Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper

The Independent

NEIU Boxing Gets Slugged

George H. Borawski, Visual Media Editor

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Fans expected better performance and behavior from Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) athletes. On Friday November 16, NEIU hosted a men’s and women’s boxing event. NEIU only won two bouts, and most fights were unspectacular. There were no knock outs, and six fights went to decision.  After one fight was called early, the losing fighter, an NEIU student, was so upset he jumped out of the ring and threw his hands in the air, thumbs down. This became the unfortunate theme of the evening.

The boxers were matched against fighters from different local college and youth gyms. Music played and there was a moderate-sized crowd. People appeared to be having a good time.

Israel “Izzy” Gonzalez, the boxing trainer at NEIU, set up the event. At one point, Gonzalez brought the wrong fighter to the ring. Aside from that, and starting a full hour late, the eight-bout event ran smoothly. Referee Irwin Schiffman said, “Once it started it went off real (sic) well.”

The third fight of the night, Sosnivka versus Stilwater, was very fast paced. It was a closer fight than many of the others throughout the night.

The event was interrupted by a spin box demonstration which Gonzalez invented. Surreally enough, music started playing and the spin box demonstration began.  Spin boxing is done with music playing as participants rhythmically punch and fist bump. It’s reminiscent of jazzercise or tae-bo.

Jessica Flores, a 17-year-old of the Chicago Youth Boxing Club who wants to to be a mechanic when she finishes high school proved that she can certainly take a hit in her second fight.  However, she lost the bout to Lea Issaman.

NEIU student Joseph Reyes said, “I think the fights were really unfair because some of the fighters were way taller than the others.  It wasn’t by weight, it looked like it was by height; the tallest against the shortest, not even joking. That **** looked terrible. A little girl was fighting a giant dude.”

After Diego Cruz’s bout with Abraham Hernandez, Cruz exited to the storage room with an apparent injury. The physician on duty was sent for, and after examining him, Dr. Perez said, “He’s going to need to go to the hospital.” Probable dehydration was the prognosis.

Giles Goundouin lost his bout to Gustavo Henojosa. As the referee called the fight RSC (referee stops contact), Goundouin jumped out of the ring and threw his hands in the air with his thumbs down. He weaved in and out of the stationary bicycles on display for “spin-boxing,” then made his way onto the bleachers. He said, “Honestly, I knew this was going to happen. What do you expect? Having a referee come in that never even had a fight before…The referee shouldn’t have stopped the fight. The referees kept favoring the other team…Everybody here paid tickets (sic). That fight could have gone all three rounds. ” He said this was his first loss. He added, “Out of all my fights, this is the biggest bull.”

The last bout was Olaworetan versus Branecki, and it stirred the crowd up even more as the heavier fighters slugged it out. Referee Yale Loiacono said, “The last match was pretty competitive.”

Some fans thought calls were unfair. Gerrardo Morales said,”Diego, Alpha, and Mike all should have won.” Alex Gutierez said, “I thought it was really good. It was packed. There was a lot of VIP, surprisingly.”

Before the event started, a student, who choose to remain anonymous, said she was just here for participation points for a class. She didn’t mind because, “I’ve never seen wrestling in person before.”

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