USC students take part in Fight Club University efforts
Young boxers had a brawl Saturday night at the Fight Club University, a new Columbia boxing gym, for the MAN 2 MAN amateur boxing benefit. The proceeds from the event, which about 250 people attended, went to benefit MAN 2 MAN, a new youth outreach program.
The program, which is the combined effort of the Save Our Kids organization of Columbia and professional boxer Corey Goodwin, will work within the community “to discourage negative social behavior, such as truancy, gang violence and substance abuse,” according to the Fight Club University Facebook page.
“It’s a pilot program to target at-risk youth,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that the program deters kids from negative behavior.
“People say if your kids are in sports, they stay out of trouble. Boxing is a different sport from others, so this gives angry kids an outlet,” she said.
Amateur boxers from various parts of the state came out to compete in eight USA Boxing sanctioned three-round amateur matches, and they came ready to fight.
In the first match of the night, Jonathan Milton started and stayed on the offensive against his opponent Dakoda Sager to secure a victory.
DeAndre Pope came out exploding with combos on an almost inactive Tykeem Sadler for the first round of the second bout. Sadler put up some resistance in the second round, but Pope came out on top.
DeAnthony Crockett delivered a flurry of successful left jabs to Siyheeb Ferguson, followed by a hard right during the second round. But Siyheeb did not give in. He responded with footwork that got the crowd roaring. Still, the third matchup of the night went to Crockett.
DeShawn Jones stayed defensive against Deonte Marshall. Jones kept Marshall off with safe punches long enough to get the win.
Antonio Sanchez and Rodriquez Sarmiento seemed evenly matched as they took turns unleashing hooks and body shots at each other. The close match ended with Sanchez’s victory.
Joseph Littlejohn established a one-two punch pattern on William Pope early in the fight, but Pope stayed on the move while timing his own hits. Littlejohn responded with pressure in the second round and won.
Kenard Lipscomb constantly mauled Cruz Perez, knocking him down on occasion. In the final round, Lipscomb knocked Perez to the canvas with a low “thud,” causing Perez’s team to throw in the towel while the crowd gasped in shock.
Christopher Hickman bombed DaShawn Brown with punches during their entire match. Hickman threw too many body blows for Brown to continue the fight, and Brown’s team became the second to throw in the towel for the night.
Gabriel Blackwell and Javier Frazier both fought to the extreme in the last sanctioned match. Blackwell launched body shot after body shot at a tiring Frazier, who pressed his way through the fight. They literally traded punch for punch with the crowd coming alive as the match neared its end. The two athletes seemed equally exhausted at the end, but Blackwell came out victorious.
C’iana Barker, a 2012 Olympic boxing hopeful, was also at the show. Barker, who is an exercise science graduate student at USC, began her boxing training just over four months ago.
“I was excited with the cardio and hitting and thought, ‘I want to try fighting,’” Barker said.
Barker was supposed to fight, but an opponent could not be found for her. The summer 2012 Olympics will mark the first time women’s boxing would be included.