Boxing Club Takes Gold on the National Stage

Boxing Club Takes Gold on the National Stage

Namir Hakem (left) and Ryo Mochizuki (right) pose with their USIBA national champship belts, which they both won at the 2018 United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association’s (USIBA) National Championship.
By Claudia Martinez

Namir Hakem (left) and Ryo Mochizuki (right) pose with their USIBA national champship belts, which they both won at the 2018 United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association’s (USIBA) National Championship.

Boxing Club Takes Gold on the National Stage

By Claudia Martinez
Two fighters from the University of Miami Boxing Club win titles at the 2018 United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association’s National Championship.

Namir Hakem and Ryo Mochizuki, members of the UM Boxing Club, both achieved coveted National Champion titles in their respective divisions at the 2018 United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association’s (USIBA) National Championship.

The USIBA Championships were held over the weekend of UM’s Spring Break, from March 16-18 at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana campus. The tournament-style event, which was hosted by the Illini Boxing Club, consisted of three days of single-elimination fighting matches.

The stakes were high at Nationals, but that didn’t stop Hakem or Mochizuki. For the past year, they have worked painstakingly to hone their boxing skills. And, after an entire weekend of boxing against the best athletes in the U.S., Hakem claimed the Novice Division at 132 lbs., and Mochizuki won his title in the Beginner A Division at 178 lbs.

“Both Namir and Ryo trained extensively for Nationals, and their dedication made them the best collegiate boxers in the country in their respective weight classes,” said Dave Broadstone, assistant director of recreational sports and camps for the Department of Wellness and Recreation. “We could not be more proud of these young men and their representation of the University of Miami at the country’s premier college boxing competition.”

Hakem, a senior from Saudi Arabia studying industrial engineering, has been boxing for 9 years, with 4 years as a member of the UM Boxing Club. While his training has taken him many places to spar, no match has been as exciting and influential as his most recent competition was. Hakem competed once before in Nationals in 2017, but he lost after the second round, and ever since then he has been working toward the goal of a victory title.

Mochizuki, a freshman electrical engineering major, started boxing in Fall 2017. This was Mochizuki’s first time competing in the USIBA and he miraculously came out on top. He explained, “I didn’t really expect to win at all, but when I got in the ring, it was a beat-up or get beat situation, and I knew I wasn’t going to lose easily.”

Mochizuki’s early success in the collegiate boxing world will inevitably create a window of opportunities for him, and he attributes much of his accomplishments to the UM Boxing Club, where he began his training: “I won with the help from countless people—my coaches, Namir, Ilham, Cris, Matt, Kayla, and the boxing club. Only with their help was I able to keep my head up and fight for the win,” Mochizuki said.

The USIBA, formed in 2012, is the largest premier college boxing governing body in the country with hundreds of student boxers competing in their National competition each year. With Hakem and Mochizuki rising to the top of this tournament, it is clear that the boxing community at UM is an outstanding example of how successful a club team can really be.

Learn more about the University of Miami Boxing Club by visiting their Facebook page.