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USMC Takes Gold
MC2 (SW/AW) Elliott Fabrizio

The Marine Corps team won the 2012 Armed Forces Boxing Championship Feb. 3, ending the Army’s 20-year winning streak.

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. hosted the Armed Forces Sports event this year.

In the final bout of the night, Marine Sgt. DeJesus Gardner taking gold against Army Sgt. Marvin Carey became the crux between Marine Corps victory and a tie with Army.

Gardner’s left eye swelled closed early in the fight, but the audience went wild when the ringside doctor allowed the fight to continue.

The crowd’s fervor escalated into a frenzy in the third round as Gardner and Carey smashed blows into each other, trading the point lead back and forth, but in the final 20 seconds of the fight, Gardner edged his way to a 14-13 win.

“I told my daughter that daddy would bring her a gold medal, and daddy don’t break no promises,” said Gardner.

Gardner won gold in the 201lb. plus weight class and secured the Marine’s gold for the team award, but each Marine Corps victory was essential.

In a rematching from 2011's Championships, Marine Cpl. Tommy Roque redeemed himself against Army Sgt. Toribio Ramirez, pummeling his way to a win 35-19.

Roque represents the Marine Corps boxing team in the 132lb. weight class.

Lance Cpl. Jonathan Steele won by referee stopped contest a minute into the second round, battering Navy Aviation Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Carlos Moore who lost his footing and rolled his ankle early in the fight.

Steele fights in the 141lb. weight class.

National Champion and 2011 Armed Forces Boxing Gold Medalist Marine Sgt. Jamel Herring defended his title against Senior Airman Adam Hassan, breezily banging his way to a 19-5 victory in the 141lb. weight class.

“The team medal means more to me than any individual medal,” said Herring. “I’m just happy to be a part of the team that made history tonight.”

Lance Cpl. Felix Magallanez lost by retirement when his coach ended the fight in the second round after he took a devastating body blow from Army Pvt. Marquis Moore and couldn’t recover.

Magallanez fights for the Marine Corps in the 165lb. weight class, dropping down from last year’s championship where he fought at the 178lb.

In this year’s 178lb. weight class, Lance Cpl. James Morrow got crushed with punishing barrages from Army Spc. Steven Nelson, losing out 20-2.

Gold medalists in the Armed Force Championship now prepare to fight in the USA Boxing Nationals, a critical qualifier for 2012 Olympic hopefuls, and they qualify to compete in the Conseil International du Sport Militaire’s (CISM) World Military Games.

The Pentagon Channel captured all the action from the Marine Corps’ historic victory, and the 2012 Armed Forces Boxing Championship series will begin airing March 9. and will be available on demand here.