One ring to bind them
CAMP NEW YORK, Kuwait — Army troops who may soon be fighting Iraqi forces took out their aggressions on one another Saturday night in a series of boxing matches in the Kuwait desert.
Camp New York, about 15 miles from the Iraq border, was the site of the third boxing smoker organized by the 3rd Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, which has its field headquarters at the camp.
“It was the brigade’s way of getting the troops together,” said Maj. Terrance Sanders, event organizer and adjutant of the brigade headquarters office. “We get a lot of novices who just want a way to test each other’s endurance.”
The main event, as announcer Chief Warrant Officer 2 Reginald Hughes called it, was a match between two female intelligence analysts who had never boxed before.
Their inexperience was complicated by the fact that each was nearsighted and not allowed to wear corrective lenses in the match.
“I’m going to get my butt whipped,” said Spc. Jennifer Nelson, 21. “We’re both running blind out there.”
Nelson, who stands 5 feet 10 inches and weighs 187 pounds, said she decided to box because she had some pent-up aggressions to get out. But she had no formal training.
Her opponent, Sgt. Jessica Dull, 26, who is 5-foot-11 and 194 pounds, had gotten about two days of training with some friends. In the end, after going the full two, 90-second rounds, Dull beat Nelson, who was left looking a little woozy after the match.
“I got hit a couple of times but it was fun,” Dull said. “It takes a lot of guts to get up there in that ring.”
Another winner was Spc. Edmund Diaz of the 26th Forward Support Battalion. Diaz, 23, a 5-foot-9 mechanic, had never boxed before.
“I came out to release some stress,” Diaz said after he beat Pfc. Aneudy Estevez, of Task Force 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment.
“I feel better now. Like I dropped a load,” said Diaz, sporting a gold medal around his neck. Both winners and runners-up received medals for the matches, Sanders said.
One spectator, Cpl. Michael Horoszko, of Task Force 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, said he knew what brought the boxers to blows. “Bragging rights,” he said.