Friday, January 30, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Schmitt wins title as UCD boxing club is a hit at national tourney

0502UCDBoxing1W

Collin Schmitt, right, spars at a recent UCD boxing practice. Last month, Schmitt won a national championship at 156 pounds. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

By
From page B1 | May 02, 2014 |

For the second straight season, the UC Davis boxing club made its presence felt on a national stage, sending three fighters to New York for last month’s National Collegiate Boxing Championships.

Aggie Collin Schmitt, a Collegiate Boxing Association semifinalist last year, took the 156-pound title this season in New York, despite facing the most difficult draw in the competition. For the performance, Schmitt earned All-America and Most Outstanding Boxer awards.

His UCD teammates were no slouches either, as Mac Pham and Monica Caldwell each reached the tournament semifinals. All three are relatively new to boxing, but certainly have picked it up quickly.

Until college, Schmitt competed in different sports, including martial arts. When he came to UC Davis, Schmitt took up boxing because, at the time, the school didn’t have clubs for Muy Thai or Jiu-Jitsu.

Still, he never took fighting seriously until one day at training, Aggie head coach Hector Lopez was holding the mitts for the young boxer.

“I remember Coach Lopez told me, ‘If you really work hard and commit, I could see you winning a national championship someday,’ ” Schmitt said.

Now, after four years of hard work and time sacrifice, he has accomplished that goal. After falling just short last year, Schmitt went into the 2014 championship tournament with one thought in mind:

“Fight every fight like it’s your last, or else it will be,” said the senior exercise biology major.

The other key for Schmitt was aggressiveness.

“I wasn’t always landing a lot of punches in my fights leading up to the tournament,” Schmitt explained. “I had to take charge and get some punches in, so that there would be a clear winner.”

Schmitt is 16-6 in his college career, but an impressive 13-2 the past two years. It was that recent success that prepared him for the surprisingly difficult draw at nationals, which including three consecutive fights against regional champions.

Schmitt, however, rose to the occasion, peaking in the second round of his second fight when his talented opponent failed to land even a single punch.

“Schmitt started with me from scratch,” Lopez said. “He is the one guy I have seen with the dedication to be a champion.”

Like Schmitt, Pham wasn’t a great boxer until recently. When he started with the sport, he had no idea how good he could be.

“I was really out of shape when I started college, but then a friend told me to do boxing to get in shape,” Pham said.

“At first, it was just to get all the girls, but at some point it became about the boxing,” Pham added with a laugh.

Once he began fighting more often, getting in shape was replaced by other goals. UCD assistant coach Joel Stern said that Pham is “one of the most conditioned fighters out there,” adding that a 125-pound victory at last year’s Ushiba National Tournament let Pham know his ceiling was high.

“Mac Pham has a fighting style similar to a professional fighter by the name of Manny Pacquiao,” Lopez said. “He’s a southpaw, very quick, and uses his speed and combinations very well.”

At the national tournament last month, Pham’s run to the semifinals earned him All-American status.

And about getting those girls? The UCD senior said he now looks forward to going back home and spending time with his girlfriend. He added that he will finally allow himself to eat cake now that his boxing season is finished.

Caldwell, another Aggie senior, was a kickboxer before eliminating the leg portion of the fighting when she tried out for the UCD boxing team.

While working on a double major in English and psychology, Caldwell has become a great fighter because of her coachability and determination, according to Lopez, who said the best thing about her is “she knows what she needs to do, but in the ring, she takes instruction very well.”

Though Lopez considers her a novice who is still learning all of the skills of boxing, he said it was Caldwell’s “determination and will to win” that led to success at the regional and national tournaments.

For her part, Caldwell said she was a bit surprised by her run to the semifinals:

“Ahead of tournaments, I am always really nervous, and I don’t really know what to expect,” she explained. “It goes away once I get in the ring and I just perform my best.”

Caldwell will be back for a fifth year at UCD, the only one of the three who is staying, and hopes for one last chance at a national title.

And, there’s no one better to help her do it than Lopez, who all three fighters regard as a father figure as well as a coach.

“Hector’s the best kind of guy,” Schmitt said. “He’s a coach, a mentor, a great friend and a father to me in a way. I share everything with him.

“He held me accountable and made sure I was always improving, but didn’t get in my face or act confrontational.”

Pham added that Stern was instrumental in developing his talent. The Aggie refers to himself as “Joel’s fighter.”

Under Lopez, and with the help of Stern, the UCD club is not just strong at the top with fighters like Schmitt, Pham and Caldwell. More than 60 boxers work out with the team regularly.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Town hall focuses on Coordinated Care Initiative

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Parents will get tools to help their children thrive in school

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Suspected Ebola patient being treated at UCD Med Center

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Stanford University to get $50 million to produce vaccines

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Two more cases of measles in Northern California in children

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Dartmouth bans hard liquor

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2

     
    All voices welcome at sing-along Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Great Chefs Program will feature Mulvaney

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Walkers head out three times weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3Comments are off for this post

    Free tax preparation service begins Monday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    No bare bottoms, thanks to CommuniCare’s Diaper Drive

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Still time to purchase tickets for DHS Cabaret

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    February science fun set at Explorit

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Take a photo tour of Cuba at Flyway Nights talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    See wigeons, curlews and meadowlarks at city wetlands

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Time for bed … with Grandma

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    We’re grateful for bingo proceeds

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

     
    A ‘new deal’ for the WPA building

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Protect root zone to save trees

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Weigh quality of life, density

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Olive expert joins St. James event

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    UCD has another tough football schedule in 2015

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Gould’s influence felt mightily in recent Super Bowls

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Mustangs hold off UCD women

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD men set new school D-I era win record

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sharks double up Ducks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Watney, Woods start slow at TPC Scottsdale

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    Recall that first Aggie TV game, national title?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Song of the Sea’ is an enchanting fable

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    ‘Artist’s Connection’ launches on DCTV

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    Gross’ paintings highlight a slice of Northern California

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    February show at YoloArts’ Gallery 625 is ‘Food for Thought’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, January 30, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: A9