Adrenalin-Pumping Action Highlights the Wing Open Semifinals
The final pairings have been set for the 2005 Wing Open, after a spirited round of semifinal action on Wednesday, Feb. 23, in the Upper Boxing Room of the Cadet Gym. With 11 entries to the final round on the line, nothing was held back as the 22 contestants fought for their right to advance to Clune Arena.
Taylor Gifford advanced to a 147-pound showdown with Blake Baldi after defeating Alex Johns when the referee stopped the contest in the second round. Adam Vance and Trevor Cook were able to advance to the 156-pound finals, after Vance earned a unanimous decision over 2004 Wing Open runner-up Marcos Gonzales and Cook took the decision over Nathan Dawson.
In the 165-pound bouts, Mike Sackenheim defeated Mark Ruther by a decision, while Joe Conrad took a decision over Jacob Lambach to advance to a Friday Night Fight-rematch with Sackenheim.
The 175-pound semifinal bouts both featured contests that ended early by a referee's decision. Augustin Kamdem moved on to try and retain his 2004 title after topping Bruce Jamison in the third round, while Evin Negron earned the right to face off with Kamdem after defeating Collins Cuyler in two rounds.
Chris Collins claimed a unanimous decision over Chris Johnson at 185 pounds and will face Sean Mitchell in the finals. Oscar Casillas earned a return to the ring at Clune Arena after taking a decision over John Carberry. He will face Brock Predovich in the finals after Predovich defeated William Boyles in the other 195-pound semifinal bout.
The last match of the evening featured the night's first split decision. Ian Tuznik claimed the victory over John Quinn in the loudest bouts of the night. With the crowd on their feet and neither boxer willing to go out quietly, the heavyweight competition was the perfect transition into the Wing Open Finals.
For the second time this season, Sackenheim was named the Academy's Boxer of the Week. The Hamilton, Ohio, native used good movement and accurate combinations to keep Ruther off balance. Although Ruther was the shorter of the two competitors, he tried to fight inside and get Sackenheim on the ropes, but the senior kept Ruther at bay with quick jabs and an occasional right hand. Sackenheim staggered Ruther in the later part of the fight and held on as Ruther battled back for the finish.
The Wing Open Finals are set for Sunday, March 6, at 5 p.m., in Clune Arena at the Cadet Field House. Admission is free and will feature 11 bouts, ranging from 112 pounds to Tuznik's heavyweight bout with David Bullock. The contest will also be broadcast live on Altitude Sports and Entertainment.
COMPLETE RESULTS FROM THE WING OPEN QUARTERFINALS
147-lbs.: Taylor Gifford (CS-32) rsc-2 Alex Johns (CS-32)
156-lbs.: Adam Vance (CS-09) dec. Marcos Gonzales (CS-36)
156-lbs.: Trevor Cook (CS-34) dec. Nathan Dawson (CS-30)
165-lbs.: Mike Sackenheim (CS-23) dec. Mark Ruther (CS-15)
165-lbs.: Joe Conrad (CS-36) dec. Jacob Lambach (CS-19)
175-lbs.: Augustin Kamdem (CS-08) rsc-3 Bruce Jamison (CS-31)
175-lbs.: Evin Negron (CS-33) rsc-2 Collins Cuyler (CS-08)
185-lbs.: Chris Collins (CS-30) dec. Chris Johnson (CS-36)
195-lbs.: Oscar Casillas (CS-32) dec. John Carberry (CS-13)
195-lbs.: Brock Predovich (CS-20) dec. William Boyles (CS-05)
HYWT: Ian Tuznik (CS-07) dec. John Quinn (CS-17)
Stay tuned to AirForceSports.com for the latest Wing Open information and get prepared for the 2005 championships on the Wing Open link of the Air Force boxing page.