VILSECK, Germany — U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria’s Family and MWR program hosted a night of action-packed bouts, during its USAG Bavaria Boxing Invitational Championship on Aug. 14. With 36 competing service members representing installations across Germany, several rounds came down to the wire at the Rose Barracks Memorial Fitness Center.
For more than 20 years, the garrison regularly hosted both invitational boxing events and higher level boxing championships; furthermore, the USAG Bavaria Boxing Team won the Installation Management Command-Europe Boxing Championships in 2019. So after the pandemic caused a pause of events in 2020, competitors and spectators alike were thrilled to return to the ring.
“It was an awesome evening of competition for our Soldiers, and a fun filled evening of entertainment for our community members,” said event director Serge Kearse of USAG Bavaria FMWR. “There was a great turnout from our competitors and spectators — way above our expectation! And no doubt, everyone was having a great time from the cheers and chants the entire evening.”
Among the competitors, 20 represented USAG Bavaria – Vilseck, eight represented USAG Bavaria – Grafenwoehr, three represented USAG Stuttgart, two represented USAG Bavaria – Hohenfels, two represented USAG Wiesbaden and one represented Ramstein Air Base.
Over the course of the evening, 18 bouts took place between active-duty service members. All boxed with great endurance and skill, but above all there was one standout competitor who won the Best Boxer Belt — Sgt. Sherman Buckley Jr. of the 493rd Petroleum Support Company, 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command.
“Just being in the ring felt like a dream, and all the supporter and people cheering made the experience so much sweeter,” said Buckley after winning the title. “I was honestly shocked and joyful at the same time. I’ve had so many guys I know win this title, and for me to win it was a blessing.”
According to the new title holder, the experiences and lessons he learned while being a Solider helped him prepare for the championship.
“Keep God first, stay focus and put in the work,” he said. “Despite the time of day or the season — even when you’re tired and don’t feel like training — train anyway. Train hard, fight easy and accomplish your goals and dreams. They’re closer than you think. [You] just got to work for it.”
Buckley is part of the Grafenwoehr Boxing Team. His boxing experience includes two years training for exercise and two years training formally. He continued training ever since the first COVID-19 lockdown occurred in 2020.
“I would like to shout-out the Grafenwoehr Boxing Team, Coach Ivory Marshall, Coach Wright and Coach Ali,” said Buckley. “They are truly the best team in Germany. I wouldn’t have asked for a better team to be with.”
View additional photos from the event, here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usagbavaria/albums/72157719690960463