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Cordova, Hartzog Win Opening Military Games Boxing Bouts

By Spc. Chris Coleman
Special to American Forces Press Service

ZAGREB, Croatia, Aug. 10, 1999 – Marine Cpl. Orlando Cordova Jr. and Army Spc. Preston "Swamp Monster" Hartzog won their opening boxing bouts Aug. 9 at the 2nd Military World Games here.

Cordova, a 21-year-old from Hartford, Conn., fighting in the 57- kilogram (125 pound) weight class, said he applied pressure when he saw the opportunity in his impressive 15-6 victory over Turkey's Nafiz Yaman.

"When I went back to the corner after the first round, my coach said he was made for my style," he said. Cordova, stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., said he was unfazed with this being his first international bout. He proved it by landing a number of powerful right hooks to the head of his opponent.

"My left hook is one of my favorite punches, but my right hook has been doing a lot of damage lately," he said. Cordova may have injured his right fist during the bout. Doctors are examining his hand to see if he can continue in the tournament.

The power-punching Hertzog, of Bogalusa, La., was a silver medal-winner in the 1997 CISM championships. He defeated Tanzanian Mashaka Kisumo in an 8-4 slugfest during the first match of the 91-kilogram (201 pound) and above division.

The Military World Games are sponsored by the 121-nation International Military Sports Council, or CISM. That acronym comes from the council's French name, "Counseil International du Sport Militaire."

In other action, Marine Sgt. Matthew Winters lost his opening bout 14-1 to Bulgarian Sevdalin Hristovin in the 51 kilogram (112 pound) weight class. Stifled by the long reach of his opponent, Winters said his first-round elimination was disappointing. He added his focus now is on the next Marine Corps Boxing Championship.

[Spc. Chris Coleman is a member of the Army Reserve 358th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, 96th Regional Support Command, Fort Douglas, Utah, assigned to cover the Military World Games.]

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1999 Military World Games

Click photo for screen-resolution imageMarine Sgt. Matthew Winters puts on his headgear with the help of coach Roosevelt Sanders. Winters was later eliminated from World Games competition in a 14-1 loss to Bulgarian Sevdalin Hristov in the 51 kilogram (112 pound) weight class.  
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