Sunday, December 2, 2007

Pocono Challenge IV: Highs and Lows


Pocono Challenge IV fell short of its fifteen bout schedule as some boxing clubs who had signed to participate failed to show. That was disappointing for RJ Sockwell who was looking to wrap up his amateur career with an impressive victory. It was also unfair to other fighters like Danny Sandoz who showed up ready to fight. You can’t fight them if they don’t show up, however, and not showing up for a scheduled bout is one good way to keep your record intact. But it’s not the way to earn R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

The first bout featuring Jesse Harris boxer Jarod Sharp was definitely not disappointing for boxing fans. Sharp came alive about twenty seconds into the first round and found the target for a right hand that would eventually lead to the downfall of his game opponent, Devon McMaster of the 3rd Street Gym. Sharp had been in the gym and working hard for months. The improvement in technique was noticeable as he set up the punishing right with Sharp left jabs. As the fight wore on, Sharp’s right hand power became inevitable where it had been merely dangerous. McMaster, trained by veteran fighter Luis Melindez, kept to his feet by an effort of will and was himself an effective puncher. It was the kind of fight you’d watch again.

John Grimaldi, another Jesse Harris novice, also showed pedigree and fight sense in his first fight. Struggling at first, Grimaldi steadfastly held to his fight plan as his opponent slowly weakened. In the last round, Grimaldi pressed forward, landing straight shots against an opponent who started strong but couldn’t maintain the pace.

Lucas Robinson of Pedone’s Heavy Hitters gym in Stroudsburg lost his first fight against an opponent with five fights under his belt. In losing, Robinson earned the respect of his opponent and also of fight fans. The battle was toe-to-toe, no retreat, and no surrender against two guys who refused to yield.

Alex Gaca, another boxer from the Jesse Harris gym lost his fight when he hit the canvas after a flash knockdown. The referee decided the match shouldn’t continue and stopped the contest.

Heavyweight Anthony Himelright lost by decision to Eric Newell in a bout in which neither man established a convincing dominance.

No comments: