European edition, Tuesday, May 1, 2007

STUTTGART, Germany — Because they each had fewer than 10 career bouts, all eight champions crowned Sunday at the U.S. Forces Europe boxing championships were classified as “novices.”

But that’s an understatement. Many of them, including those voted most outstanding, were little more than absolute beginners.

“Two weeks,” replied featherweight champion and women’s MVP Britney Teasley of Stuttgart when asked after her 5-0 victory over Rosalee Gordon of Kaiserslautern how long she’d been boxing.

Lightweight champion Jacob Hasbrouck of Giessen, who showed enough polish to be voted men’s MVP after he stopped Jesse Palomino of Grafenwoehr 45 seconds into round two of their scheduled three-round title match, said he’s been boxing less than six months.

“If I looked that way (polished),” said the unanimous MVP choice, “it’s all because of my coach [Mark Preston]. He’s showed me everything.”

Hasbrouck fought the maximum number of bouts in this four-day event, three, but downplayed all that activity.

“I was well-trained,” he said. “I wasn’t tired, not once.”

Light heavyweight champion Edward Garcia, the first of four home-community champions crowned Saturday, said his heart sank when the ring announcer began his recitation by erroneously identifying Garcia’s opponent as the winner.

“I was shocked,” said Garcia, who began his boxing career last September. “I thought I had won. The other day, I was in a close bout that I thought could go either way, but this one seemed clear.”

It was, 4-1 over Carlos Lebron of Graf.

Sunday’s most experienced champion was welterweight Roberto Figueroa, the first of consecutive champions from Kaiserslautern. He downed Cedric Penson of Wiesbaden 5-0 in his first bout of the event.

Middleweight Shawn Sullivan of Kaiserslautern sandwiched standing eight-counts to previously unbeaten Ricardo Medino of Grafenwöhr around a knockdown to force the ref to stop the bout halfway through round two.

“He’s been working like a dog for this,” K-town coach Jerry Hart said of Sullivan. “He’s always asking for extra training or more sparring.”

Heavyweight champ Christian Meyers, a Special Forces soldier, wore Anthony Watson of Heidelberg into exhaustion with four minutes of near-constant punching.

Women’s middleweight champion Temali Mercado collected the lone gold for team champion Grafenwöhr when she beat Tabitha Cornejo of Wiesbaden 4-1. Stuttgart was second and Wiesbaden third in the team race.

Collecting the only open-category gold medal won in the ring here was heavyweight Alector Tavares of Giessen, who saw the referee stop his bout Thursday against Hector Hernandez in the third round.

“It’s hard to get open bouts,” said Tavares, who’ll be leaving the Army at the end of the month. “All these deployments take guys away, and because of the deployments, people are getting out of the service. There aren’t many experienced boxers left.”

U.S. Forces Europe championshipsSTUTTGART, Germany — Results of Sunday’s championship bouts in the 2007 U.S. Forces Europe boxing championship. All bouts were novice category, 10 career bouts or fewer (RSC: referee stopped contest):

Team scoring—Grafenwöhr 74, Stuttgart 68, Wiesbaden 60, Giessen 40, Kaiserlautern 28, Heidelberg 8.

WomenFeatherweight—Britney Teasley (Stuttgart) def. Rosalee Gordon (Kaiserslautern) 5-0.Middleweight—Temali Mercado (Grafenwoehr) def. Tabitha Cornejo 4-1.Most outstanding boxer—Teasley.

MenLightweight—Jacob Hasbrouck (Giessen) by RSC over Jesse Palomino (Grafenwoehr), 45 seconds, 2nd round.Welterweight—Roberto Figueroa (Kaiserslautern) def. Cedric Penson (Wiesbaden) 5-0.Light middleweight—Shawn Sullivan (Kaiserslautern) by RSC over Ricardo Medino (Grafenwoehr) 1:36, 2nd round.Light heavyweight—Edward Garcia (Stuttgart) def. Carlos Lebron (Grafenwoehr) 4-1.Heavyweight—Christian Meyers (Stuttgart) by RSC over Anthony Watson (Heidelberg) 1:22, 2nd round.Super heavyweight—Ivan Koviaev (Stuttgart) def. Thomas Cowell (Wiesbaden) 3-2.Most outstanding boxer—Hasbrouck.

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