Boxing event KO'd

The 2013 Armed Forces Boxing Championships have been canceled, and as a result, Naval Base Ventura County won’t be hosting the All-Navy Box-Off this month.

However, Navy boxers will be on base Feb. 25 through March 29 to train for the U.S. Nationals, scheduled for March 30 through April 6 in Spokane, Wash.

The Nationals are not a military event but usually draw boxers from the armed forces.

“At this point, we anticipate that at least five Navy boxers will be here training,” said Kevin Ludwig, who has organized boxing events on base for the last 15 years.

Among them will be Builder Constructionman Crystal Renfroe of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5, who stole the show at the box-off two years ago when she entered the ring as a local boxer and defeated a member of the Navy’s official boxing team, Rhonda McGee, then a master-at-arms seaman.

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Nicole Saunders, who competed on last year’s boxing team, also plans to return.

The three men who currently plan to attend are new to the team.

Ludwig said problems started last October when the Marines put their boxing program on hold for six months due to administrative issues. Then the Navy and Air Force didn’t have enough qualified boxers to field a team, so the championships were cancelled.

Until last year, the Army had won the championships for 21 years straight. Last year, the Marines won.

The location of the armed forces event had rotated among the four branches of the military. Naval Base Ventura County last hosted the event in 2010 and was scheduled to host it in 2014.

Ludwig said the cancellation of the championships is bittersweet.

“I think it’s disappointing,” he said. “But at the same time, this would not have been a good event for us. There wasn’t a strong turnout.”

He said the Navy requires all its boxers to have at least five sanctioned fights before they start training for the championships.

However, for the U.S. Nationals, these less experienced boxers can compete as novices, so they don’t need the five fights.

“This way, they can get the experience and see what it’s all about,” Ludwig said.

The All-Navy Box-Off was scheduled for Jan. 26 in the Bee-Hive at NBVC Port Hueneme. Ludwig said the event has been held for six years and typically draws 500 boxing fans from the local community. Ten boxers attended last year.

The ongoing renovation of the Warfield Gym would have posed some logistical problems, Ludwig said. The Warfield shut down for renovations last year immediately after the box-off and isn’t expected to reopen until February.

During the last two box-offs, boxers have taken a break from training and visited local schools to chat with students about their lives and their work. Ludwig said that could happen again this year while boxers train for the U.S. Nationals.

© 2013 Ventura County Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Commanding Officer

CAPT. LARRY VASQUEZ

Chief Staff Officer

CAPT. SCOTT LOESCHKE

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ANDREA HOWRY, 805-989-5281

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Ventura County Star - 805-437-0000

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NSWC Port Hueneme and representatives from eight allied, international navies joined forces on April 7 to establish a unified strategic plan for modernizing and sustaining the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) on a global scale, yielding enhanced worldwide fleet readiness and collective maritime strength against ever-evolving threats.
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