A boxer exits the tunnel on the last night of the Armed Forces Boxing Championships at Naval Base Ventura County.
Naval Base San Diego Hosts Boxing Camp
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erin Oberholtzer, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Dozens of Sailors from the local area participated in the All-Navy Boxing Mini-camp Sept. 11 and 12 at the Admiral Prout Field House aboard Naval Base San Diego.

The camp was open to all active duty male and female boxers, with the top boxers getting invited to the All-Navy Boxing Training Camp at Point Hueneme, Calif.

Thirty-two Sailors attended the first day to demonstrate their skills in the ring, with the qualifying 20 to return for tryouts Sept. 12.

The boxers went through an arduous two-day camp, where they constantly trained and sparred with other boxing hopefuls to see if they had what it takes to earn a spot on the coveted All-Navy Boxing Team.

"It takes more than being able to take a hit to be a good boxer," said Kevin Ludwig, Morale, Welfare and Recreation athletic manager and boxing coordinator. "Being a boxer means being able to roll with the punches both physically and mentally and being able to get back up when you're knocked down."

The camp emphasizes team camaraderie, encouraging participants to give their all, while teaching them good sportsmanship.

Coach Steve Carbajal, a 30-year boxing veteran, admits that not everyone is cut out to be a boxer.

"Being a boxer teaches discipline, commitment and dedication. It takes a different breed of person to step into that ring and take a beating; you have to be tough," said Carbajal.

Coaches are looking for Sailors to be able to pace themselves and follow directions.

"Not everyone knows what it takes to become a long-term boxer," said Ludwig. "Having the discipline to maintain your weight class and to continuously train is hard, and it takes a lot of direction and self motivation."

The camp gave the boxers an opportunity to see how they matched with other fighters, as well as the chance to gain valuable training with positive feedback from the coaches. For some, it was their first step toward being part of the All-Navy Boxing Team.

"I've been boxing on and off for a few years now, this is my second time coming out for the camp," said Master-at-arms Seaman Rhonda McGee, from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash. "I've always wanted to box even when I was a kid so I saw this as a great opportunity to follow an interest."

After watching two days of three-minute sparring matches, coaches choose 12 boxers to attend the seven and a half week-long camp to eventually compete in the Armed Forces Boxing Championships from April 18-24 in Port Hueneme.

For more news from Naval Base San Diego, visit www.navy.mil/local/nbsd/.

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