Wolf Pack boxing strong in invitational
BY MIKE HOUSER
RENO – The Air Force Academy boxing team may be the defending National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) national champions, but it was the Nevada Wolf Pack which successfully defended its home territory on Friday.
Nevada won six of its eight matches before a standing-room only crowd at the Eldorado’s Convention Center.
Junior Daigo Moki had the most impressive outing for the Pack, forcing Kevin Lee of California to retire in his corner at the end of the first round of a 119-pound match. Lee came out hard and fast, but it was Moki who mixed up strong left jabs and right hands and then went to the body to take the air out of his opponent’s attack.
“I had rhythm tonight,” said Moki, who is from Chiba, Japan. “I feel really good. I enjoyed it. He was really aggressive, but I kept him off with my left jab.”
Moki also said he drew motivation from meeting WBC 115-pound champion Masamori Tokuyama on a recent visit to Japan, and it showed as Moki increasingly took the fight to Lee before the end of the first and only round.
Nevada sophomore Joaquin Tucson had a successful return to the ring, notching a three-round decision over Jeb Fredrickson, of Air Force, in a 130-pound bout. Tucson bloodied Fredrickson’s nose in the first round and a Tucson combination forced the referee to administer a standing-eight count to Fredrickson in the third.
“UNR is going to be No. 1 this year,” Tucson said. “It was a good return (to the ring). I thought I had Parkinson’s disease (Tucson missed the 2002-03 season with what turned out to be psychological tremors), but I didn’t. It’s good to get the win for the hometown crowd. A couple of times I thought they’d stop it because (Fredrickson) turned his back. My corner told me not to hit him (with his back turned), so I stepped back. It was just a basic (Nevada boxing coach) Greg Rice combination. Left jabs, right hands – the fundamentals worked.”
Sophomore Mike Townsell tried a power approach and nearly stopped Abu Ramin, of Cal, in the first round of a 150-pound bout. A strong left-right caused Ramin to squat down, narrowly avoiding a knockdown as he bounced back up without touching the canvas. The referee did administer a standing-eight count, however.
“(Ramin) was kind of wild,” said Townsell, who is 4-0 on the season. “I tried to keep him at bay with my left jab. I think he was more scared after the standing-eight. I fought a different fight (after the standing-eight) and tried to conserve energy.”
For Nevada super heavyweight Matt Swart, who hails from Gardnerville, it was perhaps a case of saving too much energy. Swart, who said he still had something left after the fight, dropped a decision to Oscar Casillas, of Air Force.
Samuelson Go, of UNLV, scored a victory over defending NCBA regional champion Jose Casas, of Nevada. Casas never got untracked and was outhustled by Go.
Nevada’s Brandon Carney repeatedly connected with a strong left hook in outscoring Luis Pena, of Air Force. Carney scored with several combinations in the second round and again rocked Pena with a right in the third round of the 139-pound contest.
“The coaches said to throw the right and follow with the hook,” said Carney, who is now 2-0. “I wanted to go out and use good boxing technique like the coaches taught me. I was really nervous coming in. But after we got out there and started throwing punches, my friends, family and crowd disappeared. It was just me, (Pena) and the ref. He was a really good fighter. I’ll get better fighting good fighters. He caught me a couple of times. It reminded me of the reason they say to keep up my hands. I’ll be in better shape next time.”
Six–foot-five, 225-pound John Lorman, of Nevada, took the first two rounds and held off a charging Ian Turzik, of Air Force, for the win in a super heavyweight clash.
“My conditioning was good – better than in my first fight (a loss in Baltimore, Md., in October),” Lorman said. “I don’t think my jab worked. I never spar anyone my size, so my jab is conditioned (to come in lower). It threw me off a bit. I was thinking ‘This guy’s tall’ (Turzik was 6-foot-4). I shouldn’t have been thinking. The instant you think, the opening’s gone. My next fight I’ll really be in shape.”
Nevada sophomore Ryan Healy had a strong performance in taking a decision over Mike Sackenheim, of Air Force. Both fighters had bloody noses, but it was Healy who controlled the action with his blend of boxing and power.
“I think I underestimated him,” Healy said. “I thought I could have my way with him. He was tough, man. Any time you fight an Air Force kid, you know he’ll be in good shape. I think I kept my composure. I didn’t lose it and just got after him. I worked hard in the gym, and I think it saved me.”
In other bouts, Chris Collins (188 pounds), Ryan Coates (193) and Adam Vance (160) won bouts for Air Force, and Dave Bermudez picked up a second-round stoppage over Marco Gonzalez, of Air Force, in a 145-pound contest.
Contact Mike Houser at email@example.com.