Rain allows fists to fly in the Fiesta Room

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Criminal justice freshman Nadya Cano punches criminal justice freshman Diana Vallejo during a match Oct. 26 in the Fiesta Room.  Photo by Monica Correa

Criminal justice freshman Nadya Cano punches criminal justice freshman Diana Vallejo during a match Oct. 26 in the Fiesta Room. Photo by Monica Correa

Liberal arts freshman Sean-Robert Engleka dodges a punch from criminal justice sophomore Kevin Orozco during a sparring match Oct. 26 in Loftin.  Photo by Monica Correa

Liberal arts freshman Sean-Robert Engleka dodges a punch from criminal justice sophomore Kevin Orozco during a sparring match Oct. 26 in Loftin. Photo by Monica Correa

Sparring matches reflected the frustration of student boxers over event cancellation.

By INGRID WILGEN

icobham@student.alamo.edu 

It almost didn’t happen.

On Oct. 25, the college’s Olympic-style USA Boxing event was canceled after the suspension of USA Boxing by the Amateur International Boxing Association.

Right, Mercy Preston, emergency health services freshman, punches chemistry sophomore Katherine Bouldin, sending her into the chairs.  Photo by Monica Correa

Right, Mercy Preston, emergency health services freshman, punches chemistry sophomore Katherine Bouldin, sending her into the chairs. Photo by Monica Correa

Later that day, the suspension was lifted, and the campus event was rescheduled for 11:30 a.m. Oct. 26 in the mall.

Then rain poured from the heavens canceling the event once again. The Olympic-style event was washed away and replaced by eight sparring matches in Loftin Student Center, consisting of three one-minute matches.

Because of its size and sogginess, the official boxing ring could not be moved indoors and the event lost its sanction, which would allow boxers to move up in their division.

Welder Eric Garcia and kinesiology sophomore Dustin Southichack set up the boxing ring for the Olympic-style boxing event Oct. 26 in the mall. Thunderstorms rained out the event, which was replaced with indoor sparring matches.  Photo by Monica Correa

Welder Eric Garcia and kinesiology sophomore Dustin Southichack set up the boxing ring for the Olympic-style boxing event Oct. 26 in the mall. Thunderstorms rained out the event, which was replaced with indoor sparring matches. Photo by Monica Correa

Instead of a boxing ring, open folding chairs took the place of roped ring boundaries. Official judges conducting the sparring did not declare winners or losers. Instead, they raised the arms of both fighters in victory at the end of each match.

Some students from this college were paired with their teammates while others fought boxers from Team Alcoser. Boxing coach Hector Ramos said the matches allowed student boxers to get the butterflies out of their system. He said the forum gave the team an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and gain experience.

Ramos said, “Next time it will be in the ring with a bigger crowd.”

Nursing sophomore Maria Altamirano sparred with Team Alcoser boxer Jenelle Leal.

Altamirano said she was a little disappointed in not being able to box in the sanctioned event. She said it was a life lesson because things can change unexpectedly. Altamirano said the matches were nice because the team was still able to do something.

Music sophomore Luis Martinez said the sparring matches were more intense than the bouts in the spring semester because of the frustration of all the cancellations. He said the team trained for five intense weeks to prepare for the event.

Everyone was “bummed out” because amateur boxing had been suspended, Martinez said.

Although the ban was lifted Oct. 25, the weather took away any chance to hold the sanctioned event Oct. 26. “We just wanted to fight,” Martinez said. “We gave it our best today.”

Student activities specialist Carrie Hernandez said the next Olympic style boxing event will be in the spring.

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