Nine Soldiers Advance to Armed Forces Boxing Championships
March 5, 2007
By Anthony Reed
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. (Army News Service, March 5, 2007) - Nine boxers came out on top of the All Army Boxing Championships here Thursday and Friday. The Soldiers will represent the Army in the Armed Forces Boxing Championships at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, today through March 10.
"Winning at the All-Army competition is one of the first steps for up-and-coming fighters. It means they are the 'best of the best' in the Army. From there we send the Army's best to compete against the sister services at the Armed Forces level," said Staff Sgt. Charles Leverette, All Army Boxing assistant coach.
Winners at the Armed Forces Championships automatically become a part of the World Class Athlete program headquartered at Fort Carson, Colo. "Eight of this year's boxers were World Class Athletes last year," Leverette said.
First Lt. Khara Keegan, Company B, 309th Military Intelligence, executive officer, advanced to the Armed Forces Championships for the second time. Pfc. Zack Hardrick from Fort Carson advanced by defeating the only male Fort Huachuca boxer, Staff Sgt. Eric Raymon, with the final night's only knockout.
Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Downs of Fort Carson wanted to show improvement at this year's championship. He's only been boxing for four years. "While I was stationed in Hawaii," he said, "I won the battalion and division Smokers. This is my fourth year on the All-Army team. My first year I won a bronze medal, and this is my third consecutive year winning it all at the 178-pound division."
One of the final night's most exciting bouts involved super heavyweights Spc. William Moore from Dexheim, Germany, and Sgt. Andrew Shepherd from Fort Carson. "We've been good friends throughout training," said Shepherd, who won the bout, "But when we're in that ring, it's all business."
Head coach Basheer Abdullah was pleased with the results. "I like the team that will represent us at the Armed Forces Championships," he said. "I'm confident we will do very well at that level."
Army is the reigning Armed Forces champion. The U.S. National Championships take place June 11-16 at Colorado Springs. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will host the Pan Am Games July 16-29.
The 2007 All-Army Boxing Team members are:
114 lbs. - 1st Lt. Khara Keegan, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
132 lbs. - Spc. Autumn Anderson, U.S. Army Reserve, Omaha, Neb.
106 lbs. - Pfc. Adrian Ghisoiu, Fort Hood, Texas
112 lbs. - Sgt. John Franklin, Fort Carson, Colo.
119 lbs. - Spc.. Alexis Ramos, Kaiserslautern, Germany
125 lbs. - Capt. Christopher Munar, Fort Carson, Colo.
132 lbs. - Spc. James Villa, Fort Carson, Colo.
141 lbs. - Spc. Javier Albonica, Fort Stewart, Ga.
152 lbs. - Capt. Boyd Melson, Fort Carson, Colo.
165 lbs. - Pfc. Zaack Hardrick, Fort Carson, Colo.
178 lbs. - Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Downs, Fort Carson, Colo.
201 lbs. - Staff Sgt. Joe Guzman, Fort Carson, Colo.
201+ lbs. - Sgt. Andrew Shepherd, Fort Carson, Colo.
(Anthony Reed writes for the Fort Huachuca "Scout.")