman year, it just made her more excited to enter Baraka Bouts as a sophomore. Unfortunately, that tournament was, of course, canceled because of the ongoing effects of the pandemic. 

Last year, she was named one of the junior captains, the first captain in Baraka Bouts History who had not previously sparred or competed in the tournament. She recalls the training and preparation she did in the years before her first round in the ring and remembers always being challenged, but never being put in a position where she or anyone else would get hurt. This trust that was built between her and the coaches, and with herself, gave her confidence during the tournament last year, where she won all three rounds. 

“There was a lot of pressure in the sense that my junior year was helping freshmen girls, sophomore girls, whoever, go through their first spar, and I hadn’t even been in the ring yet and I felt like this impostor. Like wow, I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know if I can lead this club when I feel like I don’t actually know that much,” Giarman said. “But you know [more than you think and ] I think that’s something we really tried to make sure every boxer feels because we never will put anyone in a position that they’re not ready for.”

This year, the team has a goal of $75,000 that will go towards building student dormitories for Holy Cross Lake View Secondary and St. Joseph Hill schools in Uganda. Last year, the money raised went towards faculty housing to help retain teachers in an area that is not always safe or easy to travel and as an additional incentive to stay. This year, the funds raised will help build dormitories, which is why some students wouldn’t be able to attend school.

This mission is of personal importance to Giarman. Charity, specifically in Uganda, has always been a big part of her educational experience. 

“In my elementary school, we also did fundraising for [a] Ugandan elementary school, so for me it’s kind of full circle that I’ve been able to feel connected to that part of the world since I was in Kindergarten.”

For the ‘Ginja Ninja’ (her nickname is a reference to Giarman’s red hair), the dedication to this cause and team has had really positive effects in all areas of her life, and is a constant reminder to always be grateful for the position she is in and the opportunities in front of her. 

“I think it really puts in perspective how even on the worst days maybe I’m feeling down because of you know physically I’m sore or I got a test score that I thought I should have done better on or, you know, just general stress to have in college. It really puts in perspective how lucky I am that I get to force myself into that struggle. I have the choice to push myself and I have the choice to, you know, be sore and be stressed about certain things that some people don’t have the opportunity to,” Giarman said. “Putting myself through that mental, physical and emotional challenge is a privilege in and of itself and honestly just makes you want to work so much harder. I think it’s transferred itself to my studies and to the way I approach my relationships with friends just remembering that there’s a lot to be thankful for. If I can be a part of spreading the word about a goal of fundraising that can help change people’s lives and positively impact others, regardless of where they are or who they are, [I will be thankful].”

Going into the tournament next week, Giarman would like to remind the entire campus to come out and support their classmates in the ring. The men’s boxing team has always been very supportive of the women (they each volunteer at the other’s tournaments), but Notre Dame community members don’t always show up to support Baraka Bouts as they do for Bengal Bouts. This is something that Giarman hopes to see change in the future. 

She already sees progress. Long time supporters of Bengal Bouts have started to come to the women’s tournament, and some alumni have even commented that they enjoy watching how much the female boxers listen and take advice from their corners. Additionally, the number of women in the club has continued to grow, even after the pandemic, showing how much excitement Notre Dame has for Baraka Bouts. 

As she enters her final tournament, Giarman is ready to show what she has learned during her time with the team. 

“Ultimately, [Baraka and this team is] really about that self-empowerment that you find by intentionally challenging yourself, intentionally putting yourself in situations that you aren’t necessarily confident in and then finding that confidence in simply participating regardless of how it turns out.”

Contact Annika Herko at aherko@nd.edu