Photo Information

Joe Higgins, head coach of the II Marine Expeditionary Force, Martial Arts Center of Excellence, raises the Team Belt at the Christy Martin’s Title Boxing Invitational, Fayetteville, N.C., July 25, 2021. The Christy Martin’s Title Boxing Invitational, named after the 2019 International Hall of Famer, attracted elite fighters from across the eastern Carolinas. The II MEF MACE achieved five weight-class championships and won the overall Team Belt. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Eric Ramirez)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Eric Ramirez

Hookin’ and a Jabbin’

30 Jul 2021 | 1st Lt Jacob Sugg II Marine Expeditionary Force

The II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), Martial Arts Center of Excellence (MACE) went head-to-head with fighters from the eastern Carolina region during the Christy Martin’s Title Boxing Invitational.

Over 350 competitors from 25 teams and clubs competed in one of the largest amateur boxing events on the East Coast in Fayetteville, North Carolina from July 24 to 25, 2021.

The II MEF MACE achieved five weight-class championships and obtained the overall first-place team belt, with several runner-ups in multiple weight class categories.

The invitational provided an opportunity to further develop and challenge the fighters, “Boxing is just like a game of chess,” said Sgt. Edwin Asencio, a boxer with the MACE. “The more anyone focuses on their strategy and the more you develop it, the better you’ll get.”

Asencio said it means a lot to the II MEF MACE to be a part of the tournament, especially since the team is still making its name known throughout the Marine Corps.

“It’s a huge mental game,” said Asencio. “You’ve got to be all the way there in the ring to be able to do your best.”

Asencio showcased his abilities, obtaining a championship belt for the team’s collection.

The tournament provided valuable experience for the fighters of the II MEF MACE, increasing their proficiency and preparing them for their goal of becoming national champions.