MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga -- Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany recently held its fourth boxing event, which was coordinated as a fundraiser for the Enlisted Marine Corps Birthday Ball.
A crowd of approximately 200 people showed up at the "Smoker," which was held here May 6.
This year, there were a few small changes that increased the competitiveness of how the Smoker was organized. The biggest change was allowing military family members, and DoD employees and their family members to fight in the boxing event.
"With the amount of people and the new idea of having teams for this event, I expected this to be the best Smoker we've had," said David Hinesbey, inventory management specialist, Supply Chain Management Center. "With the warm weather, we made even more money than we did for the fight last November."
Another change was separating the fighters into two teams: the red team and the black team. Hinesbey coached the black team, and William Cheers of Garrison Mobile Equipment coached the red team.
The fighters were selected to box on one of the two teams in accordance with their height, weight and boxing experience. The outcome of each individual fight would determine which team was declared the winner.
"The idea behind switching to teams is to create a more competitive feel for the boxing event, and to get Marines interested in creating an actual base boxing team," Hinesbey said. "In addition to that, spouses and dependants were allowed to enter into this event. I believe that allowing spouses into these events will be beneficial to the boxing events because it gives them another avenue to become more involved in base functions and events."
The Smoker was kicked off with a female boxing match between Jennie Plaisance, wife of Cpl. Kenneth Plaisance, and Adrienne Espinoza of the Branch Medical Clinic.
The fight began with Plaisance throwing many punches, but only made contact on a few of them. Espinoza, who fought on the red team, would quickly come back with blows to the body and many to the face. At the end of the three rounds, Espinoza was declared the winner after acquiring the most points.
The next bout proved to be just as vicious when BMC's Joseph Sadley fought against Andrew Roufs of the Public Affairs Office. Even though this was Roufs' second time participating in a Smoker and his boxing seemed to improve since his last fight, he was still no match for Sadley, who had more boxing experience.
Sadley was declared the winner.
The win allowed the black team to even the score at one win apiece.
As the event continued, the crowd became more excited and the fights became more interesting. The standings of the remaining fights are listed as follows:
Jason Herring, BMC, vs. Joshua Segar, Base Telephone Office. Herring was declared the winner, giving the black team a 2-1 edge over the red team.
Joshua Bautista, Marine Corps Community Service, vs. Cordell Thompson, Base Telephone Office. Bautista was declared the winner, increasing the black team's lead to 3-1.
Oura Votherhan, Blount Island Command, vs. Santiago Real, BICmd. Real was declared the winner, cutting the red team's deficit to one, 3-2.
Cpl. Shaun Jeter, Base Property, vs. Cpl. Byron Battee, MCCS. This fight, in particular, sparked controversy as Battee outweighed Jeter by 20 pounds. Nonetheless, Battee was declared the winner. The teams were now tied at three bouts apiece.
Theresa Barnes, Disbursing Office, vs. Dawn Hopkins, GME. Barnes was unable to dodge Hopkins' jab throughout the match, and Hopkins won with a technical knockout. The red team regained its lead, 4-3.
Waking Vincent, GME, vs. Robert Dickerson, S-1. Vincent was deemed the winner by technical knockout. The two teams were tied once again, 4-4.
Lynden Gwartney, Disbursing Office, vs. Mike Laury, National Guard. Although this was one of the closest matches on the night, Laury edged by with a one-point victory to allow the red team to regain its lead, 5-4.
The next-to-last fight pitted Robert Peoples, Base Adjutant, against William Cheers, GME. This fight resulted in complete pandemonium when Cheers knocked Peoples out of the ring... literally. Although Peoples seemed to be holding his own during the early minutes of the fight, it was obvious that Cheers was just sizing Peoples up and patiently waiting to strike. Needless to say, Cheers won by knock out to give the red team a 6-4 lead.
The final bout was between the black team's David Hinesbey, Supply Chain Management Center, and Dexter White, Disbursing Office. Possibly the funniest fight of the night, White and Hinesbey battled it out in "cat-like" fashion. Although referee Bari Williams sought to keep the fighters under control and warned White to control some of his wild punches, he had no control of the crowd's amusement. When the final bell rang, White had scored more points than Hinesby and was declared the winner. The red team ended the night with a commanding 7-4 lead.
Since the conception of the Smoker, attendance for the events has continuously grown. The Marines have raised more than $7,000, making the Smoker the single largest ball fundraising event.
For this event alone, the Marines successfully raised $1,150 to help reduce the cost the enlisted Marines will be required to pay to enjoy this year's birthday ball.