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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

Baraka Bouts: Ring A Semifinal results

Maria Silvestri sizes up her opponent during her unanimous victory in the Baraka Bouts quarterfinal round on Monday, Nov. 6.

Monica “Corona” Alvarez (Gold) def. Swindar “Lucky Charms” Zhou (Blue)

Alvarez came out hot in the first round, landing consistent blows on Zhou’s stomach as Zhou failed to block Alvarez for much of the bout. Zhou spent most of round one forced into a corner as Alvarez jabbed. Alvarez continued her dominance in the second round, using remarkably graceful yet aggressive footwork to consistently push Zhou back. Zhou had more effective blocking in this round, but that did not stop Alvarez from landing a plethora of blows and controlling the pace of the fight. The match concluded with a third round where Zhou, after consulting her corner, initially came out with more power and landed blows on Alvarez. Yet, Alvarez’s powerful demeanor again forced Zhou to block as the judge concluded the fight early. In a unanimous decision, Alvarez would win the showcase round.

Frankie “Frank the Tank” Masciopinto (Blue) def. Tess “Big Steppa” Kesler (Gold)

Cheered on by raucous spectators, Kesler and Masciopinto battled in an electric first round in which both fighters landed blows, jabbed through each other's guard and had shining moments. Masciopinto seemed to overpower Kesler as the round concluded. The second round was somehow even more frenetic, with Kesler and Masciopinto stepping into powerful jabs and landing several critical blows. Neither woman surrendered an inch and they seemed to be inches away from each other as they ducked it out. Kesler landed more blows in round two, but it was Masciopinto who dealt the stronger hits. The final round saw another absolute war, but it was Masciopinto who wrapped her fingers around the match and did not let go—landing high-powered blows, evading jabs from Kesler and forcing an early conclusion to the round. Frankie “Frank the Tank” Masciopinto would go on to prevail by unanimous decision.

Annie “Big Ann” Guinan (Gold) def. Katherine “Bend It Like” Beckman (Blue)

The initial round was defined by a wild pace, with Beckman and Guinan swinging hooks and attempting to land jabs at a rapid rate. However, both boxers were strong blockers, leading to not many blows being landed. Both had their dominant moments in the bout. The second round saw Beckman come out aggressively, landing a number of hooks on Guinan and producing the highlight of the match by forcing Guinan into the ropes whilst in a clinch. Despite a holding warning, Beckman clearly dominated the round. The final round somehow maintained the same intensity, with Guinan landing blows early. However, Guinan took back control, forced Beckman into fouls and seemed to deal blows despite fervent blocking. In a frenetic bout partially defined by excessive slapping and holding, “Big Ann” prevailed through unanimous decision.  

Lily “The Chelsea Dagger” Whitman (Blue) def. Kara "The Bear" Janishefski (Gold)

Round one began in a tornado of jabs and hooks, with both boxers stepping into each other and landing blows at various points. The highlight of the opening round came in Janishefski putting Whitman on the floor after a high-powered blow. It was “The Bear” who controlled the pace of the round as it wound down. Round two opened up with a Whitman comeback, landing a series of powerful blows that forced Janishefski into a corner. The round leveled out after a consultation from the referee, but both boxers maintained their aggressive poise and landed critical blows. The final round opened up with a streak of dominance from Whitman, who thrice overpowered Janishefski and forced her into corners. Despite frantic defensive jabs from Janishefski, Whitman’s poise and speed kept her at bay. The winner of the bout, via unanimous decision, was “The Chelsea Dagger.”

Maria “La Leche” Silvestri (Gold) def. Hannah “Happle” Vespalec (Blue)

At the start of the first round, both fighters exited their corners with pace, trading heavy jabs in the center of the ring. Following a short stoppage from the referee, each boxer was able to land a flurry of shots at their opponent, with Silvestri and Vespalec both taking several upper-body hits. The fight raised its intensity in the second round, with “La Leche” taking the upper hand. Despite numerous great slips from “Happle," Silvestri was able to connect a string of punches directly to the head of her opponent. Silvestri carried this momentum into the final round, pushing her opponent to the limit and keeping her on the back foot for most of the round. The referee stopped the fight twice to give Vespalec time to recover, and “La Leche” ultimately won the fight via unanimous decision.

Lauren “Blondie” Buetow (Gold) def. Shay “Z-Force” Zilvitis (Blue)

In round one, “Z-Force” Zilvitis pressured “Blondie” Buetow early, with an array of body shots keeping her opponent on the edge of the ring. “Blondie” kept her composure, however, and connected strong shots to the head of Zilvitis whenever she saw an opening. Buetow was able to maintain this composure in the second round, fighting her way out of the corner when she was backed against the ropes. The fight remained closely contested heading into the final round, which proved to be the deciding factor. “Blondie” got an early stoppage after hard shots on her opponent, but the round was all “Z-Force” after that. Zilvitis landed numerous punches to an uproar from the crowd, but the fight proved to be an uphill battle for the boxer in blue. Buetow was crowned the winner by unanimous decision after three rounds.

Nicole “Knuckles” Lies (Blue) def. Riley “No Smiley” Vandevelde (Gold)

In an even first round, both fighters came out of their corners with something to prove. Vandevelde was light on her feet, slipping Lies’ jabs while landing a few of her own. “Knuckles” kept pushing Vandevelde late into the round, connecting on a strong hook to the head of her opponent. Lies started strong in the opening of the second round as well, but a series of shots from “No Smiley” resulted in a short stoppage for the cutman to tend to Lies’ nosebleed. Following the stoppage, neither fighter seemed to let up. In the final round, Vandevelde built off of her previous momentum, sending a series of shots to Lies’ face, which continued to bleed. Despite the fight being stopped again in the third for the cutman to treat Lies’ injuries, “Knuckles” bounced back, sending a variety of hooks and jabs to Vandevelde’s upper body. The fight was scored in favor of Lies who won by unanimous decision.

Sarah "Midshipmenace" Nowak (Gold) def. Emma "The Slayer" Solferino (Blue)

After touching gloves in the center of the ring, both fighters showed discipline in the first round. Solferino chose to keep her distance, using strong jabs to keep Nowak away. However, the “Midshipmenace” put the pressure on her opponent. Nowak kept Solferino in a defensive position for most of the first round, pushing Solferino to keep her gloves up. “The Slayer” proved to be more aggressive in the second round, with her supporters in the crowd egging her on. Nowak kept her distance, maintaining her early lead, but the third round proved to be the decider in a close contest. Both boxers had highlight moments in the final round, but Nowak separated herself from Solferino with a strong finish in the dying moments of the fight. The judges ultimately crowned the “Midshipmenace” the winner by unanimous decision.

Elle “The Greek Freak” Strogilos (Gold) def. Chiara "French Thunder" Thrum (Blue)

In this semifinal bout, each boxer had a strong first round. Thrum brought the thunder early, landing right hooks to the side of Strogilos’ helmet. “The Greek Freak” kept the round close though, with a series of punches hitting Thrum’s upper body. The second round showed an equal level of intensity, and the fight remained close. Strogilos caused Thrum’s head to snap back with strong jabs, but “French Thunder” returned hook shots to the applause of the crowd littered with French flags. In the final round, “The Greek Freak” secured her win, with the referee stepping in twice to adjust Thrum’s helmet after strong shots from Strogilos. Strogilos was named the winner by unanimous decision after three hard-fought rounds.

Ocean “The Matador” Leto (Gold) def. Lily “Legends by 7” Storrs (Blue)

In a defensive first round, both boxers were comfortable in keeping their distance and waiting for an opportunity. Storrs’ wingspan allowed her to create some separation from her opponent, landing a series of jabs on Leto’s helmet. “The Matador” tried to close the distance, however, pressuring Storrs with hard right hooks. The second round was similar to the first, with “Legends by 7” keeping her opponent away and “The Matador” applying strong pressure. Smooth slips and strong jabs characterized a great first round for Leto, who maintained this energy going into the final round. “The Matador” kept Storrs on the back foot for most of the final round, but Storrs maintained her defensive composure. “Legends by 7” connected on a series of jabs in the deciding moments of the fight, but this proved to be too late, with “The Matador” winning by split decision after three rounds.

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