Sailors Participate in Boxing ‘Smoker’

Story Number: NNS030207-11Release Date: 2/7/2003 11:26:00 AM
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By Ensign Elizabeth Crapo, USS Russell Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- USS Russell (DDG 59) revived an old Navy tradition Jan. 24 by holding a boxing "smoker" on the ship's flight deck. Twelve participants competed for trophies in six weight classes, as well as for a "best form" award.

"It was a great roll-back to the traditional boxing "smoker" days," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 George Conley, systems test officer aboard Russell and the promoter of the event. "The crew and the guests were all excited. I'm really pleased with the outcome."

Russell's executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. John Banigan, praised the efforts of both the participants and the organizers of the event.

"I'm very proud of the training efforts put forth by the boxers," Banigan said. "I'd also like to commend the work of the ship's boxing committee for their behind-the-scenes work. These people did everything from arranging the logistics to researching the military boxing regulations and ensuring we were in compliance, to arranging medical screening for the fighters, and much more," he added.

Cmdr. Hank Miranda, Russell's commanding officer, also expressed his thanks to those who made the event a success.

"It is my distinct honor to have retired Chief Boatswain Mate Harold Estes, the 1937 Pearl Harbor Lightweight Boxing Champion and longtime friend of the Navy, serving as commissioner emeritus," he said. Estes is a World War II veteran.

"I'd also like to thank the referees, judges, medical support personnel and other people from around the base who helped make this a world-class event. This 'smoker' revived a lost Navy tradition. I am very proud of the Russell crew," continued Miranda.

The "smoker" participants agreed the event was a success. Torpedoman's Mate 3rd Class Roderick "Too Slow" Johnson said, "I had a great time. Even though I didn't win, I still made a good showing for an old man."

Sonar Technician (SW) 3rd Class Michael "Ice Water" Brown added, "It was a great way to boost camaraderie on the ship, and the crew hopes we can be a trend-setter as far as bringing back the tradition. I'm looking forward to having the chance to do this again."

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