1st AD soldiers bring the fight to the ring
FRIEDBERG, Germany — Units assigned to the 1st Armored Division’s 1st Brigade got better acquainted Saturday night by getting into each others’ faces at the Battle of the Battalions boxing card.
“This gives a chance to know each other,” said middleweight Keeon Britton after he claimed a 2-1 decision over fellow infantryman Carlos Wright. “It brings us closer together. You get to know the guys behind the faces you see in the club or downtown.”
Britton and Wright, both assigned to 1st Brigade’s 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, helped their battalion to a runaway victory in the 16-bout event. The infantrymen amassed 72 points; runner-up 2nd Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment, scored 16.
“My men did a great job,” 1/36th coach Okera Anyabwile said. “We just got back from two months in the field last week. They really worked hard.”
It’s unlikely that anyone except combat-arms soldiers would celebrate their return from the rigors of field training by hitting the gym, but that’s exactly what the 1st Brigade soldiers did.
“It’s fun,” said heavyweight Anthony Clas, a platoon leader in Anyabwile’s C Company, 1/36th Infantry. “My guys said, ‘Let’s go,’ and I said I’d go, too.”
That kind of enthusiasm was evident both in the ring and in a raucous, packed grandstand, which resounded with chants of “In-fan-try, in-fan-try” for most of the evening. The spirit was a good substitute for the lack of polish shown by many of the boxers.
“This is for beginners,” Britton said. “For people who have never boxed before, four two-minute rounds is too hard. The one-minute rounds let them experience boxing without getting tired.”
Relatively speaking, that is.
For some, such as heavyweight Bryan Spalliero, assigned to Giessen’s Service Battery, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, three minutes was plenty.
Spalliero attacked aggressively in the first round, at one point landing three consecutive straight rights to the left ear hole of tanker Sergei Volkov’s headgear. When Volkov didn’t fall, however, and kept Spalliero at bay in Round 2 with a stiff left jab, both boxers were reduced to holding on in Round 3.
It was a useful conditioning session for Spalliero, a former Division I college wrestler at Fresno State, who sprawled winded on his stool after his 2-1 victory. Spalliero plans to enter the U.S. Forces Europe wrestling championships Dec. 9-11 in Wiesbaden.
“I know how to train for wrestling,” Spalliero said as he removed his hand wraps in the quiet locker room. “I just don’t know about training for this.”
Seven of the bouts ended early. The quickest of them was the showdown between infantrymen Cody Beggs and Chris McClure. Beggs had appeared to have KO’d McClure 10 seconds into their light middleweight bout, but referee Larry Goodman, himself a former USAREUR boxing champion, ruled that Beggs had used illegal blows to fell McClure and disqualified him.
Heavyweight Joshua Chaires of 2/37th Armor and super heavyweight Kevin Shelby of the 1/36th Infantry authored rousing one-punch endings to their bouts.
Infantryman Chris Cordle walked into a straight right from Chaires 40 seconds into their bout, while Shelby decked Air Force boxer Daniel Lydens with a short straight right 55 seconds into the last bout of the evening.
Battle of the Battalions
At Friedberg, Germany
Team scoring:1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 72; 2nd Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment, 16; 16th Engineer Battalion 10; 501st Forward Support Battalion 8; 1st Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment, 6; 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 5; Detachment 1, 1ASOS, 3.
Welterweight: Gerald Johnson (1/36 Inf) by RSC over Benjamin Harris (2/37Arm) end of Round 2.
Light middleweight: Chris McClure (1/36 Inf) by disqualification over Cody Beggs (1/36 Inf) 10 seconds, Round 1.
Middleweight: Jacob Hasbrouck (1/36 Inf) by RSC over Michael Cannon (1/37 Arm) 35 seconds, Round 2; Jeremy Alvarez (501st FSB) dec. Kurtis Smith (1/36 Inf) 2-1; Keeon Britton (1/36 Inf) dec. Carlos Wright (1/36 Inf) 2-1.
Light heavyweight: Tim Blackerby (16th Eng) dec. Jason Fonseca (1/36 Inf) 3-0.
Heavyweight: Steven Baras (2/37 Arm) dec. Allen Cox (1/36 Inf) 3-0; Joshua Chaires (2/37 Arm) by RSC over Chris Cordle (1/36 Inf) 40 seconds, Round 1; Bryan Spalliero (2/3 FA) dec. Sergei Volkov (1/37 Arm) 2-1; Brandon Stroik (1/36 Inf) by RSC over Daniel Siler (1/36 Inf) 31 second, Round 3; Alfredo Luna (1/36 Inf) dec. Morgan Naslund (501st FSB) 3-0; Anthony Clas (1/36 Inf) vs. Robert Forbes (2/37 Arm), double disqualification; Jason Richardson (1/36 Inf) dec. Matt Fabish (1/36 Inf) 3-0; Carroll Murphy (1/36 Inf) dec. Michael Collins (1/36 Inf) 2-1.
Super heavyweight: Kevin Shelby (1/36 Inf) by RSC over Daniel Lydens (Det. 1, 1ASOS) 55 seconds, Round 1.