Archive for the ‘Kirk Jackson’ Category

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Nevada begins defense of boxing national title

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News 4 previews the college boxing regional championships

The University of Nevada will host the college regional boxing championships this week at the Eldorado Hotel-Casino in downtown Reno. News 4 has a preview.

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Nevada hosts regional boxing finals in defense of national title

Nevada boxing faces the competition at the Eldorado Casino Resort on Friday, March 25, 2016

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Fists were flying at the Eldorado Casino Resort Friday, as the Nevada boxing team hosted the Western Regional Championship.

The Silver and Blue Club is looking to defend its team national title at this weekend’s tournament.

Nevada’s J.J. Mariano faced off against UNLV’s Mike Alvarez. At a weight of 147, Mariano bested the Alvarez and has qualified for nationals. He will still fight Saturday in the regional championship.

Kirk Jackson also represented Nevada in the ring against Adan Rangel of the University of Washington. Jackson took the bout and stamped his ticket to the nationals.

He’ll also look to win the regional title Saturday, with all of the action starting at 6 p.m.

For more information on the National Collegiate Boxing Association, click here.

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Nevada boxers Mariano, Jackson win at regional semis

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He admitted it wasn’t the cleanest of fights, but Kirk Jackson got the outcome he wanted.

Jackson, a senior on the Nevada boxing club team, defeated Adan Rangel of Washington by decision in a 139-pound bout. Theirs was one of 17 semifinal bouts at the National Collegiate Boxing Association Regional semifinals on Friday night at the Eldorado Resort Casino.

Five Nevada boxers had semifinal bouts Friday. Two of the five got wins and will box for Regional titles Saturday at the Eldorado Convention Center.

Nevada junior Garrett Felling received a bye at 192 pounds and will fight for the Regional championship Saturday night. Felling has won two national championships at 185 pounds.

Nevada senior JJ Mariano was crisp as he beat Mike Alvarez of UNLV at 147 pounds.

Mariano was effective at avoiding punches and then countering with two or three quick jabs. He did that repeatedly throughout the fight.

“Two people can always throw punches at each another. Not everyone can make the other guy miss and come back with their own combination,” Mariano said. “You can tell you’re fighting a good fight when you make him miss a punch, then hit him with two or three punches.”

Mariano will face Pedro Barrientes of Air Force Academy in the finals Saturday.

Mariano said after four years on the boxing team, he’s accustomed fighting on consecutive days.

In the first fight of the night featuring a Nevada boxer, Jackson knocked Rangel down in the second round with a right uppercut. Both boxers clinched repeatedly after that.

He said getting his first fight at Regionals out of the way should help him box better Saturday.

“I need to find my range. Set my punches up better, use my jab. Be more sharp,” Jackson said. “The nerves will always be there. But it’s definitely a relief knowing I have a trip to nationals.”

Jackson had to cut almost 20 pounds to make the 139-pound weight. He said dropping that much was not easy, but the result paid off.

“It’s definitely affects you, but when you win, it’s worth it,” Jackson said.

Jackson appreciated the support he had Friday.

“I’m very thankful to my teammates, to my coaches, everyone that came out and supported me,” Jackson said.

Johnny Wells of Air Force took a split-decision over Nevada’s Zach Smith in an action-packed bout at 156 pounds as the crowd roared.

At 165 pounds, Nevada’s Tristan Harriman lost a decision to Jasper Bougette of Washington.

In a 175-pound bout, Gytenis Borusas of Air Force Academy. stopped Nevada’s Dre Gordon when the referee stopped the contest in the second round.. It was just Gordon’s seconds fight ever.

The two finalists in each weight class earn a berth in the National Championships next month. There will also be third-place bouts Saturday and those winners could also earn a trip to nationals.

NCBA Western Regional Boxing Championships

At the Eldorado Resort Casino

112 pounds: Pena (Oregon St U) def. Cortes (UW), dec.

119 women: McCarthy (SCU def, Chuang (Cal) dec.

119 women: Nickens (Davis) def. Reveles (AFA) dec.

125: Thao (UW) def. Farqaleet (AFA) TKO :15 2nd rd.

125 women: Parcasio (AFA) def. Cummings (OSU) TKO

132: Epting (UW) def. Morales (UCLA) dec.

132: Hardison (Davis) def. Fanniel (AFA) dec.

139: Jackson (Nev) def. Rangel (UW) dec.

139: Tomcho (AFA) def. Bingham (OSU) dec.

139 women: Lee (UW) def. Lowe (AFA) dec.

147: Mariano (Nev) def. Alvarez (UNLV) dec.

147: Barrientes (AFA) def. Porter (UW) dec.

156: Wells (AFA) def. Smith (Nev) dec.

165: Toroghi (SJSU) def. Bseiso (AFA) dec.

165: Bougette (UW) def. Harriman (Nev) dec.

175: Mendoza (Cal) def. Cocroft (UW) dec.

175: Borusas (AFA) def. Gordon (Nev) RSC

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Two Nevada boxers pick up wins

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The Nevada boxing club team sent three boxers to Santa Clara on Saturday with Kirk Jackson and Dre Gordon picking up wins.

Nevada competed at the third annual Dodge Ackerman event in Santa Clara, Calif.

Nevada’s Jackson, a senior, scored a unanimous decision over Washington’s Adan Rangel at 147 pounds

In his first bout as a Nevada boxer, Gordon, a freshman, stopped  Washington’s Mostafa Elibiary at 170 pounds in the first round.

In the main event, Nevada’s Eden Bradford lost a close decision to Sunnyvale PAL boxer Rene Gomez at 147 pounds. Their bout was named best of the event.

The Santa Clara event honors the memory of former Santa Clara boxer Dodge Ackerman, a national champion who died from cancer in 2003. The card included six colleges from the west coast as well as open class boxers from the Bay Area.

Nevada Boxing will be back in action on Saturday at  the Cal Invitational, commemorating 100 years of boxing on the  campus in Berkeley.

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Nevada boxer Jackson’s passion leads to first win in season debut

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Kirk Jackson figures he’ll have an advantage when it comes to his career.

The Nevada boxing club member wants to be a sports journalist, focusing on boxing, so what better way to go about it than by getting in the ring.

Jackson did just that Friday night at the Eldorado Hotel Casino, getting a win in his first college bout. He defeated Pedro Barrientes of the Air Force Academy in a 150-pound bout that looked too close to call from ringside.

It was one of 14 bouts Friday, including two exhibitions.

Without the boxing mentality, getting in a fight seems like it would be a tough way to learn a profession. But Jackson is relishing the opportunity.

“I want to cover boxing,” Jackson said. “I figured (by boxing) I’d have more authenticity with what I’m saying if I do the sport.”

It’s not just journalism driving him. He said he has been a boxing fan since Mike Tyson was in his glory days in the 1980s and ’90s.

Jackson didn’t appear to tire until the final few seconds. But he said that was not the case and he was exhausted.

“His jab was killing me,” Jackson said. “He’s got a good jab. … I want work on my defense, and off my jab, throw more combinations.”

Following Jackson’s fight, Jonathan Aguilar made his college boxing debut as a senior.

He beat Steve Harris of UNLV by decision at 156 pounds.

“I loved it. I feel great,” said a grinning Aguilar. “I feel like I’m born again.”

He admitted he was trying for an early stoppage and said working on fundamentals will be key.

“I need to hold my hands up. Not go head-hunting so much,” Aguilar said.

Jarred Santos took an action-filled win over Air Force’s Roy Taylor at 134 pounds. Santos controlled the first two rounds, then held on for the win.

He said he was slipping, then grabbing and clinching.

JJ Mariano knew he was behind after being knocked down in the second round of his 142-pound fight with Ethan Salgado of Air Force.

“My hands were down. I was throwing looping shots and wasn’t re-setting,” Mariano said.

In an early fight, Nevada freshman Zach Shipton won his first-ever college boxing bout over Cal’s Ron Besmond when the referee stopped the 153-pound contest in the second round.

Shipton said getting in better shape will be a priority so he doesn’t tire out as easily. After all, he joined the boxing club to get in shape.

“I didn’t want to gain the freshman 15 (pounds),” he said.

College Boxing

At the Eldorado Hotel Casino convention center

120: Ariel Guevara (UNLV) def. Mateus Arcano (AFA) dec.

134: Jarred Santos (Nev) def. Roy Taylor (AFA) dec.

142: JJ Mariano (Nev) def. Ethan Salgado (AFA) dec.

144: Sean Cork (AFA) def. Eden Bradford (Nev), dec.

150: Kirk Jackson (Nev) def. Pedro Barrientes (AFA) dec.

153: Zach Shipton (Nev) def. Ron Besmond (Cal), ref. stopped contest, 2nd rd

156: Jonathan Aguilar (Nev) def. Steve Harris (UNLV)

158: Collin Schmidt (UC Davis) def. Max Jestin (Nev) dec.

165: Denis Vorobov (AFA) def. Zach Barbara (Nev) dec.

170: Jesse Calico (AFA) def. Raymond Rosado (Nev), dec.

170: Darnell Jones (AFA) def, Rodrigo Corona Flores (Cal), rsc, 2nd

185: Garrett Felling (Nev) def. Gytenis Borusas (AFA) rsc. 1st

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Three Nevada boxers claim titles, places third overall


Photo courtesy of Dan Holmes From left to right: Dre Gordon, Zach Smith, Tristan Harriman, JJ Mariano, Kirk Jackson and Garrett Felling. The Nevada boxing team poses with the third-place trophy in the Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle.

By Neil Patrick Healy

This time last season, senior Kirk Jackson was watching his teammates claim the national championship from afar. He had lost to fellow teammate Zach Smith in a three-round box-off to decide who would represent Nevada in the 147-pound weight division. Jackson got a second chance this season and didn’t let it go to waste. Jackson, along with JJ Mariano and Garrett Felling, won individual national championships and helped Nevada place third as a team behind the United States Military Academy and the United States Air Force Academy.

“An enormous weight has been lifted from my shoulders,” Jackson said. “When I missed regionals last year, I told myself every day I was coming back stronger. Last year I was extremely proud and happy for my teammates and coaches. Although I was happy for what they achieved individually and what we achieved collectively, I still had an empty feeling and the ending didn’t sit right with me. I had to come back and win.”

After winning his first national championship to end his career, Jackson was hit by a whirlwind of emotions ranging from relief to satisfaction.

“It’s difficult to describe [how I felt],” Jackson said. “[I probably felt] every emotion imaginable. I cried. I came to the realization that I accomplished my goal and I was just so relieved and thankful.”

While Jackson was winning his first title, Mariano wrapped up his career with a second straight national championship, finishing with a 23-3 record. Mariano leaves the ring with a sense of gratification.

“It’s like a feeling of completion,” Mariano said. “I am satisfied knowing I left everything I had in the ring and that all my training paid off.”

Felling finishes his junior season with third straight national championship while amassing a 19-0 record for his career.

The Wolf Pack also had three fighters who did not win individual championships, but helped push Nevada to its third-place finish. Senior Zach Smith lost by decision to Air Force Academy’s Johnny Wells in the semifinals of the 156-pound division.

First-year fighters Tristan Harriman and Dre Gordon both lost on the first day of nationals. Harriman, 156 pounds, lost to Roy Estes of the United States Military Academy via split decision despite Estes having more experience in 14 more career fights under his belt. Nevada’s freshman Gordon suffered a hand injury in the first round and the coaches put a halt to the fight vs. Bobby Mey of the United States Coast Guard Academy.

Smith (fifth year of eligibility), Harriman and Gordon all return next season to join Felling for the quest to regain the national title.

“For Dre and Tristan, [nationals] kind of opens their eyes to the next level of competition,” Mariano said. “It gives them a new goal to strive for.”

Neil Patrick Healy can be reached at neil@sagebrush.unr.edu and on Twitter @NP_Heally.