PESHTIGO, Wisc. -- Cassie Weigal of the Peshtigo Boxing Club, showed her
versatility Saturday, Sept. 15, when she opened the club's first ever
amateur boxing program by singing acapella the Star Spangled Banner then
donning her headgear and pounding out a decision over Liz Highland of the
Oshkosh Boxing Club.
Ten novice bouts, nine of them men's matches, were held in the afternoon
at the Peshtigo Elementary Learning Center in this small Wisconsin
community about 45 miles northeast of Green Bay. Willy Price showed
everyone that he had the moxy to not only open and run a successful boxing
club but also could stage a good amateur boxing show, too.
Understandably, five of the 20 boxers were from the local club but there
was a good representation from other clubs in the state, too, especially
considering the tragic national news that cast gloom over the nation.
Capacity for the school gym's folding chairs and small bleacher section
was about 300 and a rough count showed close to that number attended. Five
dollars admission for all seats. Another highlight of the well run show
was the announcer, Gordon Jacobs of Crivitz, Wisc., who added class and
was informative and entertaining all afternoon. The public address system
worked, too, an all-too- frequent problem at boxing programs everywhere.
A striking blonde, Weigal, 17, caught many people's attention well before
her turn in the ring as she greeted friends and well-wishers during the
period before the fights. But when she took her corner, gloved and warmed
up to face her Oshkosh Boxing Club opponent, then was introduced as the
soloist for the patriotic opening ceremony, the crowd went wild.
She sang without accompaniment
and her version, although more modern and upscale than the usual
traditional arrangement, the anthem was sung with an unquavering voice,
loud and clear so all could understand the words. Before the start of the
program the crowd faced the flag with hats removed and hands over hearts
while a ten count was rung on the round bell as everyone stood in silence
and respect for those who had lost their lives in the tragic attack on New
York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. All the right touches that
served to enhance this first public program.
Although they were far from being skilled boxers, Weigal and her willing
opponent, Highland, boxed a good competitive bout in the 156-pound
division. It was Weigal's second outing and the Oshkosh girl's
first. Highland was seen to be somewhat outclassed shortly into the first
round. As is often the case with novices, neither woman paid much heed to
defense and Highland paid the price when she was put down in the second.
Several toe to toe exchanges brought many to their feet as both boxers
showed a willingness to trade at
Weigal showed her skill and punching power when she gave her Oshkosh
visitor a slight bloody nose in the third. This caused an interruption
while the doctor checked the injury but he waved the shorter woman back
Both tired early carrying their gloves low and breathing through their
mouths but women showed good aggressiveness throughout despite the
significant height disparity. Highland, at various times, held her own
against the taller Weigal. She bored inside on her taller opponent and
worked the body, a tactic not often seen in novice amateur bouts,
especially a boxer in her first fight. Weigal goes to 2-0, Highland, 0-1.
Weigal has been training at the boxing club since July while Highland is
believed to have been working out about a year. Highland received a well
deserved round of applause for her pluckiness and skill; a potentially top
Nine men's bouts followed the women's opener and without exception all
displayed young boxers with talent, skill, heart and enthusiasm for the
All in all, a good afternoon of amateur boxing that showed the sport is
alive and well in Wisconsin. The announcer's report at the conclusion of
the program indicated that more boxing shows will be forthcoming which
brought cheers and applause. It is to be hoped that some of the major
business leaders in Peshtigo will get behind Price's efforts and provide
more financial assistance for future shows.