Punch power: Wiesbaden fight fans treated to explosive boxing action
October 26, 2011
WIESBADEN, Germany - There wasn't much "floating like a butterfly" at the Wiesbaden Fitness Center Oct. 15, but a boxer named Clay did "sting like a bee" to dominate his heavyweight fight and earn best bout of the night honors.
"It really was outstanding overall," said Tony Lee, Installation Management Command-Europe sports programmer and boxing commissioner, about the evening's 10 bouts.
Wiesbaden's Ricky Clay was recognized by the boxing jury for his sportsmanship, punch combinations and for delivering one of the many highlights of the explosive, toe-to-toe boxing evening at the annual U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Hispanic Heritage Boxing Tournament.
"The bouts were superb," said Lee, praising participation by several host nation fighters who helped elevate the overall display of boxing technique and ability.
"I didn't want to hurt anybody," said Clay, smiling, explaining that he felt in control throughout his bout against Wiesbaden's Devon Thomas, attributing many hours of "sparring in the gym" to his success in the ring.
The evening started out with a heated featherweight fight between Heidelberg's Hilario Gonzales and Wiesbaden's Hak Tang. While the home crowd shouted their support for the man in the red corner, after surviving two standing eight counts, Tang had to settle for second-place honors.
Bout two saw Hanau boxer Atilla Serdenc trade punches with Heidelberg's Jesse Sousa. While Sousa came out strong and stood up to a flurry of well-aimed punches from the Hanau fighter, he was unable to score points with the jury and claimed the silver trophy.
V Corps' Josiah Portukalian said he wasn't sure how the fight was going in the first round. "I felt like I had to come back strong in the third round," said the former 1st Armored Division Soldier who said he competed in a boxing smoker while deployed about a year ago. "By the third round, I thought I had it."
Portukalian won the gold trophy after the ring official stopped the contest in the third round.
"It hurt, but it was nice," was how Wiesbaden boxer Diamenik Hough described his first time in the ring -- a middleweight bout against Grafenwöhr's Nathan Lee.
"My dad was all-Army," said Hough, with the 457th Civil Affairs Battalion. "I saw there was a boxing tournament coming up and decided I wanted to go out there -- and I won."
Hough's victory also helped earn Wiesbaden the overall team trophy. Wiesbaden was followed by Heidelberg in second place and Grafenwöhr in third place.
Two Wiesbaden boxers -- Lester Cannon and Warren Gipson -- appeared fairly evenly matched through two rounds in their light heavyweight bout before Cannon took charge, earning an RSC (refree stopped contest) victory.
After a short intermission fight fans were back in their seats to witness another light heavyweight showdown -- between Mainz's Branimir Malenica and Schweinfurt's Christopher Thomas. Malenica, a host nation pugilist, won the decision and the first-place trophy.
Grafenwöhr's Joel Perkins came back strong in rounds two and three against Wiesbaden's James Norman to win their light heavyweight contest.
Super heavyweights faced off for the evening's final two bouts.
It was a straight-up punch fest in bout nine with Bamberg's Anthony Stevens trading shots with Heidelberg's James Sterling for three long rounds. By the end it was the Bamberg boxer who went home with first-place honors.
The crowd came alive again for the night's final fight between local boxers Rubin Stackhouse and Jordan Lewandowski. The man in the blue corner put up a solid defense, but Stackhouse's overpowering attack proved too much as the ring official stopped the contest awarding the gold to the fighter out of the red corner.
Sarah Bormann also took home a trophy in the night's only uncontested fight.
(Editor's note: For more boxing photos visit the garrison's home page at www.wiesbaden.army.mil and click on the Flickr link. For more information about upcoming classes and sporting events in USAG Wiesbaden visit www.wiesbaden.army.mil/sites/mwr/sports_fitness.asp or call mil 337-5541.)