Bengal Bouts 155-pounds - 160-pounds: Old bodies, new faces square off in Bouts
By: PAUL CAMARATA
With a mix of seasoned boxers and rookies, the 155 and 160 pound divisions of this year's Bengal Bouts offer many intriguing matchups. While several veterans will bring both great technical skill and past experience to the ring starting in tonight's preliminary rounds, every fan who knows the Sweet Science knows that predicting the results of any given fight can be the most unscientific aspect of the sport.
Action in the 155 pound division will begin with seven fights on Friday night.
After winning the 150 pound title in 2001, bruiser Brock "Landers" Heckmann looks to repeat his success in a different weight class. With the ability to withstand punches and his talent as a strong counter puncher, the seasoned Heckmann may be the boxer to beat at 155 pounds. He will be challenged in the first round by Morrissey senior and second year Bouts participant Dan "The Manler" McCoy.
Senior Mike "Dynamike" McCabe, a first year boxer who brings to the ring the poise and discipline he developed while earning a black belt in martial arts, will take on "One Punch" Paul Robinson, a sophomore from Zahm who is also boxing for the first time.
Freshman Colin Kerrigan, who completed the novice training period last semester, will matchup in his first ever Bengal Bout with sophomore and Morrisesey resident Julian "Bel Biv" DeVoe. The speedy DeVoe is looking to improve on his performance last year, when as a first year boxer he advanced to the semifinals of his weight class.
Third year law student Andy "The Atomic" Baum will bring his age and the experience of last year's Bouts to the first round to face off-campus senior Chris "Third Time's A Charm" Pettit. Fighting in his third Bengal Bouts, Pettit will try and use his skills as a lefty, generally atypical among boxers, to disrupt the strong technique that Baum has on both offense and defense.
Second year boxer Mike "The Militia Man" Melby, a Dillon Hall junior who is tall among the other 155 pound fighters, will try to combine his strong jab and long reach to solve Chris Henry, a sophomore from Zahm Hall.
Brandon "4-1072" Gasser, a sophomore from Alumni Hall boxing for the second year, takes on another South Quad sophomore in the first round, Fisher's Christopher "Border Bandit" Solis.
Off-campus senior Mike Messina will challenge John "The L-Dizzle" Nowak in the first round tonight. A left-handed boxer, the sophomore Nowak is competing in the Bengal Bouts for the second year.
Freshman Jesse "The Kangaroo" Shallcross received an automatic bye into the quarterfinals, after his first round opponent was declared medically ineligible to box.
An even pool of 16 boxers means a full bracket in the 160 pound weight class, so that every man must win three matches in order to climb past the competition and fight in the Joyce Arena one week from today.
The 160-pound division includes the only two Notre Dame boxers who hail from overseas. Chris "Can't We All Just" Kitalong, an off-campus senior, is a native of Palau, a small island southeast of the Philippines in the Pacific Ocean. A second-year boxer who relies on fast hands and athleticism, his first round opponent is law student Ethan "The Dude" McKinney, ironically, a native of nearby Mishawaka, Ind.
The other international match-up pits former Dillon Hall resident and current off-campus senior Dan "The Danimal" Probst, of Columbia, S.C., with third-year law student and current Dillon assistant rector John "The Chris Reid Shamrock Express" Murphy from New Ross, Ireland. Probst, who lost a questionable decision as a sophomore, is eager to return to action after missing last year's Bouts while abroad.
Two freshman boxers will square off in the preliminaries when Keough's Mike "Pure Sweetness" Panzica faces Galen "La Maqu'na" Loughrey from Dillon Hall. Both boxers have shown promise in their first year, notably Panzica for his technique and Loughrey for his dedication during training.
Zahm Hall sophomore Dusty Segretto's first round draw is Jason "Donkey Punch" Voss, a junior from Sorin Hall who has bulked up to compete in the 160-pound weight class. Voss had success last year in the 145-pound division, advancing to the semifinals.
Mark "Donkey Punch" DeSplinter is a freshman that has received high marks from the senior captains for his strong work ethic throughout the season. The well-conditioned Alumni resident will face Dillon's Eric "It Saul Good" Saul in the first round, a senior and one of the taller fighters in his division.
An off-campus senior but first year boxer, Dan "Sunshine" Frailey will also try to use his long reach to advance to the quarterfinals. His first round opponent is John Enterline, a sophomore from O'Neill Hall.
After transferring to Notre Dame, Pat "Boom-B-Yea" Hobbins competed in his first Bengal Bouts last year as a sophomore. Now a junior from Keenan, Hobbins will bring his strong technical skills to the first round to meet Knott Hall junior Matt "The Hogtown Hurricane" McDonald.
The bottom of the 160-pound bracket matches two more South Quad sophomores. Brent "Total Eclipse of the Heart" Burish, a Dillon resident with a long jab, will face Pat "The Beast from the Bend" Dillon, of Morrissey Manor. A graduate of South Bend's Marian High School, Dillon is a second year boxer who has shown great improvement since his novice season a year ago.
All Sports Stories for Friday, February 22, 2002