Archive for the ‘UNR’ Category

Original Source:

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

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.


Original Source:

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 and on Twitter @NP_Heally.