Wing Open Draws 5,700 Fans; All Four Defending Champions Victorious
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, CO - All four Wing Open defending champions successfully defended their titles Sunday night in Clune Arena before 5,700 fight fans.
If there was one disappointment it came in the 119-pound division where three-time Open champion Joel Rivera went unopposed to give him his fourth Open title. He becomes only the ninth boxer in Open history to earn four titles.
"I know Joel would have preferred winning the title in the ring," said head boxing coach Eddie Weichers. "But, we just didn't have any boxer in the program that wanted to take him on. He is that good."
The Outstanding Boxer of the Open went to C2C Joseph Harding in the 165-pound weight division. Harding used a strong right hand to dominate C1C Michael Pontius, a runner-up in last year's Wing Open. Harding won a 5-0 decision for the upset.
Defending Wing Open champion C1C Adam Roberts won a unanimous decision over C4C Jeb Fredrickson II in the 125-pound division, the night's first bout. Fredrickson was the aggressor throughout the match and kept Roberts on the defense. However, the more experience Roberts successfully countered with combinations and flurries to win a unanimous decision and earn his second Wing Open title.
"I knew Jeb had the reach and size advantage over me, so I became a counter-puncher," Roberts said. "He was more aggressive tonight than what he has been in practice, so that surprised me a little bit. But I think I did a good job of parrying his punches."
C1C Chris Geisel used an aggressive straight-on approach against C2C Eamon Murray in the 132-pound weight division to win a 5-0 decision.
In the 147-pound weight division, C3C Ulysses Linares successfully countered C3C Frankie Woods attack to win a unanimous decision.
C4C Clell Knight won a unanimous 5-0 decision over C2C Thomas Cisar in the 156-pound weight division. Knight used his height and reach advantage to win a close match.
In a hard-fought bout, C1C Aaron Banks won the 175-pound division over C1C Brandon Tellez on a 5-0 decision. Banks, a runner-up in last year's Open, was the aggressor throughout the match, but Tellez was able to back Banks up several times with hard counter punches.
C1C John Pantages won his second consecutive Wing Open title with a 5-0 decision over C1C Michael Thompson, a runner-up for the second time. Pantages used a strong left hand to force Thompson into two standing eight counts in the final round.
In the 195-pound division, defending national champion Dustin Brown used his experience to overpower C3C Christopher Hart. Brown used an over-hand right throughout the three rounds to take a unanimous decision from the five judges.
In the final bout of the night, defending champion C1C Lee Poage won the heavyweight division over C1C Derek Angel.