Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Observer

20240215, Bengal Bouts, Dahnke Ballroom, Jake Loughran, Meghan Lange, Rob Rucki-2 (1).jpg

Bengal Bouts: Finals results

Phil “Il Capo” Pollice vs. Nolan “Big Dog” Lyon

In its first moments, the bout was even-handed and technical. Both boxers maintained just the right amount of distance and a tight guard. But the senior boxer, “Big Dog,” soon massaged the distance and broke through to land several quick hooks and push sophomore “Il Capo” into the ropes. As both boxers tired in round two, Lyon showed off some slippery dodges and pivots. Despite fatigue, Lyon kept up his strategy of throwing rapidfire hook and uppercut combinations then moving out of range before Pollice could counter attack. By the end of the bout, Pollice’s back was familiar with the ropes on all four sides of the ring. “Il Capo” kept throwing, but Lyon’s timing and control of the ring proved difficult to match. Nolan “Big Dog” Lyon won by unanimous decision.

Mike “The REAL Big” Guyette vs. Ijeh “The Golden Child” Nwaezeapu

“The Golden Child” started the bout by springing away from Guyette’s punches and launching himself into his opponent to land body shots combinations. Guyette led offensive efforts with a clean, quick jab, but sophomore Nwaezeapu was unfazed and continued to hunt for undefended weak spots with repeated success. “The REAL Big,” a senior captain, tried to tally up points at the end of every round, but “The Golden Child” seemed to anticipate the flurry and stop it with a heavy hook or a wrap-up. Guyette had unrelenting energy aiming straight ahead, but Nwaezeapu had strategy beneath his opponent’s guard and power to either side. In this Keough Hall clash, creative use of space prevailed over sheer quantity of punches. Guyette threw more punches, but Nwaezeapu seemed to land every punch he threw. Ijeh “The Golden Child” Nwaezeapu won by split decision.

Justin “Slim Reaper” Darwin vs. Niko “K.O.” Tarasenko

The “Slim Reaper” seemed wary of coming too close to “K.O.” With each approach, he was careful to land punches and quickly get out of range. Tarasenko was indeed ready to pounce, and Darwin ducked beneath his heavy hooks at every opportunity. When Tarasenko did land a punch, it often knocked Darwin onto his heels, allowing “KO” to open up and score more hits. Tarasenko’s strategy was to quickly push his opponent into the ropes and render him unable to stop the barrage. Darwin grew more confident near the end of the bout and went on the offensive, but the shift may have proved fatal. He quickly tired and began to drop his guard. Tarasenko capitalized and notched a number of blows that further weakened his opponent. Near the end of the bout, Darwin sustained an 8-count from Tarasenko’s continual harassment. Niko “KO” Tarasenko won by unanimous decision.

Nicholas “Nick” Buhay def. Marcello “Tomato Can” Nanni

Nanni spent most of the first round with his white gloves squarely pointed to the sky, protecting against Buhay’s repeated combos. Buhay managed to find “Tomato Can’s” red headgear on plenty of occasions. “Nick” remained offensive in round two, but Nanni was able to catch or block more of his punches. “Tomato Can” lunged back with his own hooks and body shots. In the middle round, the boxers got tangled up a few times, and Nanni repelled Buhay back into the ropes a couple times. After a Buhay-leaning first round and a level middle frame, the senior fighting out of the gold corner looked impressive in round three. The senior from Morrissey seemed to have more moves in his defensive arsenal. Although Nanni’s hooks to the head seemed to take Buhay by surprise, the senior from Dunne had plenty of energy left in round three. To chants of “empty the tank Buhay,” he did just that. “Nick” Buhay won the 169-lb weight division by split decision.

Jesse “Justice” Salazar II def Joe “The Fury” Fuchs

Fuchs, the shorter fighter, was more successful during the opening round of this heavyweight contest. His loaded blows didn’t seem to wear down Salazar II, however. A senior representing Morrissey Manor, Salazar II would pass most of the middle round on his heels, although he did begin to start honing in on Fuchs’ red face protection. Fuchs, a graduate student from Ohio, threw more painful punches during round three. Salazar II winced, and the referee paused the match briefly to make sure the senior was alright. Salazar II staged a convincing comeback in the final portion of the match, despite the blood running down his face and chest. The senior won by split decision.

Rob “The Voodoo Ranger” Rucki def. Logan “Grizzly” Bayer

Rucki got pretty banged up during the first round of this senior-senior match-up. Bayer’s punches had virtually unlimited access to Rucki’s upper torso and face as this fight got underway. In round two, Bayer continued to work from the ground upward, often ending up all over “The Voodoo Ranger.” Rucki, who was fighting out of the gold corner, did land some pretty-looking punches during the middle round. The pair got tangled up a couple times during the beginning of round three when Bayer got close to pinning his opponent back against the ropes. Both boxers showed signs of exhaustion toward the end of the match. Perhaps Bayer looked especially worn down. Rucki would win the 172-pound contest by split decision.

Emilio “Smooth Operator” Fernandez def. “Average” Joe Rozgoni

As this senior-senior match got underway, the crowd supporting Rozgoni, a senior representing Zahm and Baumer Halls. Fernandez, who was representing Keogh Hall, initiated much of the contact during the first round. In round two, each time Fernandez landed a few hard hits, Rozgoni would thrust into his opponent in an attempt to slow him down. Midway through the second round, the referee had to pause the boxing to have blood cleaned off Rozgoni’s face. After the fighting resumed, the senior from Keough continued to pounce on his foe. Rozgoni’s right arm caught fire in round three. Meanwhile, Fernandez strove to maintain his cool until the clock struck zero. Fernandez won by unanimous decision.

Jackson “Amo” Amorosa def. Sean “Milk” Mullen 

After touching gloves, the fighters got busy with Mullen landing the better of the opening exchanges. The referee soon intervened and Amorosa received a standing count about 90 seconds into the bout. Shortly after an equipment stoppage, Mullen landed a hard hook that forced another count before the end of the opening round. The second round opened with a bit of a tangle on the ropes that saw Mullen nearly hit the canvas. Despite the stumble, Mullen still looked good, landing a hard right hook that staggered Amorosa who quickly looked for the clinch. Amorosa found his target a few times in the final third of the round but Mullen landed his powerful right hook once more just before the bell. The third round started with some frantic exchanges where Amorosa pinned Mulllen the ropes. Desperate to escape, Mullen got low and nearly hit the canvas again. About a minute later, the pair got tangled again and a clinch turned into a takedown that saw both fighters downed. After a quick check on both fighters, the two got back to business and closed out the round with a flurry of action before the bell. Despite a shaky start, Amorosa got the win by split decision. 

Andrew “The Red Scare” Cassidy def. Kamsi “K.O.” Ejike

Cassidy got the better of the opening exchanges, landing some strong jabs and a solid hook to the body in the opening minute. The early action prompted plenty of barking from Ejike’s unsatisfied corner. Cassidy looked very measured in the opening round, finding spots to hit his taller opponent. The pair began round two quickly throwing at a higher frequency than the first. Ejike landed a solid overhand right, making the most of his reach advantage. The pair were separated from a couple of clinches as Cassidy looked to close the distance often in the round. Ejike began the third round with a strong sense of urgency, throwing and landing several punches. He kept his foot on the gas throughout the third, and Cassidy did his best to keep up. After three hard-fought rounds, Cassidy won by unanimous decision. 

Matthew “Two Cup” Turzai def. Connor “Hound” Hinkes

The action got underway quickly with both fighters throwing early and often. Turzai eventually got the upper hand, maneuvering Hinkes into the corner where the referee separated the pair. It was a fairly even round after that exchange with little to distinguish the fighters. It was another frantic start to the round that saw Turzai land a couple of strong hooks to the head. The junior largely dictated the pace, culminating in a sequence that sent Hinkes to the canvas within the final 10 seconds of the round. Turzui landed a few hard hooks as the pair clinched frequently in the opening minute of the final round. Hinkes landed a few solid hits in the final minute, but Turzai appeared unfazed and pressed forward. The pair shared a big embrace after the final bell, but there could only be one winner and it was Turzai by unanimous decision. 

Ryan “Smarf” Hersey def. Aldo “The RAM” Plascencia

Plascencia came out strong, landing a couple of hard left jabs to the head. Hersey was undeterred pressing forward and landing a strong right hook-right hook-right around the 60-second mark. At a noticeable height disadvantage, Plascencia landed a hard right hook after closing the distance to his opponent before the end of the round. Hersey looked good to start the second round, using his reach advantage to land a few solid headshots. He kept the momentum throughout the round, consistently walking down Plascencia who seemed dazed by the constant energy. The pair touched gloves to open the final round and then got to work. Hersey picked up where he left off, pushing the pace and landing strong punches. Plascencia wasn’t done though and landed a strong shot with his back to the ropes that jarred Hersey’s headgear. After a quick fix from the referee, the two coasted to the bell, clearly tired from a high-tempo fight. Hersey won the bout by unanimous decision.

Jack “Topgun” Lannon vs. Christian “K” Miller

The final bout of the night started anti-climactically with a low blow forcing Lannon to take a few seconds. Despite the stoppage, Lannon dictated the pace in the opening round with his jab, seemingly landing it at will. A strong combination in the final seconds of the round saw “Topgun” land five consecutive headshot, leaving Miller too stunned to return fire before the bell. Lannon went back to the well in the second, mixing in some strong hooks before an uppercut forced a standing count for Miller. It was a dominant round for Lannon who kept Miller under pressure right until the bell. The pair of seniors from Knott Hall shared a hug at the start of the final round before they got back to the fighting. Miller received a verbal warning from the referee for a low blowing, telling him another notice would lead to a point deduction. Likely down on the scorecards, Miller pushed hard in the third to find something, continually driving Lannon to the corner where the pair repeatedly clinched. Lannon won the title with a dominant win by unanimous decision.

Sign up for our Observer Sports newsletter!
Have an Irish sports question? Ask it for our Observer Sports mailbag!