Army Takes Its 27th Armed Forces Boxing Crown
American Forces Press Service
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz., Feb. 23, 2005 Huachuca means thunder in Apache, and Army boxers unleashed a hailstorm of blows here Feb. 19 to once again take the armed forces championship title.
Army's Spc. Quentin McCoy of Fort Carson, Colo., outpointed
Marine Cpl. Wilfrido Gonzalez 25-17 at the armed forces boxing championship
Feb. 18 at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. Photo by Elizabeth Davie
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The Marines came in second, followed by the Air Force and Navy during the championship at this Old West outpost.
The Army has won 27 of the 29 armed forces championships since the series began in 1967. The Marine Corps won in 1978 and 1991. No championships were held in 1982.
"This has been a very special year for me. This team has a special place in my heart, because most of the boxers are inexperienced, " said Army head coach Basheer Abdullah. "(The national championships) will be a learning process for us." He noted his team also will be working with the International Military Sports Council, also known as CISM.
All four services had inexperienced teams and brought fresh faces to this year's Armed Forces Championships.
Marine Cpl. Eric Canales showed off what made him a 2004 CISM medalist, and was one of two boxers to defeat his Army opponent. The other boxer to do so was his Marine teammate Lance Cpl. Jackie Saye, who stunned the crowd when he knocked down Army Pfc. Corey Stewart despite having received two standing eight-counts.
Air Force head coach Edward Rivas already is looking forward to building on the experience. "We have a small team, somewhat inexperienced. I'm very proud of all of them," said Rivas. "We'll be back next year."
The lone Navy boxer of the night, Petty Officer 2nd Class Deano Jenkins, was visibly upset when his attempt to make a mark for his service was stopped by Army's Staff Sgt. Christopher Downs early in the second round.
New Army boxer Spc. John Franklin is the first Army National Guard member to earn an armed forces gold medal. "This means a lot to me," said Franklin, originally a member of Company B, 110th Engineers, in Kansas City, Mo., and now assigned at Fort. Carson, Colo.
"My unit believed in me to represent the Guard," he added. He now looks forward to making it in the top three at the nationals and earning a spot on the CISM team.
Another fresh face on the Army team, Spc. James Villa of Fort Lewis, Wash., could barely contain his excitement about winning. "Wow! I'm dumbfounded," Villa said. "My unit supported me throughout the trial camp," he said. His next goal is making it into the Army's world-class athlete program.
Military boxers will now prepare to make their mark at the nationals March 12- 19 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The CISM world military boxing championships will be held June 29 to July 5 in Pretoria, South Africa. Fort Huachuca garrison commander Col. Jonathan Hunter will serve at the chief of mission for the U.S. delegation.
(From a U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca news release.)