Soldier-Athletes compete to honor brothers, sisters in arms
January 24, 2012
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. (Army News Service, Jan. 24, 2012) -- The 2012 All-Army Boxing Championship concluded Saturday at Barnes Field House, here, setting the team that will go forward and represent the Army at the Armed Forces Boxing Championship at Camp Pendleton, Calif., beginning Jan. 31.
The venue was standing-room only during the final night of bouts as members of Fort Huachuca and the surrounding community showed up in droves to support the Soldier-athletes.
"This is the biggest crowd I have seen in the last five or six years," said head coach Staff Sgt. Charles Leverette. "We usually have a good crowd but tonight, tonight was a great crowd."
The 2012 team is especially critical to establishing the Army's near-term future in the sport, as no World Class Athlete Program members returned this year.
Leverette described the group as "young, hungry lions" and based on the non-stop action in the ring, his assessment is spot on.
Each bout was closely contested, and every boxer seemed intent on pressing the action and imposing his or her will on their opponent.
"Nobody backed down," Leverette said. "A couple of guys got hurt, but they got back up, pulled it together and said, 'If I'm going to go out, then I am going out on my shield.'"
Leverette said he was pleased with the efforts of all the athletes.
The entire camp and championship were dedicated to the memory of Staff Sgt. Quadi Hudgins, an All-Army trials participant from 2007-2010, who died of injuries sustained in a combat-related incident, April 2, 2011, in Babil, Iraq. With his widow and daughter in attendance, Barnes Field House observed a moment of silence in his honor.
Sgt. Charles Blackwell, who captured the 201 lb. Army Championship for the third year in a row, dedicated his contest to Hudgins.
"I had his name on my lips in the ring. I had his name in my heart. I had his name on my gloves," Blackwell said after his win.
"He [Hudgins] is the spirit of this team," Leverette said. "He never won All-Army, but he was one of the most exciting boxers to come through here, and it speaks volumes about his character and his hard work. These guys understand that [character]. They wanted to box in honor of Staff Sergeant Hudgins and to make the crowd know they are boxing for him and all of their other brothers and sisters in the Army."
Results of the championship bouts:
-- 123 lbs.: Pfc. Charles Williams of Fort Bragg, N.C., defeated Sgt. Guy Jean-Baptiste of Fort Stewart, Ga., by decision, 13-6.
-- 141 lbs.: Pfc. Maximino Ramos of Fort Bliss, Texas, defeated Sgt. Diego Moya of Fort Riley, Kan., by decision, 23-7.
-- 152 lbs.: Spc. Sidney Williams of Fort Knox Ky., defeated Spc. Julian Gerena of Fort Hood, Texas, by decision, 10-9.
-- 165 lbs.: Pvt. Marquis Moore of the Maryland Army Reserves stopped Sgt. John René of Heidelberg, Germany, at 2:22 in Round 2.
-- 178 lbs.: Spc. Steven Nelson of Special Forces Group at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., stopped Spc. Tony Young of Fort Hood, Texas, by RSC at 2:01 in round 2.
-- 201 lbs.: Sgt. Charles Blackwell of the 925th TC Detachment in Marana, Ariz., stopped Sgt. 1st Class Robert Judge of Redstone Arsenal, Ala., by RSC at 1:15 of Round 2.
-- 201+ lbs.: Sgt. Marvin Carey of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, stopped Spc. Richard Fale of Fort Shafter, Hawaii, by RSC at 0:53 in Round 3.
Also receiving gold and moving on to the Armed Forces Boxing Championship at Camp Pendleton, Calif., are Spc. Michael Mendez (114 lbs.) of Fort Bragg, N.C., and Sgt. Toribio Ramirez (132 lbs.) of Fort Stewart, Ga.
Women's Exhibition Matches:
At 112 lbs., Alex Love of Seattle, Wash., defeated Allayna Vasquez of Las Cruces, N.M., by decision, 14-10.
Spc. Dianeya Nodarse (141 lbs.) of Fort Hood, Texas, defeated Spc. Felisha Estrada-Gonzalez (132 lbs.) of Fort Carson, Colo., by decision.
In addition to Nodarse and Estrada-Gonzalez, Spc. Falon Farrar of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, unopposed at 165 lbs., moves on to the Armed Forces Championship.