Marine boxing preliminaries to begin

8 Nov 2002 | Sgt. Allan J. Grdovich

Left jabs, uppercuts and body blows will be the scene at this year's Marine Corps Boxing Team preliminaries Nov. 19 through 21 at the Goettege Memorial Field House here.

The three-day slugfest will feature the Corps' best fighters competing against one another for a spot on this year's roster.

Hopes are high for the Marine team that will feature six nationally ranked fighters and ambitions of winning this year's All-Armed Forces Tournament Championship, according to Head Coach Master Sgt. Robert J. Michaels.

In recent years, the team has fallen short in defeating its arch-nemesis, Army, in the famed tournament, which features each military service's boxing team. Army has won the past three years.

Another aspiration many fighters said they have is a possible selection for the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team. These fighters will be selected in the spring.

"We're right where we need to be, and we're dangerous," warned Michaels of any would-be competitors.

He vowed to take that ambition to other high-profile events the All-Marine Boxing Team will be competing in, such as the local Golden Gloves, the U.S. National Boxing Championships, and the National Police Athletic League Tournament.

About 20 members are expected to be on the team's final roster, including five females led by Sgt. Angelina Summerfield. She has been with the team since 1999 and competes in the 141-pound weight class.

Standouts such as Sgts. Anthony Little, Robert Castillo and Jonnie Edwards and Cpls. Jacob Garretson, Charles Davis and Roderick Prevost are also expected to return to this year's team. All of these Marines are nationally ranked in their respective weight classes.

"Each one of us here have one thing on our mind, and that's to beat Army," said Little. "They have always been that hump we have had trouble getting over. This can be our year."