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“Bloodied But Unbowed”

Benedict's Boxers Prevail at Washington Township Match

Coach+Steadman+encourages+team+captain+Brian+Benedict++between+rounds.
Coach Steadman encourages team captain Brian Benedict  between rounds.

Coach Steadman encourages team captain Brian Benedict between rounds.

Saint Benedict's Boxing Team

Saint Benedict's Boxing Team

Coach Steadman encourages team captain Brian Benedict between rounds.

Eric Conklin

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The cold, dimly lit room in the Washington Township Recreation Center held thirty folding chairs at one end and, at the other, a smaller than usual boxing ring. Parents and spectators lined the walls. UDI Moise Cineus and UDII Brian Benedict had been preparing seven months for this moment. The second official match of the new St. Benedict’s boxing team was about to begin.

Fight night started with weigh-ins. Moise, weighing in at 145 lbs, was the tenth fight of the night. Brian, weighing in at 142 lbs, was the eleventh. Soon after the weigh-in, they were matched with their opponents.

But even if they knew the name of their opponent, neither knew anything about him.

“Fights like these can be very unpredictable,” said Coach Michael Steadman. “You have no idea who you’re fighting.”

Because of the lack of space in the recreation center, Moise and Brian were shadow boxing in the showers about an hour before their fights. The large number of fighters and spectators made it impossible to warm up anywhere else. As they warmed up, Coach Steadman gave Moise and Brian a pep talk.

“The prep work is done. All the road work, sparring and long hours in the gym are for this; those lonely moments before the fight,” said  Coach Steadman. “You know how much work you put in and now it’s time to show the world.”  

Around 10 p.m., Moise stepped into the ring. He had watched everyone else fight and now it was his turn.

The fight went well.

“He had the power and the skill, ” Coach Steadman said. “He was very excited going into his fight. Great fight, great win from Cineus.”

Despite weighing in at 142 lbs, Brian fought in the 147 lb weight class. Although at a disadvantage, Brian trusted in his training as he stepped into the ring with a taller, heavier and more experienced boxer.

“I was thinking, ‘he’s tall,’ but I wanted to get my first fight in and no obstacle was going to change that,” Brian said.

Coach Steadman said from the opening round it was clear Brian’s opponent had been training much longer than Brian.

“But instead of feeling sorry for himself and looking for an easy way out, my guy fought… head bloodied but unbowed,” he said.

Brian lost the fight but learned he had a lot to work on and is ready for the challenge.

“He may have been bigger, he may have been more experienced, and he won,” Brian said. “But I stayed in there [and] fought my hardest.”

Leahy House Director Mike Steadman started the first SBP boxing team last summer. From left to right: UDII Israel Lema, Mike Steadman, UDII Brian Benedict and Moise Cineus.

Saint Benedict’s Boxing Team
Leahy House Director Mike Steadman started the first SBP boxing team last summer. From left to right: UDII Israel Lema, Mike Steadman, UDII Brian Benedict and Moise Cineus.

After the fight, Coach Steadman told his team to trust his training, and as long as they work their hardest they will see the results in the long run. The next match, the Junior Golden Gloves Tournament, is at Toms River South High School, March 5.

Edited by Leo Smith and Stephen Valvano.

 

 

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1 Comment

One Response to ““Bloodied But Unbowed””

  1. Mike Scanlan on February 19th, 2016 6:20 am

    Informative article Eric. Great coverage of a great new initiative for guys at the hive.

    [Reply]

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“Bloodied But Unbowed”