Gleason Captures BC Boxing Title in Split Decision
3 weeks ago Triangle 0
Written by: Nathan Kernell, managing editor
DAYTON, TN. — Dr. Daniel Gleason took home victory Monday evening, February 11, capturing Bryan College’s first ever boxing title. Gleason narrowly prevailed over Andrew Smith in the five round fight by way of split decision.
The highly anticipated bout drew what appeared to be a capacity crowd to Summers Gymnasium, and as the opening round grew closer, the restlessness of the crowd grew with it.
Daniel “The Textbook” Gleason fought out of the red corner. The 6 foot 1 inch southpaw entered the match with the plan of utilizing his reach advantage by fighting from more of a distance. “My main strategy is to not get stuck in the corner with Andrew,” Gleason said. “When he is able to get me in the corner, it gets pretty rough. My strategy is to try to employ my footwork, keep alot of distance and keep moving.” With the hopes of tiring out his opponent, Gleason expected his endurance to play a factor in the later rounds.
Fighting out of the blue corner, Andrew “Transcript” Smith entered with close to a 60 pound weight advantage over Gleason. Smith came into the fight with the hope of controlling the ring and trapping Gleason enough to unleash his powerful right hook and fire combination shots. In terms of preparation and strategy, Smith took a different path from that of Gleason. “I practiced defense more in training, so that I am prepared to be more courageous,” Smith said. “That will allow me to stay closer to Daniel and use my weight advantage a little more.”
Following warmups and a brief overview of scoring by judges Tim Shetter, Michael Palmer and referee David Holcomb, the two opponents entered the ring and the opening bell signaled the start of the fight.
Round one was a stereotypical boxing match. “Typical boxing strategy is that for the early rounds you are really feeling your opponent out, trying to gauge them,” Gleason stated. First rounds in boxing are
usually not extremely eventful. Both participants threw a small number of jabs throughout the round, but were reluctant to go for any big hits early in the match. This round was closer than any to being a draw.
Round two saw the evenings first big hits. Smith came out quick to start the round, with a couple substantial hits. Gleason was able to move around effectively enough to not be cornered by Smith for long but not without taking a few punches. Later in the round, it seemed Gleason was able to take control of the fight by landing several jabs to the body as well as some big hits of his own. Overall, the round favored Smith due to the effectiveness of the punches he threw during the round.
Endurance came to play a large role in the bout, especially in the third round and later when Smith’s fatigue began to show itself. “[Gleason] kept the pace up the whole five rounds,” Smith said. “He never seemed to get tired.” Smith did manage to throw two combos to begin the round, but showed signs of tiring early in the round, which allowed for Gleason to land several power punches, as well as shots to the body. Both competitors relied on combination shots, but the round belonged to Gleason after he took control early on.
Round four proved to be an even two minutes. Smith’s strategy was to stay in close to Gleason, which countered his tactic of fighting from a distance. Smith had the upper hand in the round until momentum shifted late thanks to a landed power punch from Gleason. Both fighters showed signs of fatigue, but Gleason was still mobile during most of the round.
For the final round of the evening, both fighters used what little energy they had to come out firing and fought aggressively to begin the round. Smith looked more fatigued following his initial burst of energy than Gleason did. It appeared Gleason had more stamina coming into this final round. Although both fired shots back and forth to begin the final two minutes, Gleason took control towards the end and managed to close the fight with a punch powerful enough to knock Smith’s mouth guard out.
A split decision between the three judges declared Gleason victorious. Shetter had the fight scored in Gleason’s favor by three points. Holcomb’s scoring favored Gleason as well by just one point, while Palmer’s tally scored Smith one point higher than Gleason.
“I did land some good jabs, but I don’t think I landed anything of note to the body,” Smith said, following the fight. “And [Gleason] really found the body a lot…He’s got great defense so it’s not that I would have really hurt him, I just didn’t feel like those punches had very much on them, which was a little frustrating.” As for what was working on the night for Smith, his counterpunches seemed most effective. “After he did his work, I landed some good, quick punches in close right when he was trying to get away,” Smith said.
“I really had to adapt my strategy because in the first round I couldn’t get my jab to land at all,” Gleason said. “I was really hoping to establish my jab in the first round and every time I threw it, Andrew was picking it off or rolling out of the way with his shoulder.” Gleason was also surprised by Smith’s ability to bear punches to the body. “He showed a lot of resilience when I went to the body. When you go to the body you kind of take a man’s spirit,” said Gleason. “So I really tried to load up and hit right above the rib cage and those were some of the best punches I thought I was landing, and he just kept coming. The left punch down the middle to the head ended up being the most effective.”
From the organizer’s perspectives, they could not have been more pleased with the outcome of the evening. “Our expectations were definitely exceeded. It went above and beyond anything that we had actually initially thought that it would be,” said Jeremy Montoya, one of the RA event planners. “We definitely met our goal in that we were able to get that student engagement.”
“I think it also exceeded our expectations in the actual fight,” said Jake Poulakis, another RA organizer. “Like we knew that they were going to fight, but they hit each other a little more than we thought.”
The night also served as a fundraiser for the Acts Project. Fight Night succeeded in raising over $200 from concessions and a raffle. The night was successful in accomplishing its goals of both raising money and bringing the student body together.
Nathan Kernell is a sophomore majoring in Communications with a focus in Digital Media. He is a very swell guy. firstname.lastname@example.org.