July 4 boxing card promises extra punch
Stars and Stripes June 8, 2003
TAEGU, South Korea — The Army in lower South Korea is signing up boxers for Taegu’s July 4 card, which some are calling “The Rumble on the ROK.”
ROK stands for Republic of Korea.
Registration began Tuesday and runs until July 2, said Darryl Chandler, Camp Walker’s fitness facility director. Taegu is headquarters for the Army’s boxing program in Area 4, the lower South Korea military district.
Organizers plan to set up a ring and bleachers on Kelly Field, a Camp Walker parade ground. The event is set for 4 p.m.
And they’ve asked athletic directors at installations in other parts of South Korea to enroll contenders for the July 4 card.
“We’re opening it up to Humphreys, to Yongsan, all the way up to 2nd ID,” Chandler said, referring to Camp Humphreys near Pyongtaek, Yongsan Garrison in Seoul and the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division north of Seoul. “This is an opportunity for the soldiers stationed here in Korea to display their skills.
“Our current plan is to provide free lodging for soldiers coming from other areas. Of course, they would be responsible for their transportation and food.”
No boxing experience is required, but ring aspirants must indicate on the sign-up sheet whether they’ve had any training in the sport, such as that now offered through the Area IV program in Taegu and at Camp Carroll in Waegwan.
“If they’ve never participated in a boxing match or never attended any kind of boxing clinic or training session, we’d like for them to attend one or two,” said Chandler. “We want people to walk up and get in the ring, but we want to give them some basic instruction, just to prevent some unneeded injuries.”
Servicemembers wanting a place on the card should visit their on-post fitness center “and ask for the sign-up sheet,” Chandler said.
It’s too early to say how many bouts will be scheduled, said Chandler, but planners think the card may exceed the five staged during the boxing program’s March 8 debut at Camp Walker’s Kelly gym.
“That last event created such interest in boxing,” said Chandler, “that I’m expecting we could have 10 fights.”
That figure depends on how many fighters sign up and whether each can be matched with an opponent in their respective weight class.
Taegu Army boxing coach Miguel Marques works with about seven fighters. He expects two to be ready for the July 4 card but said that number could increase in coming weeks.
“Next week, we’re getting ready to kick off practice Monday through Friday all the way up to the tournament,” said Marques. “I’m looking at having everybody ... ready to fight.”
And of the seven or so now in regular training at Camp Carroll, said Army Staff Sgt. Fareed Samad, the post’s boxing coach, “there might be two or three that I think are qualified. I don’t take them right off the street and say, ‘OK, you should fight.’”
Those wanting to fight, Chandler said, “will be matched with someone of equal ... skill and comparable weight. Everything from bantam to super heavyweight. ... My goal is to have this go down as the Fourth of July Rumble on The ROK.”