Lightweights begin fights on Sunday
By CHRIS FEDERICO
Assistant Sports Editor
The lightest weight class in the Bengal Bouts features three first-time competitors out of the seven fighters.
The most experienced fighter in the bracket is junior captain Shawn Newburg, who lost in the finals last year to Camilo Rueda.
Newburg will face the winner of the fight between senior Derrick Bravo and freshman Mike Feduska. Bravo may have the aid of experience on his side, having advanced to the semi-finals in the tournament last year.
One of the better matchups of the bracket may be between a pair of junior newcomers to the event, Lance Hendron and Peter Kim.
"I fought some on and off through junior high and high school, but my father was a kick-boxer and he's tried to get me involved in boxing," Hendron said.
On the other hand, Kim may be one of the smallest competitors in the group, but his size allows him to be very quick and strong.
In the final bout of the bracket, freshman Mark Burdick takes on senior Jason McMahon.
The first-year fighter Burdick may have his hands full with the more-experienced McMahon. The senior won the bouts in his freshman year, and even trained over break with fellow competitor Hendron in Las Vegas.
Because there are only seven boxers competing in this class, the first round of bouts will be Sunday at 2 p.m.
Those boxers that advance out of the first round of the 135-pound weight class tonight will face a tough road ahead as three boxers considered to be favorites for the title all drew first-round byes. Senior Matt Fumagali, captain and Boxing Club president, drew the spot at the top of the bracket. Sophomore Tony Hollowell, who upset Fumagali last year in the first round on his way to the finals before being defeated by Joshua Coleman, drew the bye at the bottom of the bracket.
"This class did not fill out, but the boxers in it are strong fighters," said sophomore T.J. D'Agostino, who drew the third bye in the bracket.
At the top of the bracket, sparring partners Luke Dillon and Pedro Alves will square off for the right to fight the favorite Fumagali.
Since the two fighters have sparred against each other, their styles should be familiar.
"Luke has dropped about 13 pounds to fight in this class," Alves said. "When we sparred, I was faster than him and was able to throw clusters of punches. Since he's bigger than me, he'll try to keep me away with his jab, and I'll have to try to get inside."
In the top half of the bracket, senior Thomas McGree will take on classmate Richie "The Funky Cold" Redina and sophomores Jacob Cusack and Matt "The Bull Dog" Welsh will square off.
In the bottom half of the bracket, juniors Kevin "I Pity Da" Hool and Chris "Please Turn Your Head And" Hoffman will fight for the right to take on D'Agostino.
Hollowell will fight the winner of the matchup between Jon "Tejano Terror" Valenzuela and Matt Shulha.
Competition in the 145-pound weight class should be fierce with 16 fighters all competing in the first round tonight. With no byes available, even the favorites are subject to the open-round upset.
"This a great class, and it's wide open since there are no byes," senior Jamar Tisby said. "These guys are some great fighters, and I'm confident that any one of them would put up a good challenge."
Tisby may be viewed as one of the favorites, having advanced to the finals last year before loosing the championship match to Michael Waldo.
Tisby will square off against freshman Ryan "The Tenacious Townie" Brady.
At the other end of the bracket is one of the Boxing Club captains Andrew "Golden Arms" Harms. Harms, considered one of the other favorites in the class will face off against junior Patrick Healy.
Healy, who is competing in his first Bengal Bouts, remains optimistic despite the tough opening-round draw.
"It's my first year, but you've got to fight the good fighters sometime," Healy said. "All you can do is remain confident and do your best."
In other fights in the top of the bracket, sophomore Joe "Mamma" Shonkwiler will square off against Tim "Pummelin" Huml. Jon "The Thunder from Down Under" Pribaz fights Matt "No Fat" Pyle and Sam "The Big Easy" Fuller takes on Eric Eddy.
On the other side of the bracket, senior Daniel "Aztec Warrior" Gonzalez draws the freshman Nathan "Low Blow" Lohmeyer. Freshman Andy "The Sweet Computer Scientist" Callan fights junior Brent Lawton and Ryan "Rock Skin" Rogers faces Ted Volz.
All Sports Stories for Friday, February 22, 2002