Local boxers Staebler, Washington win world championship beltsWritten by Scott McKimmy | | email@example.com
Two Toledo-area boxers returned with title belts after competing in the 2006 Ringside World Championships Aug. 1 through Aug. 5 in Kansas City, Mo. The event drew more than 1,100 competitors as young as 9 years old from around the globe and crowned 211 champions.
Tim Washington won the 201-pound-plus men’s novice division for ages 17 through 34, while 17-year-old Tiffany Staebler captured the 165-pound women’s open division.
Washington faced three opponents in three-round bouts to advance to the finals, one who choose to forfeit rather than fight, according to Harry Cummins, president and coach of the International Boxing Club Team Toledo. The 25-year-old Washington won by technical knockouts in two preliminary matches as well as the finals, which were scheduled for four rounds.
“He walked through everyone,” Cummins said. “He’s another George Foremen, six-five, 270 [pounds]. He’s just a big strong kid; he’s got a lot of power.”
Staebler was unopposed until the finals, where she defeated the No. 5-ranked boxer. Staebler withstood a standing eight count in the first round, then came back to put her opponent through an eight count in round four.
Cummins said she suffered a shoulder injury in round three, but kept fighting and will undergo surgery. The display reflects Staebler’s commitment to the sport.
“She came in the gym every day; she trained hard, worked on all the fundamentals,” he said. “And that’s what won it for her was the conditioning and the hard work. She had a lot of heart; she stuck to the basic skills.”
Staebler explained her motivation for boxing as a means of maintaining focus and as an emotional outlet. She started as a kickboxer at age 14 and played on the basketball and volleyball teams. However, she quit other sports after realizing that being a pugilist provides the best opportunity to “go forward and pursue” her life.
Team sports, in a sense, didn’t agree with her.
“It’s a good adrenaline rush, and it’s a lot of fun, and it helps get your aggression out,” Staebler said. “I was too aggressive on the basketball court, so I kept fouling out.”
Team Toledo sent 23 boxers to the tournament, and five reached the finals. Heavyweight Russ Huff; Kenny McMillen, 95 pounds, 13- to 14-year-old novice; and Alycia Baumgardner, 80 pounds, 11- to 12-year-old open, all lost in championship bouts.
Team Toledo raised about $12,000 through fund-raisers and sponsorship to pay for travel and lodging, Cummins said.
He attributed the team’s overall success to volunteer efforts of his assistant coaches and the dedication of the boxers, who train year round and spend hot summer days in the gym instead of the swimming pool.
“It’s paid off. This is the third year in a row that we’ve brought home world champions. We’ve competed for three years now, and we’re three for three,” he said.