Bengal Bouts II – Prelim Recap

I’m a bit behind posting the recap for Michael’s first fight. The days are flying by and he fights again tonight.

Here’s what happened last Thursday.

I grabbed the kids early from school and we headed over to South Bend. Thankfully, a predicted snowstorm arrived much later than anticipated and we only had driving rain on the trip over. We arrived at my sister’s home for a quick pizza dinner. Karen’s husband JC kept a watchful eye on the clock as everyone else chatted and played with their lovable lab Winnie. Eventually he announced that it was time to load up.

Note to self: JC would make a great wedding coordinator as he herds our large family with aplomb. And he’s only mildly annoying about it.

We made the quick trip to campus, entered the ballroom with a gathering group of fans, and settled into the front row of Ring A. We had fantastic seats because we arrived early. See previous note regarding JC.

The energy in the ballroom was palpable and Michael had a large group of fans.

Some of his Ultimate Frisbee teammates took out an ad in the program to support him.

In short order, my phone began to ring. First, my brother David called. “Hey, we can see you on the livestream. Stand up and wave.” So, Karen and I did just that.

A few minutes later, my phone rang again. It was my brother Dennis. “Hey, I can see you on the livestream. But there’s a delay. Stand up and wave.” So, Sam and I stood up, turned to the camera in the balcony, and waved.

I hung up. And then my phone rang. Again. It was my mother. “Hi honey! We can see you on the livestream. We also see Becky. Can you wave?”

I really have the greatest family. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of watching my son in a boxing match. So it’s great to have the support. It also means I can’t chicken out. They’re all watching the livestream. Anyways, the evening began with a 10-bell tribute and moment of silence to acknowledge the death of a former boxer. Then we stood for the national anthem which was played on an electric guitar. It was incredible.

We didn’t have to wait long to see Michael as he had the third fight of the evening.

Here’s how the student newspaper, The Observer, reported on the fight:

Michael “Crispy Chicken” Rauch def. CJ “Chug Jug” Kelly – This bout began as a test of who had quicker feet, with both Rauch and Kelly using the whole ring. In the second, “Crispy Chicken” had “Chug Jug” pushed into the ropes with a flurry of punches, but Kelly didn’t let up and dominated Rauch up to the bell. Both boxers stood their crowd with equally loud cheers of “Let’s go Crispy” and “Let’s go CJ,” before Rauch finished out the round to win by split decision, continuing the early dominance of the Siegfried Ramblers.

I’ll add a few additional details. In the first round, Michael took a punch and stumbled back a few steps. I saw him squint and look down. He had lost a contact. My mind immediately went to the movie Steel Magnolias. Do you remember the scene where Annelle loses her contact at the Christmas festival and screams for everyone to stand still? Well, I do. And I thought of it during this moment as people scrambled to located Michael’s contact. It proves once again my theorem that Steel Magnolias contains a reference point for all of life’s moments.

It was a tough fight. Michael had only one contact and his opponent was left handed. There was also quite a bit of blood as both boxers took punches to the nose. I’ll spare any additional details but I was grateful when the final bell rang. I thought Michael had done well but my boxing expertise is limited to my viewing of Rocky I, II, III, and IV.

Michael was victorious in a split decision and will fight on in the Quarterfinals. Afterwards he went into the medical room to be assessed under the concussion protocol. This is standard after every fight. He joined us for a brief conversation and some pictures.

Michael was exhausted and needed to get some homework done by midnight.

Becky was done too.

2 thoughts on “Bengal Bouts II – Prelim Recap

  1. You Rauches certainly lead an interesting life
    Love hearing about it
    It’s better than a movie or good book
    You have a wonderful family
    Love Dorothy


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