By Karl Weisel (USAG Wiesbaden)November 20, 2013
WIESBADEN, Germany - Some 1,700 fight fans were in the house Nov. 16 to catch 18 action-packed bouts at what was billed as "The Biggest Show in Town." The packed house of Germans and Americans at the Wiesbaden Fitness Center witnessed fighters from U.S. Army garrisons across Europe, the United States and local German boxing clubs facing off during the Wiesbaden Boxing Invitational.
In a night that saw its share of surprises, challenges and upsets, among the highlights was a 141-pound light welterweight battle between Wiesbaden's Corey Gulley and Hochheim's Wjutscheslaw Schwabauer.
"I was just trying to stay consistent," said Gulley, a Soldier with Company C, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, after the referee stopped the contest a minute and 35 seconds into the second round. "I knew if I kept pressure on him he would keep running."
The former All-Army Camp participant who said he's been boxing for about two years and entered the ring with "motivation and dedication," added that his opponent seemed surprised by the left-handed punches coming his way. "I don't think he is used to south paw boxers."
Likewise, Wiesbaden's Jose Orta showed poise, know-how and endurance by winning a three-round decision against Hochheim's Arnold Nana during another light welterweight match-up.
"I just wanted to be cool, calm and collected," said the Company A, 24th Military Intelligence Battalion, member of the Wiesbaden Boxing Team. "My training really has helped. I felt in control for the entire bout. It was great -- a feeling like no other. I felt triumphant."
Other fights saw the advantage shifting like sand in an hourglass. One of those was a 165-pound middleweight bout between USAG Bavaria's Idy Tagama and Wiesbaden's Justin Duke.
"It was sloppy," said Duke, explaining that it was his first fight since 2007.
The 60th Engineer Detachment Soldier said while it looked like a pretty even match-up from the outside, he felt that he scored the most points in rounds one and three. "I just kept trying to keep the pressure on him."
While the judges agreed, awarding the three-round decision to the Wiesbaden fighter, Duke said, "I have to get in shape" for the next fight.
U.S. Forces Europe 2013 Boxing Champion Lisa Manela may have found herself out-pointed in a 125-pound featherweight bout against Mainz-Kastel's Monika Schweiz (who also had seven more fights under her belt), but that didn't stop her from pulling out all the stops during the furious three-round loss. Despite being a head shorter, Manela never stopped delivering a shower of punches while being pummeled in return.
One of the most anticipated fights of the night saw U.S. Forces Europe 2013 Boxing Champion Nate Barnd of Wiesbaden squaring off against Hochheim Boxing Team member Isref Perzhollaj in a 152-pound welterweight contest.
"I had to get warmed up," said Barnd, who turned on the gas in rounds two and three. "I saw he was leaning on the ropes and breathing hard so I went in for the kill. It was tough, because he kept grabbing me."
Barnd, who said he lost 26 pounds while training for the fight night, gave credit to his Hochheim opponent for continuing to keep up the pressure. "He was a good competitor -- one of the best matches I've had. I need more like this one."
Recently promoted to specialist, Barnd said he is looking forward to attending the all-Army Boxing Camp in the spring of 2014. "Hopefully I'll make that team."
Another highly anticipated fight saw Wiesbaden's Rubin Stackhouse, a past local champion, take on USAG Vicenza's William Ransom in a superheavyweight contest with the Wiesbaden fighter getting in a flurry of blows in the final seconds to take a 3-2 decision.
Sgt. 1st Class Adam Martinez, coach of the Wiesbaden boxing team, gave a special thanks to the MWR staff, Special Events, Marketing, Training Support and all of the noncommissioned officers, Soldiers and civilians who supported the event. "A very special thanks to members of the Wiesbaden Softball team and our Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program who, without their support, we could not have been as successful."
Results of other bouts:
Novice category --
Lightweight: Wiesbaden's Joel Flores won a 3-2 decision against Vicenza's Martinez Kelly.
Light welterweight: Wiesbaden's Jacqueline Born earned a 5-0 decision against Wiesbaden's Vanessa Cruz. Kaiserslautern's Romeo Ingreso won after the ref stopped the contest against Vicenza's Gary Silver.
Welterweight: Vicenza's Dominick Cureton defeated Hohenfels' Taurian Flowers (referee stopped contest after Flowers dislocated his shoulder). Hochheim's Sandro Kutz won a 5-0 decision over Vicenza's Stephen Pickens. Bavaria's Keith Thompson scored a 3-2 win against Kaiserslautern's Marcus Green.
Light heavyweight: Kaiserslautern's Michael Logan won a 5-0 decision against Hohenfels Corey Taylor.
Heavyweight: Ramstein's Nathan Remlinger put away Vicenza's John Schwering. Kaiserslautern's Keith Mazone beat Vicenza's Daniel Cole. Vicenza's Demotts Youngblood won a 5-0 win against Bavaria's Joseph Samuela.
Open division --
Middleweight: Wiesbaden's Anis Belhadj defeated Kaiserslautern's James Beck.
Heavyweight: Hochheim's Branimir Malenica won after the referee stopped his bout in the second round against Vicenza's Joshua Rubio.
Team results --
USAG Wiesbaden first place, Vicenza second, Kaiserslautern third, Hochheim fourth, Mainz-Kastel fifth, Hohenfels sixth and Bavaria seventh. (For more photos visit www.flickr.com/photos/wpao)