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Nevada Boxer Jackson’s Passion Leads to First Win

Kirk Jackson figures he’ll have an advantage when it comes to his career.

The Nevada boxing club member wants to be a sports journalist, focusing on boxing, so what better way to go about it than by getting in the ring.

Jackson did just that Friday night at the Eldorado Hotel Casino, getting a win in his first college bout. He defeated Pedro Barrientes of the Air Force Academy in a 150-pound bout that looked too close to call from ringside.

It was one of 14 bouts Friday, including two exhibitions.
Without the boxing mentality, getting in a fight seems like it would be a tough way to learn a profession. But Jackson is relishing the opportunity.

“I want to cover boxing,” Jackson said. “I figured (by boxing) I’d have more authenticity with what I’m saying if I do the sport.”

It’s not just journalism driving him. He said he has been a boxing fan since Mike Tyson was in his glory days in the 1980s and ’90s.

Jackson didn’t appear to tire until the final few seconds. But he said that was not the case and he was exhausted.

“His jab was killing me,” Jackson said. “He’s got a good jab. … I want work on my defense, and off my jab, throw more combinations.”

Following Jackson’s fight, Jonathan Aguilar made his college boxing debut as a senior.
He beat Steve Harris of UNLV by decision at 156 pounds.

“I loved it. I feel great,” said a grinning Aguilar. “I feel like I’m born again.”
He admitted he was trying for an early stoppage and said working on fundamentals will be key.

“I need to hold my hands up. Not go head-hunting so much,” Aguilar said.
Jarred Santos took an action-filled win over Air Force’s Roy Taylor at 134 pounds. Santos controlled the first two rounds, then held on for the win.

He said he was slipping, then grabbing and clinching.

JJ Mariano knew he was behind after being knocked down in the second round of his 142-pound fight with Ethan Salgado of Air Force.

“My hands were down. I was throwing looping shots and wasn’t re-setting,” Mariano said.
In an early fight, Nevada freshman Zach Shipton won his first-ever college boxing bout over Cal’s Ron Besmond when the referee stopped the 153-pound contest in the second round.

Shipton said getting in better shape will be a priority so he doesn’t tire out as easily. After all, he joined the boxing club to get in shape.

“I didn’t want to gain the freshman 15 (pounds),” he said.

Source: Jim Krajewski, RGJ.com

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