FORT BLISS, Texas- Blood and sweat flew as soldiers threw jabs, uppercuts and hooks during the Border Rumble Boxing Smoker, Feb. 21, at the Mitchell W. Stout Physical Fitness Center here.
The first of four bouts was between Aries Cook, 47th Brigade Support Battalion, and Brandon Jackson, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion. It was an aggressive fight with both contenders constantly throwing punches and never backing down. Jackson won the bout by a split decision after three rounds.
The next bout was between two friends from the 5th Armored Brigade, 1st Army Division West, who trained together for six months: Vanessa Dudley and Andrea Taylor. Both contenders went all three rounds throwing jabs and punches non-stop. Taylor didn’t allow a bloody nose stop her from finishing the fight, but it was Dudley who won by split decision.
“Winning was bittersweet because Taylor is such a good friend,” said Dudley. “While it was fun, trying to beat up a good friend doesn't feel all that great. I felt like we both fought equally hard, and our friendship grew stronger than ever.”
The third bout was between Steven Ocasio with U.S. Army Dental Activity Fort Bliss, and Martin Jimenez with the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment. Both fighters would not let up, throwing jabs and uppercuts from start to finish. Jimenez won by a split decision.
The final fight was between Frank Trigg, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, and Essa Almasoud, 1st Brigade Combat Team. The referee was constantly pulling the fighters apart but in the end Trigg’s knockout jab in the third round won him the match.
“It felt good to win by a knockout. I waited for the opening, but I had to be patient,” said Trigg. “I had to stick the basics; the fundamentals will get you out of a lot of trouble.”
This was Trigg’s third fight as an amateur boxer, the second which he won by a knockout.
Andes Lamasanguiano refereed the first two fights. Dora Carrillo refereed the last two fights. The Fort Bliss Morale, Welfare and Recreation office, and the Golden Gloves of El Paso sponsored the fight and USA Boxing sanctioned it.
“I think the Border Rumbler is a great opportunity for soldiers to try something new out, such as boxing, without fearing that the person you are fighting has a vast amount of experience over you,” said Dudley. “MWR does such a great job offering events such as these for soldiers. I would have probably never had the experience if it wasn't for them.”
Carrillo, a referee with USA boxing, has been involved with kickboxing and karate since the 1970s. After retirement, she joined USA Boxing.
“I’ve been doing this for five years, and every time I come to Fort Bliss, it’s been wonderful,” said Carrillo. “I know that the soldiers prepare for this event and do a good job.”
The next Border Rumble Boxing Smoker is tentatively scheduled in September 2014.
For further information on upcoming MWR events, go to www.Blissmwr.com.