The 2007 Southeast Coast Region Tournament
of Champions took place at the Margarette H. Miller Cosmetology Center
in Columbia, SC, where 39 fighters competed to earn a spot on the
Southeast Coast Regional Team and advance to the USA Boxing National
Championship in Colorado Springs, CO, where they will box for a place on
the 2008 Olympic boxing team.
Eleven men and two women will represent a
region consisting of the Florida Association, Florida Gold Coast
Association, Georgia Association, North Carolina Association and South
The bouts were organized by weight class and
were randomly matched by a computer, so four boxers had to box three
times. But amateur boxing poses different challenges than in
professional. In the amateur tournaments, like this one, the bouts are
four two-minute rounds as opposed to three-minute rounds. And judges
award the boxer displaying more activity, technical skill, showmanship
and sportsmanship rather than being the best puncher.
106 lbs: Daniel
Lazono vs. Roberto Ceron
The tournament opened with the bout between
Lazono, FL, and Ceron, GA and ranked 1. Lazono said this was his second
time competing in an open division making his win that much greater.
Lazono kept his punches going and his feet moving giving Ceron a tough
time. The crowd cheered and shouted suggestions at the boxers. After an
exciting bout the judges decided Lazono should advance to the National
119 lbs: Zachelus
Watkins vs. Jessy Cruz
After the judges announced Cruz’s, FGC, win
by decision against Watkins, GA and ranked 6, the boxers congratulated
each other and left the ring together with the audience waiting to shake
their hands and tell them, “good job champ.”
125 lbs: Darrel
Harris vs. Richard Rivers
Rivers, NC, won by decision
against Harris, FL. The boxers slugged it out throwing hooks, but saved
enough energy to finish the last round. The judges thought Rivers just
had that much more and gave him the win.
132 lbs: Jose Perez
vs. David Hamby
Hamby, FL, danced in the ring while dropping
his guard and showboating, but Perez, FGC, stayed near him and wrestled
him, at times, to keep the bout going. The boxers closed-in on each
other and, to the audience, two bodies tangled in each other’s arms
moved around the ring. They kept the fight on the inside throwing short
punches, mostly hooks and uppercuts without tiring. In the end Perez was
given the win as he bowed to the audience.
138 lbs: Christina
Swanson vs. Isihka Lay
The fifth bout of the night involved
Swanson, FGC and ranked 3, and Lay, FL, and was the only female bout.
Swanson relied on her aggressive forward movement to control the bout
and keep Lay moving. Following their coach’s advice, as it was shouted
from the corners, both boxers kept their hands going. In the end Swanson
took the win and advanced to the nationals.
141 lbs: Brad
Solomon vs. Alan Knight
In the sixth bout Solomon, GA and ranked 3,
stood a head taller than Knight, FL. Knight tried smothering Solomon’s
punches, but Solomon danced too much for any close fighting. In the
fourth, Solomon waited periodically with his back near the ropes
inviting Knight to throw as the small crowd of family and friends
cheered for them. Solomon took the win.
152 lbs: Malcolm
Stemphill vs. Marcus Willis
The seventh bout involved two very talented
boxers Stemphill, FGC, and Willis, FL. They spent the night catching
each other with left-hooks, but Willis constantly invaded his space.
He’d slide in Stemphill’s zone to land short combinations and then move
his head away before any retaliation. The announcer called it “a war,”
however the judges saw it in Willis’ favor.
lbs: Coy Lambert vs. Lamar Russ
The eighth bout ended during the first round
after Russ, NC, landed a combination of body shots on Lambert, SC.
Shortly after the 8-count, Russ opened with a straight-right directly to
Lambert’s sternum sending him to the floor.
178 lbs: Robert
Campbell vs. Ibaheim King
The first round of the ninth bout started
slow with Campbell, FL, and King, FGC, taking their time circling each
other. During the bout they both picked their shots, and threw hard. The
intensity increased as the fighters lunged in with left-hooks and
straight-rights. “Don’t let him rest,” their corners yelled. Then
Campbell caught King with a right to the body, but King complemented his
scorecard by landing shots that staggered Campbell and giving him the
201 lbs: Aleco
Lawton vs. James Jenkins
The tenth bout started fast, but slowed
after the second round. Lawton, FL, and Jenkins, GA, kept an
inconsistent tempo in rounds one and two with an on-and-off slug fest.
The third round showed two tired boxers throw few punches and the result
was Lawton advancing to the nationals.
201+ lbs: Lenroy
Thompson vs. John McDermott
During the last bout of the night Thompson,
FL, and McDermott, GA, battled it out with a consistent and inconsistent
styles. The larger McDermott followed aggressively to Thompson’s swift
movements. The audience seemed shocked when McDermott got an 8-count
early on and they chuckled when Thompson slipped and fell through the
ropes. Entering the third round both fighters received heavy criticism
because McDermott moved slower and slower and Thompson just danced and
jabbed while occasionally throwing a straight-right. In the fourth
McDermott threw heavy and wild shots, but it was Thompson’s steady
movements that sent him to the next round.
141 lbs: Kendrick
Baker vs. Jared Robinson
cheered for the SC native Robinson when he fought Baker, FGC, in the
first bout of the night. The first round both fighters threw strong
combinations and when single shots were thrown the crowd shouted,
“punch-in-combinations.” Robinson kept Baker moving and at times pinned
him against the ropes. Then in the fourth round Baker punched at every
angle keeping Robinson in the center. The smacking noise of punches
landing against a body was heard over the crowd. Unfortunately after a
hard fight only one fighter can advance and it was Robinson.
lbs: Quinntrial Thompson vs. Brad Solomon
and ranked 3, returned the second night to face Thompson, NC, for the
second bout. The first round was filled with hooks and uppercuts from
both fighters. Solomon’s left hand hung low as he skillfully ducked
Thompson’s punches. But it was Solomon putting his weight behind his
punches that knocked Thompson down in the second round causing
Thompson’s trainer to stop the fight.
lbs: Timothy Andrews vs. John Williams
bout involved Andrews, SC, and Williams, NC, two tall fighters who put
their jabs to good use. In the first round Andrews threw lead left-hooks
and Williams jabbed at the body. Moving in to the second round both
boxers fought on the outside while working their jabs and using their
long bodies to step in-and-out. Later Williams focused more on defense
while Andrews remained active, but with deep breaths and slower movement
they looked to be reserving energy for the fourth. They opened the final
round with quick and heavy punches like Williams’ lead right-hook, but
Andrews’ steady activity advanced him to the next round.
lbs: Mark Sanders vs. Marcus Willis
GA, stood a head taller than Willis, FL, in the fourth bout. But height
didn’t matter to Willis who jabbed setting-up a 1-2-3 plus right-hook
combination and dropped left-hooks on Sanders throughout the fight.
Early in the third Sanders got penalized and had to turn-up his
intensity. At the end of the round Sanders got caught with heavy blows
contributing to his swelling eye, which his corner worked on during the
break. At the opening of the fourth Sanders sticks-and-moves trying to
keep Willis away, so Willis began throwing lunging power shots. The
fight ended with both fighters smothering each other’s punches and
lbs: Jonathan Cepeda vs. Richard Grant
aggressive Cepeda, FGC, and Grant, FL, go at it in the fifth bout.
Cepeda, at first, did everything “textbook,” he moved in-and-out, bobbed
his head back and forth, and while slipping punches he’d counter with a
left-hook. But in the second, Cepeda started pushing Grant where he
wanted until he got penalized for it. Then to regain dominance he threw
heavier punchers and landed a solid blow stopping Grant.
lbs: Terry Roscoe vs. Lamar Russ
and Roscoe, GA, adapted early on to each other’s style with jabs but
grew more intense near the end of the round. They both used precise
technique, but the more skillful Russ worked the body and head. His
corner coached him through the fight by pinpointing all Roscoe’s flaws.
In the fourth, Russ picked his shots throwing mostly power punches and
landed one that rocked Roscoe enough for an 8-count. Russ won for the
lbs: Kassim Howard vs. Alonzo Lumpkin
and Lumpkin, SC, felt each other out in the opening round. Light on his
feet, Howard moved around the ring with his back near the ropes while
Lumpkin tried cutting it off. In the third, Lumpkin caught Howard with
lead left-hooks, but Howard responded with his left-hook and worked his
jab. Howard stepped it up in the fourth and landed harder shots. Lumpkin
punched to move in. Nearing the end of the round, both fatigued fighters
wrestled each other. The decision was given to Howard.
lbs: Luster Sampson vs. Lenroy Thompson
Sampson, NC, stalked Thompson, FL, as he
danced around, but Thompson’s 1-2 combination kept Sampson away. In the
second round, Thompson came out jabbing and it looked like his constant
movement became too much for the tired Sampson. During the third round
cheers of excitement were not heard, but laughter at the punishment
served to Sampson. Tired of waiting and frustrated, Sampson grabbed
Thompson and earned himself a warning. Almost instantly in the fourth
Sampson got a standing 8-count. Waiting in the corner Thompson listens
to people say, “The ref should have stopped a while ago Lenroy.”
Afterwards Sampson became a punching bag, which made it an easy decision
for the judges.
lbs: Tiaryn Daniels vs. Rachel Clark
FL, and Clark, NC, began the fight slow as the two southpaw fighters
circled each other. Late in the first, Clark turned it up catching
Daniels with shots that backed her in to the ropes, but the bell rang.
In the second round both fighters stayed in the center throwing mostly
straight punches, while the third held most of the action. Clark hit
Daniels with clean shots staggering her back until the ref intervened
with an 8-count. Becoming more aggressive, both moved faster and threw
harder, but wildly. Clark had the upper hand giving Daniels her second
8-count of the round. Clark advanced to the Colorado Springs.
lbs: Johnny Narvaez vs. Richard Rivers
FGC ranked 4, and Rivers, NC, moved slow in their first round, but sped
up the tempo during the second with Rivers dancing around the ring with
his back near the ropes and his jab going, but Narvaez slipped low and
moved swiftly and at one point caught Rivers with three consecutive
left-hooks. They kept each other in constant motion. At the start of the
third, Rivers left his corner the aggressor, but midway through the
round the tides-turned, yet, Rivers was no punching bag because he
slipped shots gracefully. In the fourth they came out swinging until
Rivers attempted a different approach. He grabbed Narvaez to move him,
but Narvaez punched and punched until Rivers got an 8-count. Afterwards
Rivers laid on the hooks, but with his quick feet and hands Narvaez gave
Rivers another 8-count, which concerned the doctor. The fight ended with
Rivers landing a solid right-hand, but Narvaez took the win and advanced
to Colorado Springs.
lbs: Jamar Saunders vs. Jose Perez
GA, came out the aggressor as Perez, FGC, moved, slid, and rolled
punches off his body gracefully, but later traded blows with Saunders.
Even though Perez came out the aggressor in the second, neither showed
fatigue and the fight continued with constant energy while they moved
around the ring. Even when Saunders caught Perez with a clean left-hook,
Perez returned it as well as he got it, if not better, to take the win
and advance to Colorado Springs.
lbs: Nicholas Bray vs. Ibaheim King
really picked up at the end of the second when King, FGC, staggered
Bray, GA, into the ropes, but the bell saved him. At the start of the
third they brawled and moved, throwing mostly hooks. In the fourth,
heavy punches thrown from both fighters gave the audience something to
cheer about, but King soon controlled Bray with his punches keeping him
against the ropes and in the corner. King won and advanced to Colorado
fighters and officials arrived before 9 a.m., the start of the end as
each fighter knew this was his final chance in this tournament to
advance to Colorado Springs to fight for a spot on the U.S. Olympic
boxing team. Looking around the room with open spaces and stacked
chairs, few attendants viewed the last four fights of the tournament.
lbs: Jared Robinson vs. Brad Solomon
started action packed as both fighters quickly found their rhythm.
Solomon, GA and ranked 3, with his long arms and legs danced while
punching from the outside and Robinson, SC, shorter than Solomon, moved
with his hands up and head moving. The second round reflected a great
amount of skill as Solomon, with his right hand high and left under his
chest, threw a long 1-2-3 combo, but Robinson fought smart. He saw the
long left-hook coming, so he kept his right hand high and jabbed his way
inside. Solomon kept his back near the ropes and managed not to get
pinned. In the third, the fighters stayed center ring boxing very
technically. As it’s all on the line, both fighters laid heavier punches
on each other in the fourth, but the tempo faded after the ref penalized
Solomon. The tempo slowed as Solomon moved with Robinson stuck to his
chest, but Solomon eventually picked a position on the ropes to speed it
up. The fight ended with Robinson throwing combos and Solomon straight
punches with Solomon advancing to the nationals.
lbs: Timothy Andrews vs. Marcus Willis
SC, and Willis, FL, fought in the center of the ring, but Willis became
the aggressor of the first round. Opening the second, Andrews switched
between Orthodox to Southpaw and threw many combinations leading with
straight-rights, but they were fighting what looked to be Willis’ fight:
with tie-ups, close fighting and short punches. Andrews tried keeping
his jab on him, but Willis put his hooks in the right places positioning
Andrews against the ropes. In the fourth, Andrews stayed on his toes
with Willis on the outside, but it seemed to be in Willis’ rhythm. The
round ended with them swinging and Willis advancing to the nationals.
lbs: Jonathan Cepeda vs. Lamar Russ
had a tough first round with Cepeda, FGC, and as the taller fighter he
jabbed his way around the ring and worked the angles with pivots while
Cepeda brawled whenever close enough. In the second, Russ moved with his
back near the ropes while Cepeda stayed the aggressor with little leg
movement. Russ jabbed until Cepeda saw an opportunity to turn the fight
in to a slugfest where Russ received a standing 8-count. The third
continued the tempo of the second as Cepeda wrestled Russ where he
wanted. Russ tried keeping his jab in Cepeda’s face, but Cepeda
continued his forward-motion. The ref penalized Russ twice for holding
and later disqualified him for it. Cepeda advanced to Colorado Springs.
lbs: Kassim Howard vs. Lenroy Thompson
FL, quickly developed his rhythm of dancing and jabbing around the ring
while Howard, FGC, tried cutting it off. Attempting to break Thompson’s
rhythm, Howard grunted while throwing combinations. When the round ended
both fighters moved to their corner: Howard got sprayed with water while
sitting, Thompson got sprayed while standing. At the bell they moved
towards each other and, in an attempt to control the fight, Howard
grabbed at Thompson for inside fighting causing Thompson to push, which
he was penalized for, but had no intention of dumping his game plan.
Thompson threw slow jabs and good straight-rights to set-up his
left-hook. Therefore Howard tried to pin Thompson, but Thompson kept
dancing and he soon became the aggressor by leading combinations with
straight-rights and eventually pinned Howard against the ropes. Early in
the last round Thompson switched to Southpaw and pinned Howard against
the ropes again. They began trading blows, but Thompson appeared to
control the fight and allowed Howard to come closer. With all the
excitement of the coaches and the crowd cheering, their feet stayed
still while they exchanged body shots for the final moments of the
fight. In the end Thompson advanced to the nationals.
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