Vermillion boxing team brings home the gold Vermillion Boxing Team Coach Marc Zimiga wondered if the hours of training, conditioning and learning strategies would be enough as Vermillion's #139 Junior Olympic State Champion Oliver Hope faced the well-trained, lean and hungry looking boxer, Jericho Martinez, from the Cheyenne Wyoming's Pacheco Boxing Club. The coach wondered if the 6665 foot altitude would have a negative effect on the young Vermillion fighter. The Wyoming club's fighters had easily dominated other boxers from Region X�North and South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana in earlier bouts.
With a chance to fight at the National Junior Olympics Boxing Championships on the line, the fighter squared off in true pugilistic style for three rounds of crowd pleasing action in the fight that turned out to be the highlight of the night's championship matches. Hope paced himself through the first round enduring hard contact from Martinez' right jabs and powerful inside attacks while counterattacking with blinding left hooks and straight right punches.
In the second round, Martinez rocked Hope with several powerful left jabs that seemed to energize the Vermillion boxer as he countered with combinations and flurries of rights, lefts and hooks. The well-trained Martinez withstood savage punches from Hope that had staggered other fighters in past bouts. Both fighters scored frequently with vicious combinations and strategic attacks.
In the corners at the beginning of the third and final round in this amateur contest, both fighters were given encouragement from their coaches. Martinez came out of his corner with fire in his eye and began a flurry of punches and combinations that seemed to have the understanding that he would have to put the Vermillion fighter down to walk away with the gold. Hope steadfastly weaved and dodged the onslaught of jabs, straight punches and body slams against the ropes. Not accustomed to the onslaught of "inside" fighting, Hope counterattacked with speed and accuracy during the final two minutes of the fight. Hope's conditioning and training would prove to be too much for the strong Wyoming boxer. At the end of the round, the crowd cheered both boxers for a fight that was characterized by skill, courage and stamina.
The announcer said that only one person walks away with the gold and both fighters were truly champions. The crowd showed their approval as the young Vermillion fighter was given the gold for a tremendous show of boxing skill and stamina.
As the silver went to Martinez and the gold was put on Hope, Zimiga, standing quietly in the blue corner, beamed with pride at Vermillion's finest.
Vermillion Boxing Team is in its second season under coach Marclf Zimiga. Local boxers include: John Holoch, Adam Morse, TJ Bad Hand, Chris Leroy, Oliver Hope, Terry Barnes, Carlos Baisden, Rusty Thompson and Thomas Barnes.