Hawaii fighters duke it out
MCB Hawaii
Story by Cpl. Megan L. Stiner

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii (Aug. 12, 2005) -- Fans filed into Kahuna’s Sports Bar & Grill Ballroom, Aug.12, eager to witness several matchups between local-area and base boxing teams such as Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay’s Fighters Unlimited Boxing Club.

The bouts began with fighters 16 and younger who dueled it out in the ring.

The super-, middle- and lower-weight class boxers put on quite a show for fans, as proven by the crowds enthusiastic cheering.

Once the semi-main events started, the fan’s applause was intermingled with jeers from rival team supporters, which gave way to the fact that the real action had begun.

Carlos Mora, Fighters Unlimited B.C., was K-Bay’s first competitor to take the ring, going up against Andrew Matsuda from Kawano/Tiki Entertainment Boxing Club.

Both power-hitter fighters had techniques that resembled one another: slow, steady, rhythmic footwork with an occasional burst of adrenaline that lead to a few harsh jab and hook combinations.

Matsuda landed the first big blow in the second round with a left jab that left Mora’s nose a bloody mess. The fight was suspended as trainers cleaned up the blood, causing the crowd to begin chanting, “Let them fight.”

Mora came back in the ring, gaining him respect by landing a few power hooks before the second-round bell sounded the end of the round.

With one round left, Matsuda left nothing to chance and came in the ring with more speed than he had previously displayed and secured his win with a slew of combinations against Mora, who took the brunt of the blows as if they hardly fazed him.

In the end, the fight set the stage for the other K-Bay boxers who may not have all walked away victorious, but proved to the fans they were there until the third bell tolled and were more than prepared to put on a good show -- knockdowns, bloody noses and jeers included.

Fighters Unlimited fans were riled up when hopeful crowd favorite to be, Jason Ramseyer, took the ring. Their cheers were quickly quieted, though, when the referee announced a walkover forfeit on Ramseyer’s opponent’s part. Although he was awarded the win, his supporters were disappointed at the idea of not getting to see him fight.

Timothy Riffe, Fighters Unlimited, was K-Bay’s next fighter to enter the ring against Palolo Boxing Club’s Darius Ursua, starting off the first of four main events of the night. Although their techniques were nearly as equally matched as Matsuda and Mora’s, they were both quicker and were more apt to throw out lone hooks and jabs rather than combos.
The first round left the crowd not knowing which fighter would end the bout with his hand held in victory as they both danced around the ring, seemingly examining each others moves.

Round two provided the crowd with more excitement as the boxers began to work each other’s weak points and land their punches. Ursua gained the advantage early on with continuous left hooks to the right side of Riffe’s face.

Riffe then changed his technique and fought back against Ursua with two bursts of combinations taking their toll on Ursua’s body. The sudden adrenaline rush was not able to bring his opponent down, though, as Ursua came back strong with more jabs and hooks.

Both fighters knew the third round would be the deciding factor that would determine the win, and they both entered the center of the ring with more intensity than previously displayed.

Hooks and jabs continued to connect to their opponent’s faces, but blocks were also thrown up ever so often to soften the blows. Nearing the end of the round, Ursua landed a vicious left hook that secured the win — seconds before the bell rang.
Fighters Unlimited’s penultimate fighter, Tucker Stokley, took on Palolo’s Ryan Friskel in what proved to be the most suspenseful bout of the evening.

Both middleweight boxers who are short in stature, made up for their size in muscle and speed. Those not watching carefully missed a knockdown blow by Friskel that sent Stokley to the mat. Even the fighter himself didn’t see the quick hook until it was too late.

“I can’t say I remember it all that well,” explained the former Marine Corps sergeant. “I just remember getting up and continuing on with the fight.”

Stokley came back with a few combination hits, but Friskel’s earlier knockdown punch kept his confidence high as he held his ground landing jabs and hooks to Stokley’s face and body.

Round two began as if it were the beginning of the fight. Both boxers came into the center of the ring with the same speed and intensity they displayed during the first round.

With the crowds cheering and jeering, both coaches had to yell to try to give their fighters tips to improve their chance at a win. Stokley seemed to gain the advantage as Friskel’s intensity faded little by little in the second round.
During the minute between rounds, murmurs could be heard from the K-Bay side about whether or not Stokley could come back after the knockdown punch. More often than not, the answer seemed to be in favor of the Afghanistan veteran.
As the third round began, the crowd had to be pushed back because their excitement had caused them to get out of their seats and push towards the edge of the ring. Although the crowd was finally moved back, fans’ voices remained loud, determined to encourage their fighter.

The third round began as either fighter’s bout, but as time went on, Stokley gained control of the ring, as Friskel seemingly grew weary and lost his intensity. Stokley’s hooks, more often than not, made contact and when threatened by a jab, he was quick to throw up a block.

The K-Bay crowd agreed with the win and some even jumped up and down when Stokley’s arm was raised in victory.
The final fight between Fighters Unlimited’s Francisco Maldonado and Kawano/Tiki Ent. B. C.’s Matthew Monkewicz, proved to be the first fight that appeared to be won during the first round alone.

Maldonado’s calm, relaxed demeanor may have given Monkewicz the wrong impression of Maldonado — an impression that cost him the fight.

Although Maldonado may have come across as being slow and far from intense, his rhythmic manner soon gave way to a technique unseen by fans until then.

Methodically he moved around the ring, taking several jabs to the face, reacting with not so much as a frown. Maldonado didn’t throw any power hits until the end of the first round when he landed several hard body shots, weakening his opponent’s guard.

The second round remained slow, yet the intensity of both fighters seemed to take a turn for the better as the movement in the ring increased with both fighters throwing out jabs and blocks.
The third round secured the win for Maldonado, who had already made his impression on his opponent. His combinations and body shots continued to weaken his opponent, making it apparent that he had the fight in control ever since they entered the ring.

With two losses, two wins on points and one win by forfeit, Fighters Unlimited made a hard impact on the outside boxing clubs after only two weeks of training prior to the fights.

“We had a good night,” said Fighters Unlimited’s Coach, Jack Johnson. “I don’t think any of our fighters were beat. Some of them didn’t win by points, but none of them were beat.”

Stokley’s first-ever boxing match made quite an impression on him, and he said he intends to continue with the intense sport for as long as he can.

“I didn’t even know what was going on in the ring,” he said. “I just kept fighting, and I could hear the crowd ever so often, which helped out a lot. I will definitely keep boxing.”

The next match at Kahuna’s is scheduled for late September. For more information on upcoming fights or joining the base boxing team, contact Jack Johnson at 292-2109.