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Sunday, March 3, 2024
The Observer

Bouts send 22 boxers to final round of competition

Freshman Ben Hoffner (left) lands a punch on junior Alex Bogucki-Baran during the semifinal round of Bengal Bouts.
Freshman Ben Hoffner (left) lands a punch on junior Alex Bogucki-Baran during the semifinal round of Bengal Bouts.
Freshman Ben Hoffner (left) lands a punch on junior Alex Bogucki-Baran during the semifinal round of Bengal Bouts.



Andy “Fisticuffs” Fausone def. Jeffrey “JWeezy” Wang

The junior Fausone dominated against sophomore Wang to send him to his first finals. Fausone landed the first hit of the match and proceeded to drive Wang into the ropes with a flurry of hooks and combinations. Wang rallied and fought back in the second round, resulting in both boxers trading jab-for-jab in several fierce exchanges. In the third round, Fausone backed Wang into a corner twice and landed fierce hooks to his body and face. Fausone claimed victory by unanimous decision.


Daniel “Jet” Lee def. Matthew Muliadi

In a fight that went from cautious to raucous, the sophomore Lee advanced to the final after not moving past the preliminaries last year. The first round started tentatively, with both boxers dancing around one another, until Lee landed the first blow. The sophomore Muliadi continued to dance around the ring, landing hooks to Lee’s body, but Lee managed to land numerous hard jabs and straights. The second round saw the fight even out and featured lots of movement by both boxers. Lee continued to use the strategy of parrying Muliadi’s attempts and fighting back with body blows. In the third round, Lee came out aggressively enough to secure the victory by unanimous decision.



Niels Seim def. Patrick “Little Mac” Brennan

Experience triumphed over youth as graduate student captain Seim held off the freshman Brennan. Seim started the action with strong jab combinations, but Brennan took control of the round with a flurry of hooks to the body. The next round saw more aggressive fighting as the fighters traded sweeping hooks to the head. Seim’s quick jabs managed to keep Brennan’s explosive style at bay, but in the final round, Brennan’s power pushed Seim onto the ropes. Seim, a seasoned fighter, responded with poise and used a final flurry of left and right jabs to grind out the win in a unanimous decision.


Alex Bogucki-Baran def. Ben Hoffner

The junior Bogucki-Baran outlasted the freshman Hoffner and earned a win by split decision. The first round featured cautious fighting as the two fighters roamed the ring, trading only a few flurries of punches. Bogucki-Baran tried to use his height advantage and lengthy jab to keep Hoffner from working inside, but in the second round Hoffner battled his way in and battered the taller fighter’s body and head with brutal jab-hook combinations. The final round saw the junior bounce back as he pounded Hoffner with vicious hooks and fended off his shorter opponent’s scrappy efforts. Ultimately, Bogucki-Baran’s height and power helped him lock up a spot in the final.




Garrett “Fedex” Schmelling def. Chris “Hitman” Hinman

Youth trumped experience, as the freshman Schmelling’s power was too much for the law student Hinman. In the opening stanza the fighters exchanged left jabs and right hooks, with both landing powerful blows. The fighting continued at an electric pace as the fighters traded punches in the middle of the ring until Schmelling finally used a left hook to stun Hinman and get him on the ropes late in the second round. In the closing action, both fighters got in thunderous jab combinations. Hinman landed several shots to the head, but Schmelling’s explosive hooks were the decisive blows as they knocked the law student off balance and helped earn the freshman a split-decision victory.


Chris Tricarico def. Danny “El Hombre” Espinoza

Both fighters came out of the gate quiet, dancing around the ring waiting for an opportunity. The junior Tricarico finally pounced, throwing a flurry of jabs and straight rights and dodging the sophomore Espinoza’s counters as the opening round came to an end. In the second stanza, Tricarico used leverage to unleash multiple jabs in what remained a very even second round. He came out with a burst of energy in the third round, however, landing multiple blows to Espinoza’s core before both boxers traded punches in the final seconds. Tricarico took the bout by split decision.





Ben “Danger Zone” Eichler def. Ryan Dunn

The senior Eichler jumped out of the gate on the offensive end, using a dangerously fast 1-2 combo. The sophomore Dunn didn’t back down, though, countering Eichler’s combos. Both boxers came out aggressively in the second round, with Eichler landing a big hook to Dunn’s head before Dunn pushed Eichler to the ropes twice. Eichler responded with a string of jabs to the chest to end the second round strong. With Eichler dictating the pace, Dunn still landed multiple punches of his own to keep the fight even. They traded punches until the finish, and Eichler was given the win by split decision.


“Sloppy” Joe Guilfoile def. Jackie “The Forgetful Housecat” Garvin

After a slow start, the freshman Guilfoile turned it up a notch on his way to a unanimous decision victory over the senior Garvin. Garvin’s reliance on a 1-2 combo became apparent early, as he landed multiple punches before Guilfoile took a decided advantage with hooks to Garvin’s head. Both boxers came out strong in the second round, trading blows to the head before Guilfoile again pushed Garvin back with strong right hooks. Guilfoile ended the round on the attack, although Garvin held his own and landed a few counters as well. Garvin was much more effective defensively early in the third, but Guilfoile’s patience paid off, as a final flurry of hooks to the head in the closing moments of the fight secured the unanimous-decision victory.




Garrity “Biscuit” McOsker def. Paul “Pride of the 415” Toboni

The senior McOsker dictated the pace from the start and never stopped, bobbing and weaving past Toboni’s punches and landing shots to the body from the inside when given the chance. Toboni tried to use his reach to keep McOsker out, but his opponent was simply too quick. The second round began with McOsker almost in a permanent crouch as he started low and landed straight jabs high to Toboni’s head. Toboni landed a few punches in the final round, but it was not enough to stop the defending champion from taking the big win by unanimous decision.

Joel “The Supple Leopard” Hlavaty def. Gage “The Heart-Break Kid” O’Connell 

The bout began explosively, with each fighter trading straights and jabs in the corner of the ring. Toward the end of the first, the senior Hlavaty got the edge by delivering a flurry of straights and hooks to the law student O’Connell’s head. Both fighters came out slow to start to the second, but Hlavaty managed to land several devastating right hooks. O’Connell made a comeback towards the end of the second round, but Hlavaty  dominated the third stanza with a ferocious display of punches. After pinning O’Connell in the corner, Hlavaty unleashed a devastating combination of straights, which secured the win for him by unanimous decision.




Jason “Downtown” Ellinwood def. Collin “Me Maybe” Corcoran

The sophomore Ellinwood began the fight on the offensive, landing several straights early on in the first round. The senior Corcoran, however, started to come alive towards the end of the round. As Corcoran got into his stride, he began to land some jabs of his own to put Ellinwood on his heels. However, Corcoran’s momentum did not last long as Ellinwood dominated the second round with devastating straights, while his opponent struggled to land a single punch. Ellinwood’s dominance continued into the third and was enough to give him the win by unanimous decision.


Michael “Greasy” Grasso def. Sebastian “El Papa” de las Casas,

The sophomore Grasso defeated the senior de las Casas by unanimous decision in the second semifinal. Grasso was able to get the upper edge in the first round as each boxer landed combinations of jabs and hooks. The second round was fairly even until Grasso landed a strong blow to knock de las Casas on his heels late in the round. Grasso started strong and kept the momentum going in the third round. He succeeded in driving de las Casas to the ropes on multiple occasions to cement his unanimous-decision victory.




Patrick “Patty Cakes” Shea def. Brian “Rowdy” Roddy,

The sophomore Shea defeated the junior Roddy by unanimous decision in a hotly contested bout that went back and forth. Both boxers used primarily jabs in the first round and relied on their technique. Shea was able to gain the upper hand with several well-placed jabs as he avoided most of Roddy’s punches. Roddy started the second round on the offensive and battled back, before the fight evened out with both boxers mixing in 1-2 combinations. Shea landed several strong blows early in the round and drove Roddy to the ropes. Shea carried that momentum forward to secure the win.


Zack “Bedrock” Flint def. Mike “The Stache” Flanigan

The sophomore Flint defeated the junior Flanigan by unanimous decision. Both Flanigan and Flint started brightly and landed a fairly even number of blows. Flint began to assert his dominance in the second round when he knocked Flanigan to the ground after a series of blows and followed it up by pushing Flanigan to the ropes on a couple of occasions. Flint used a combination of jabs and hooks in a strong third round to help him seal his spot in the finals.



Brett “Italian Ice” Sassetti def. Melchior “Il Lupo” Perella-Savarese 

The senior Sassetti defeated the freshman Perella-Savarese in a referee-stopped contest to advance to the final of the 180-pound weight class. Sassetti came out swinging, using a series of left-handed jabs from opponent Perella-Savarese early and often, drawing blood. Sassetti came out strong once again in the second round and drew blood once more before the referee stopped the bout and declared Sassetti the victor.


James “Iceman” Hodgens def. Eric “I still can’t” Reed

In a tense, thrilling fight, the senior Hodgens came out swinging with swift jabs and powerful hooks that connected with the senior Reed’s head. Reed, however, stayed low to the ground on defense while also throwing the occasional strong jab. Hodgens continued his barrage, mixing in multiple combinations and uppercuts to end the first round. Reed came right back in the second round, landing strong jabs on Hodgen’s head, but Hodgens responded with a slew of jabs of his own and pushed Reed into the ropes. Both fighters slowed down towards the end the second round as they tired. In the final round, Reed connected on several decisive hits that gave him some momentum, but in the end Hodgens was too strong, and controlled the majority of the match for the win by split decision.


Ricky “Scooter” Neville def. Michael “The Uncle” Smoljan

The bout began slowly, with both fighters threw apprehensive jabs at one another, until the senior Smoljan went on the offensive at the end of the round. In the second period, Neville rallied and took control of the bout, landing sharp left jabs to Smoljan’s head. At the end of the round, Smoljan tried to retake the offensive momentum, but opened himself on defense to more hard punches. In the final round, Smoljan was able to generate an offensive attack, but Neville ended the round with multiple combinations that took a toll on Smoljan’s head and body and walked away in a split decision.

Evan “Heavy Duty” Escobedo def. Hank “Team Pup ‘n Suds” Duden

Both fighters came out with speed and power, slugging it out in the first round. The junior Escobedo took control of the bout early, landing strong combination after combination of hooks and jabs. The senior Duden’s defense was solid but Escobedo overpowered him with brute force. In the second round, Escobedo began to land thunderous blows to Duden’s body and head, carrying his momentum throughout the round. In the final round, Duden tried to made a comeback by bombarding Escobedo with uppercuts and strong hooks to his body, but Escobedo took the win by a unanimous decision.


Brian “Long arms of the Law” Ellixson def. Ryan “Drama” Lindquist

The junior Lindquist dominated early, but law student Ellixson pulled away in the later rounds for the win. Countering Lindquist’s early jabs, broke through parries and landed powerful blows to Lindquist’s head. In the second round, both fighters stayed low to the ground, on the defensive. Ellixson was able to open up the fight late in the period with a strong jab to Lindquist’s head that caused the referee to halt the fight. When the match resumed, Ellixson continued his onslaught and bloodied Lindquist’s nose. In the final round, Ellixson did not let up and put Lindquist away, winning the bout by a unanimous decision.

Tyler “One Shot” Sonsalla def. Keith “Chief Keef” Marrero

From start to finish, the senior Sonsalla maneuvered around the ring and controlled the pace of the match while graduate student Marrero was unable to utilize his strength. Throughout the first round, Marrero held the center of the ring, as Sonsalla danced around him, landing critical jabs and hooks to slow Marrero’s attacks. In the second round, Sonsalla continued to effectively move around the ring while attacking Marrero’s head and body. As he tired, Marrero’s punches lessened in strength and frequency. A thunderous right jab from Sonsalla bloodied Marrero’s nose and in the end, Sonsalla won in a split decision.

Heavyweight Division

Daniel Yi def. Brian The Crisis Israel

In the heavily anticipated matchup with three-time champion Yi, the senior dominated on his way to a unanimous decision win against law student Israel. In the first round, Israel threw multiple right hand jabs, but Yi was able to smoothly evade the attacks. Yi took control of the fight as he focused his energy toward the defensive side of the bout. In the second round, Israel was able to land a solid combination of hooks and uppercuts. The moment was short-lived as Yi retaliated with a powerful uppercut to Israel’s head. In the final round, Yi erupted with strong jabs and hooks while evading nearly every one of Israel's attacks. In the end, Yi advanced to his fourth Bengal Bout title match.

Erich Liar Jegier def. Matthew Here comes the Boomer

Both boxers started the bout with sheer power as they each landed strong right jabs that hit simultaneously. The sophomore Boomer fell back into a defensive strategy as the first round wore on. In the second round, Boomer went back on the offensive, landing several right jabs to the freshman Jegier, but Jegier did not let up as he continued to attack all the way to the end of the round. In the final period, Boomer made a valiant attempt to overpower Jegier, but Jegier was too much as he pushed Boomer into the ropes several times with a multitude of 1-2 combinations. In the end, it was enough to earn Jegier the split decision victory.