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MIT Boxers Face Westfield, Untrained To Fight Southpaws

By Brendan Bellew
Team Member

The MIT boxing club fought at the Westfield State College Invitational Scrimmage this past Saturday. Boxing Coach Colonel Mahadevan Kandiah, cornerwoman Ramya Rajakumar, and boxers Brendan Bellew G and Pavel Volfbeyn G, represented MIT's 15-man, 5-woman squad at the event.

MIT's most powerful boxer, Volfbeyn, weighing in at 156 pounds, was matched with veteran boxer and southpaw Steve King of Westfield State in the light middleweight category. At first, Volfbeyn had some trouble adapting to his left-handed opponent. In the second round, however, Volfbeyn came back with a vengeance and had King on the run. During the third round, both boxers fought hard, with King throwing many hooks. Volfbeyn used his consummate in-fighting skills to penetrate his opponent's defenses, then let loose with a barrage of crosses and uppercuts.

Bellew, president of the MIT boxing club, 139, was matched with police recruit Dave Mahoney of Westfield State, another southpaw. Mahoney threw some hard left crosses, but Bellew took advantage of his longer reach and used stinging left jabs against his shorter, stockier opponent.

Neither Volfbeyn nor Bellew, both orthodox fighters, had ever fought a left-handed opponent in competition before; both felt they could have been better prepared to fight lefties. They departed Westfield determined to improve their technique against sinister foes.

After the bouts Coach Kandiah commended the two boxers on their fitness and technique. He hastened to add that the two could benefit from more rounds of sparring and a greater variety of sparring partners.

Colonel Kandiah is a former Sri Lankan Bantamweight Champion and a former Coach of the Sri Lankan National and Olympic boxing teams. The MIT Boxing Club practices five days a week in Du Pont Gymnasium.