Other than wearing a tuxedo for the only time all year, Air Force boxing coach Eddie Weichers will be inconspicuous for one of the Falcons’ biggest boxing events of the year.
That’s the way he wants it at the Wing Open Championships on Thursday. The event is all about the cadets, from the boxers in the 12 matches, to the corner help, the ring announcers and the ushers.
“The cadet wing is showcased and highlighted from top to bottom,” Weichers said.
There will be 12 championship bouts for a full card, a rarity in recent years. Usually there are injuries or other issues that create a few walkovers. This year the highlight of the full card might be at the heavyweight class, where Nate Bratka, a track and field thrower, goes against Brian Corcoran, a sophomore linebacker on the football team. Both are from Cadet Squadron 27.
“Nathan said ‘I like Brian, but I’m going to beat the blankety blank out of him Thursday,” Weichers said, adding that Bratka laughed afterwards as the two athletes have a lot of respect for each other.
The event is free at Clune Arena. Every year Air Force boxing gives donations at the event to a local charity, starting with a $500 gift to the March of Dimes in 1970. This year, the cause is the Wounded Warrior Project.
“I think that makes it special,” Weichers said. “And the price is right.”