By Greg Jones
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office
Team Stuttgart won the “Rumble in the Gart” invitational boxing tournament April 5 at the Patch Fitness Center on Patch Barracks, beating out 10 other teams through 15 bouts for the top slot, with Fit Boxing Esslingen coming in second, and Team Kaiserslautern taking third.
Some 33 boxers competed in the tournament, representing 11 teams: Schwäbisch Gmünd, Team Stuttgart, Team Vicenza, Team Hohenfels, Fit Boxing Esslingen, Team Kaiserslautern, ESV Rot-Weiss Stuttgart, Ansbach TSV 1860, Team Spangdahlem, Team Baumholder, and SV Gold-Blau Stuttgart.
In the first bout, Pascal Stern of Schwäbisch Gmünd defeated Steven Webb of Ansbach TSV 1860 by decision.
The second bout featured the first Stuttgart boxer, Vijy Seedan, who beat out Marcus Green of Kaiserslautern and was followed by Schwäbisch Gmünd’s second win of the evening when Albert Miranda defeated Stephen Pickers of Vicenza during the third bout.
A very heated fourth bout featured Corey Gulley of Hohenfels squaring off against Abdulahaziz Shribati of ESV Rot-Weiss Stuttgart. Both boxers came out fast and furious, but toward the end of the match fatigue glared on both their faces. Gulley, however, did sustain enough energy to secure the win.
Bout Five went to Pajhin Ramadani of Fit Boxing Esslingen over Allen Wallace from Spangdahlem. In Bout Six, Marcus Jacobs brought Kaiserslautern’s first victory of the evening, defeating Alex Ortega of Stuttgart.
Bout Seven was decided by default in favor of Raymond Garcia of Stuttgart when the opposing boxer failed to show.
During the eighth bout, Donald Watts of Baumholder earned the team’s first and only victory of the evening against Stuttgart’s Jonathon Mullis.
During an intermission between the eighth and ninth bouts, food and door prizes, to include a four-day stay at the Edelweiss Lodge in Garmisch and roundtrip ticket to the U.S., were awarded.
Following the break, the tournament continued with Bout Nine in which Reno Sullivan of Stuttgart pummeled Michael Logan from Kaiserslautern, urging the referee to call the fight early in Sullivan’s favor. The intensity of this fight was a direct result of equally intense training, according to Sullivan.
“The hardest part for me in any fight is training, and in this particular case my hard work paid off,” he said.
Bout 10 was also called early by the referee, this time in favor of Abel Amsaleteghen of SV Gold-Blau Stuttgart, who thrashed Jose Sandoval.
A fantastic Bout 11 featured Robert Krlin of ESV Rot-Weiss Stuttgart squaring off against Jose Rivera of Stuttgart. The two boxers went back and forth with grim intensity for the entirety of their three rounds, and it was difficult to call at the end. Ultimately, the decision went to Krlin, who also took the “Best Boxer” award for the evening.
In Bout 12, Giuseppe Masutto with Fit Boxing Esslingen secured his team’s second place spot by defeating Clinton Kendall of Stuttgart.
In the only ten-count knock out of the evening, Corey Taylor of Hohenfels earned enthusiastic cheers from the crowd, defeating Stuttgart’s Xavier Martin in Bout 13.
In what may have been the most crowd-pleasing bout of the evening, Vicenza’s William Ransom defeated Tyler Mielearch of Baumholder in Bout 14, but not without some real effort.
“That guy weighs about 260 pounds, and believe me, I felt every bit of it,” Ransom said after his bout. “I’d land a punch, and it wouldn’t move him at all. I won, but it sure tired me out.”
In the final bout, Julian Wiggins of Stuttgart defeated teammate James Freund.For the boxers, it wasn’t necessarily about losing or winning the tournament, but about the experience and building resilience, according to Wiggins.
“Boxing, along with other individual combat sports, helps test your intestinal fortitude and builds confidence to overcome your fears,” he said. “Anybody can watch from the bleachers and talk about how the boxers are fighting, but not everybody can get in the ring in front of a crowd of people and fight.”