Wolf Pack boxers on to nationals

Sweet Home Wolf Pack boxers Marco Ashe and Jeff Leonard won their USA Pacific Northwest Regional Championship divisions at a Pasco, Wash., tournament held Feb. 3 and Feb. 4, advancing them to the USA Nationals in Colorado.

Ashe defeated Joseph Gusman of Alaska at heavyweight for the championship. Ashe didn’t make his weight at 171 pounds, so he ended up in heavyweight.

He was larger, with longer arms, Ashe said. He jabbed a lot from the right. The two cautiously felt each other out during the first round, with Gusman getting a couple of shots on Ashe’s body during the first round.

“He was a pretty good fighter plus he had height plus he was 10 pounds heavier,” Ashe said. Both were more aggressive in the second round.”

I just threw a lot of angles at him. He started coming at me throwing a lot of punches.”

Gusman stayed on Ashe, but Ashe was getting a number of combos and hits of his own in.

Both were tired as they fought through the third the same way.

In the fourth, “I almost dropped him,” Ashe said. Ashe threw an uppercut but missed and came back with the left hitting Gusman in the chin. “I almost stopped him, but he’s tough. He kept coming on.”

Ashes decisioned Gusman in the fight, winning the second through the fourth rounds by one or two points each, and will travel to nationals as the regional heavyweight next month.

Leonard had to fight twice to capture the regional title at 165.

His first fight, Feb. 3, Leonard was dehydrated and a little weak, he said, but he felt okay and squared off with Paul Brasch of Spokane, Wash. Brasch is a strong, right-handed fighter with 14 fights under his belt, but he was a little stiff.

“He was really basic and real good,” Leonard said. “It was a hard fight. I got every single round, but he was right with me every single round.”

Leonard kept him busy with right-handed jabs, he said. Brasch got him a few times with body shots, but mostly he just caught Leonard’s gloves.

Leonard faced a left-handed fighter, Ryan Lewis, on Feb. 4. Lewis could switch back and forth between hands and styles.

“He had a real confusing style,” Leonard said. He also is a PAL Nationals veteran, placing fourth or fifth.

“He was very good, confusing me the first couple of rounds,” Leonard said. In the third, Leonard got a good hook in, almost knocking Lewis out. Lewis was headed into an eight count when the bell rang.

In the fourth round, Lewis didn’t put up much more fight, and Leonard won a unanimous decision to become the champion.

He will travel with Ashe to nationals at the Colorado Springs Olympics Training Center in Colorado from March 17 to March 25.