K-town boxes to third place

Story and photo by Karl Weisel
U.S. Army Garrison Hessen/Wiesbaden Public Affairs

***image1***Super heavyweight Steve Sollera may not have boxed for more than a decade, but his Golden Gloves experience shined through as he retired Hanau’s Kristijan Markovic to take the gold.

The Wiesbaden fighter pounded Markovic in their over 201-pound contest earning referee Ed Hickman’s close attention and several standing eight counts before Hickman eventually stopped the contest one minute and 43 seconds into the first round.

“I haven’t really been training,” said Sollera, 1st Military Intelligence Battalion, adding that he decided to compete in Wiesbaden’s Black History Month Boxing Tournament Feb. 23 at the last minute. “I used to do Golden Gloves, but I haven’t boxed in 17 years.”

After quickly taking stock of his opponent, Sollera said he knew he could win the fight. “I knew he didn’t have the experience, and once he hit me, I knew he couldn’t hurt me. I just pushed on through.”

While most of the evening’s 10 bouts featured four hard rounds of solid boxing know-how, three other fights were quickly decided in the first couple of rounds.
Kaiserslautern’s Harold Davis entered the ring against Wiesbaden’s Matthew Shaver leaving no question as to whom was the more capable boxer. Davis clobbered Shaver in the middleweight bout, sending him spinning to the canvas at 1:31 in the first round as the referee stopped the fight.

In two other lopsided fights, Wiesbaden’s Marvin Gaspos retired Dexheim’s Jay Taylor 1:43 into the first round and Alzey’s Osman Onay came back from a defensive first round in his super heavyweight bout against Kaiserslautern’s Antonio Feagins to win the gold as the ref stopped the contest 23 seconds into round two.

“We were going back and forth,” said 1st Armored Division’s Patrick Anderson describing his middleweight victory over Dexheim’s David Hudson. Giving the other boxer plenty of credit, Anderson said he was never sure he was leading until near the end of round two, when the referee called an end to the fight.

In the night’s other contests, Wiesbaden’s Miguel Vega of the 102nd Signal Battalion dominated Wiesbaden’s Christopher Berry to win a four-round, 5-0 decision at 132 pounds; Hanau’s Konstanin Schafer edged Alzey’s Rezine Hocine to take a 4-1 welterweight win; Hanau’s Kenan Fejzij beat Mannheim’s Derek Hopkins at 165 pounds; Kaiserslautern’s De Angelo Johnson won a 3-2 decision over Hanau’s Antoli Wolf; and Alzey’s Michael Vakal came back strong in round four to win a hard-fought battle against Grafenwöhr’s Damont Johnson at 141 pounds.

Vakal was also named outstanding fighter of the night. When it came time to award team trophies, Wiesbaden claimed the gold, Hanau took second and Kaiserslautern was third.

Boxers and fight fans can head to Stuttgart’s Panzer Kaserne March 29 for the Installation Management Agency-Europe’s next fight night. For more information, call Steve Sanders at 431 6290.