Five Repeat Titles at Wing Open Championships
Highlighted by five repeating champions and seven first-time winners, the 2005 Air Force Wing Open Boxing Championships showcased a stellar display of skill and tenacity. In front of an excited crowd at Clune Arena on Sunday (March 6) night, 22 Falcons vied for a shot at a Wing Open title and a spot on the Air Force Academy national team.
Willie Lloyd opened the night with his second consecutive Wing Open title at 112-pounds. Lloyd earned the victory over with a decisive win over Steven Bogert as the referee stopped the contest in the first round. In the 125-pound bout, Ezekiel Ignaco extended his Wing Open title streak, picking up his second straight victory with a decision over Jeremy Homan.
Brian Navin claimed his first Wing Open title at 132-pounds, as he took a decision over James Baker. The next two bouts featured contests that were stopped by the referee in the third round. Luis Pena picked up his second Wing Open title at 139-pounds when he took down Lonnie Ash in the third, while Blake Baldi (the runner-up to Pena one year ago) earned his first title at 147-pounds when the referee stopped his bout with Taylor Gifford.
The 156-pound bout featured two contenders who had competed through the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the loaded weight class. Adam Vance, a runner up in 2003, picked up his first Wing Open title, as he earned a decision over Trevor Cook.
Senior Mike Sackenheim claimed his first Wing Open title at 165-pounds, taking the decision from Joe Conrad in a rematch of a classic Friday Night Fights contest from earlier this year. Classmate Augustin Kamdem earned the decision over Evin Negron in the 175-pound bout to earn his second Wing Open title.
The remaining three bouts all featured first-time champions at the Wing Open.
Last year's runner-up at 185-pounds, Chris Collins picked up his first title when the referee stopped his contest with Sean Mitchell in the second round. Brock Predovich's contest with Oscar Casillas was stopped in the third round when Predovich sent Casillas into the ropes with a hard hit. And in the night's final match-up, sophomore Ian Tuznik claimed a decision over David Bullock in the heavyweight bout
Senior 119-pound athlete, Darren Smith, was unopposed this year and claimed his fourth Wing Open title. He became just the 10th cadet-athlete ever to earn four consecutive Wing Open titles. Smith joins an elite group of former boxers that includes Jim Ingram (1964), Gary Vasek (1968), "Buzz" Dyre (1969), Charlie Stallworth (1973), Alex Cline (1980), Ricky Graham (1982), Bryan Dunn (1993), Mike Benza (2000) and Joel Rivera (2001).
Following the bouts, the Air Force coaching staff named Collins the 2005 Wing Open Outstanding Boxer. With his hard-hitting rsc-2 victory over Mitchell at 185-pounds, Collins received the event's most prized trophy. The award is named after former Air Force athletics director John J. Clune.
The winners from tonight's matches will form the Air Force team that will travel to Reno, Nev., on Match 17-19 for the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) West Regional at the El Dorado Hotel. The winners from the East, Midwest and West Regionals will convene on the Academy, March 31-April 2, for the 2005 NCBA National Championships.
FINAL RESULTS THE 2005 WING OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
112 lbs.: Willie Lloyd (CS-32) rsc-1 Steven Bogert (CS-06)
119 lbs.: Darren Smith (CS-19) -- unopposed
125 lbs.: Ezekiel Ignaco (CS-12) dec. Jeremy Homan (CS-11)
132 lbs.: Brian Navin (CS-05) dec. James Baker (CS-36)
139 lbs.: Luis Pena (CS-35) rsc-3 Lonnie Ash (CS-34)
147 lbs.: Blake Baldi (CS-14) rsc-3 Taylor Gifford (CS-32)
156 lbs.: Adam Vance (CS-09) dec. Trevor Cook (CS-34)
165 lbs.: Mike Sackenheim (CS-23) dec. Joe Conrad (CS-36)
175 lbs.: Augustin Kamdem (CS-08) dec. Evin Negron (CS-33)
185 lbs.: Chris Collins (CS-30) rsc-2 Sean Mitchell (CS-10)
195 lbs.: Brock Predovich (CS-20) rsc-3 Oscar Casillas (CS-32)
Hywt.: Ian Tuznik (CS-07) dec. David Bullock (CS-10)
OUTSTANDING BOXER (CLUNE AWARD): Chris Collins (185-lbs.)