Bengal Bouts: 125-pounds — 145-pounds: Newburg, McMahon win unanimous decisions
By: PAUL CAMARATA
With the top seed in the Bengal Bouts' lightest weight class, junior Shawn Newburg received a bye into Wednesday night's semifinal round. Newburg showed little evidence of ring rust, however, as he punched aggressively and moved actively to score a unanimous decision over senior Derrick Bravo.
Bravo used a strong jab in every round of the fight, adding to it a straight right in the third round for a few impressive 1-2 combinations to Newburg's head. He never was able to slow Newburg with flurries of punches, however, and appeared to tire near the end of the fight. Newburg's feet kept their bounce until the final bell, allowing him to fend off punches and stay on the offensive.
While his strong right hand began slowing Bravo in the first round, it was Newburg's smooth and continuous movement that helped him move on to the Finals.
He will now face senior Jason McMahon, who also earned a unanimous decision in the semifinals with a victory over junior Lance Hedron. McMahon kept control of the ring, but pressed the tempo of the fight and never came off the attack. He answered the second round bell with particular fury, beginning the round with a quick combination and a powerful overhand right.
Hedron stayed strong throughout, but could never gain enough of a foothold to mount a counter-offensive. McMahon looked fresh even in the fight's latter stages, as he continued to throw strong punches to the body and head. He will now fight Newburg for the 125-pound title on Friday night, in a match-up of two smooth and strong boxers.
In the 135-pound weight class, only a few punches separated the winners and losers of the semifinals. Both fights in this division Wednesday night resulted in split decisions, beginning with the first matchup of two seniors where Matt Fumagalli outlasted Rich Rendina.
Trying to capitalize on his reach advantage, Rendina was aggressive from the start of the first round. His long jab kept Fumagalli at bay in the center of the ring, but Rendina was no match for Fumagalli's quick hands when the action moved along the ropes and corners.
Using his combinations on the taller Rendina's body in the second round, Fumagalli attacked both his body and head in the third. As the final bell approached, the two fighters went toe to toe, at which point Fumagalli appeared to rely on a surplus of energy. Despite all the jabs that he absorbed from Rendina, Fumagalli remained active in the open and tight spaces to outscore his way to Friday night's final.
His next opponent will be third-seeded T.J. D'Agostino, a sophomore who outlasted his classmate and second seed Tony Hallowell to advance. Hallowell, as a freshman, upset the defending 130-pound champion Fumagalli last year. The chance for a rematch between those two fighters fell short in the semifinals, when D'Agostino earned himself a shot at Fumagalli and the title.
Hallowell demonstrated his strong right hook and snappy movement in the first round, dominating by dictating the pace of the fighting. But D'Agostino smartly calmed the action in the second, using combinations of high and low punches to keep Hallowell off balance.
While Hallowell continued to press the action, coming out hard to start the third round, D'Agostino continued to fight downhill. Realizing he had to compensate after a slow start, D'Agostino scored several hard shots to Hallowell's head in the third to escape with a narrow victory.
Junior Andrew Harms fought his best match of this year's Bengal Bouts, taking control of the ring in the first round to score a bell-to-bell unanimous decision win over freshman Sam Fuller.
Straying from the center of the ring only when he moved forward to attack, Harms used a powerful straight hand to Fuller's head. While the freshman southpaw landed several strong punches in each of the first two rounds, he was unable to ever go on the attack against his technically sound opponent.
Harms persisted with his offensive in the second round, using combinations to the head and body, and particularly a left hook, which was enough to hand Fuller a standing-8 count.
In the third round, Fuller came alive by showing more aggressiveness, a strong defense and landing several straight lefts. He was playing catch-up at that point in the fight though, and still never really stopped Harms from throwing punches.
The No. 1 seed at 145-pounds, Harms will now fight for the title against senior and second-seeded Jemar Tisby, who won a unanimous decision over freshman Nathan Lohmeyer.
As has been the case in each of his fights, Tisby was forced to fight up at a taller opponent with a decided reach advantage. Tisby picked his spots to pounce and then came at Lohmeyer's body and head with speedy inside combinations. Moving smoothly around the ring, Tisby remained unfazed by the long jabs that Lohmeyer repeatedly landed.
Lohmeyer was especially aggressive in the third round, but not enough to deter Tisby's careful calculation and straight punching. The senior found the time and space to throw all of his weapons at his opponent, both aiming for and landing in a long, wide target area.
All Sports Stories for Thursday, February 28, 2002