WIESBADEN, Germany — Edward Garcia of Stuttgart, the lone returning champion from 2007, retained his title Saturday night in the U.S. Forces-Europe boxing championships.
Garcia decisioned Harold Davis of Kaiserslautern 4-1 in one of two 165-pound title bouts.
“My coach [Benjamin Smith] said to score the first blow of the round and the last one,” Garcia told Installation Management Command-Europe’s Jim Mattingly after the bout. “That way I would leave an impression on the judges in each round.”
Garcia did as he was told but wasn’t totally pleased with his effort, even though it earned him a trophy as the tournament’s outstanding boxer.
“I was not happy with my bout,” Garcia said. “My opponent has the longest jab of anyone that I have boxed, and he was landing punches that no one has this year.”
Garcia said he thought Davis tired after Round 2, allowing him to become more assertive.
Because the event was held in one day, gold medals were awarded to the winner of each bout, according to Morale, Welfare and Recreation official Tom Hlavacek. That meant that at 165 and super heavyweight, in which four boxers competed, two gold medals were at stake in each weight class.
“In a one-day event, we couldn’t have a clear winner in the middleweight and super heavyweight divisions,” Hlavacek said. “The boxers aren’t allowed to box more than once in 24 hours.”
In the night’s other 165-pound title bout, Shawn Sullivan of Kaiserslautern defeated Hanau’s Reginald Fields 4-1 to help K-town to the team title. Kaiserslautern amassed 29 points to 10 for runner-up Stuttgart. Heidelberg and Grafenwöhr scored six points apiece, Wiesbaden five, and Hessen and Ramstein three each.
“My goal was just to be consistent and keep the pressure on my opponent,” Sullivan said. “What was working well for me tonight was my left hook.”
Daemont Johnson of Graf also displayed an effective left hook. Johnson won the 141-pound title by scoring standing eight-counts in each of the first two rounds en route to a 5-0 victory over Ramstein’s Dustin Hollar. Johnson tagged Hollar with a straight right to the chin at 1:08 of the first round to earn the first eight-count, then repeated the feat at 1:50 of Round 2 of the four-round bout with a left hook.
“I tried to make this a technical bout and was never trying to KO my opponent,” Johnson said. “I set up the second eight-count with two straight rights to the head, then sidestepped and threw the left hook.”
Johnson’s ignore-the-KO strategy proved to be the theme on Saturday. The first five bouts went the four-round distance. The final one lasted three when Wiesbaden’s Steve Soilera chose not to answer the bell for Round 4 of his super heavyweight bout against K-town’s Antonio Feagins.
At 201 pounds, Jake Green of Hanau, just off a two-week presidential mission to Croatia, blanked sailor Zach McCarthy of Stuttgart 5-0.
“Green won the bout by accumulating points with a straight right hand,” Green’s coach, Jerry Hart, said.
Things were no more competitive in the first superheavyweight bout, in which David Meredith of K-town blanked Heidelberg’s Michael Filbert 5-0, partially behind a thunderous right hook to Filbert’s head in the bout’s final 20 seconds. Even after that shot, however, Filbert stayed on his feet, preserving the no-KO storyline of this year’s boxing finale.