Air Force Boxers Edge Navy in Service Academy Showdown
Oct. 1, 2010
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force boxing team opened the season with six impressive victories over service academy rival Navy on Friday, Oct. 1, in front of a packed house at the Cadet Gym Boxing Room. Highlighted by a fast start, Air Force posted a 6-4 record with its counterparts from Annapolis.
Competing in a 175-pound bout, junior Nick Cataldo got the Falcons started with a decision over Angelo Lonero. With Air Force's "leadoff hitter" getting the team and crowd fired up against his tough and rugged opponent, the Falcons rolled off three straight wins.
Senior Joe Silvio followed up Cataldo's victory with a decision over David Faerber at 165 pounds. Despite a height and reach advantage by Faerber, Silvio used good movement and speed to win the bout. By applying constant pressure, Silvio was able to win all three rounds and claim the team's first Boxer of the Week award of the season.
Air Force improved to 3-0 against the Midshipmen, as senior Michel Mizes defeated Ben Gentry at 135 pounds. Displaying excellent conditioning, Mizes applied constant pressure to Gentry. The coaches, who felt his tenacity and determination were the difference in the bout, see Mizes as a force to be reckoned with at 132 pounds.
The Falcons got back on the winning track, as sophomore Glenn Miltenberg took a 147-pound win over Roberto Garcia. Using a stiff jab and straight right, Miltenberg was able to keep his shorter opponent outside. Using standing-eight counts in both the second and third rounds, Miltenberg was able to take the judges' decision.
Senior Will Keuchler added to the Falcons' total at 190 pounds, winning a close decision over Luke Culver, last year's national runner-up at 185 pounds. The win, Keuchler's first again someone outside of the Academy, was backed by good poise and a strong jab.
Navy claimed a victory at the heavyweight division, as Cortez McCrary defeated senior Mike Chambers in a referee-stopped-contest (first round).
Moving up a weight class to 120 pounds, senior team captain Matt DeMars secured the Falcons' victory in one of the most anticipated bouts of the night. DeMars, the two-time defending national champion at 112 pounds, defeated Tom Payne, the defending national champion at 119 pounds.
The Midshipmen closed out the night with a win, as Chris Bertucci took the judges' vote from junior Mike McLain at the 180-pound division.
The coaches were quick to point out that the past-capacity crowd gave the boxers motivation and provided a definite "home gym" advantage. The thunderous crowd included 1974 graduate General Duncan McNabb, a two-time Wing Open champion and current Commander, U.S. Transportation Command.
"It's always great to have Gen McNabb in your corner," the coaching staff of Eddie Weichers and Capt Blake Baldi said. "He is a true boxing fan and always finds time in his busy schedule to support the boxing program."
The Falcons return to action on Oct. 8, when Air Force hosts its first round of Friday Night Fights at 4:30 p.m., in the Cadet Gym Boxing Room.