Only Reservist on Air Force Boxing team Has only been boxing for two years See Senior Airman Southichacks fight on link to Youtube Senior Airman Southichacks interviewed by The Pentagon Channel
Senior Airman Dustin Southichack, 433rd Civil Engineer Squadron and a member of the Air Force Boxing Team, trains in the Chapparal Fitness Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. The left handed entomologist is in his second year of competition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brian McGloin)
Airman 1st Class (at the time) Dustin Southichack, 433rd Civil Engineer Squadron and a member of the Air Force Boxing Team,lands a punch on Army Sgt. Toribio Ramirez at the Armed Forces Boxing Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo. at the Oympic Training Center. Ramirez, the defending Armed Forces Champion in the 132 lbs. class outpointed Southichack 17-12 in the bout. (U.S. Navy photo/MC2 Elliott Fabrizio)
by Tech. Sgt. Carlos J. Trevino
433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
7/8/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee," a line made famous by boxing legend Muhammad Ali, means different things to Senior Airman Dustin Southichack, a 433rd Civil Engineer Squadron pest management specialist. When Southichack is not busting bugs, he throws punches in the ring as the only Reservist on the Air Force Boxing Team.
"I started boxing almost two years ago," he said. "I chose it because it helps keep my temper and stress level down. When I was growing up, I watched it (boxing) and saw it more as an art form than just two guys beating each other's face in."
The southpaw (left handed) boxer has a 5-8 record from fighting in the lightweight class and was a rookie on this year's Air Force team.
Air Force Boxing Team coach Bobby De Leon said while short on experience, the most impressive quality about Southichack is his attitude.
"He understands the fight game," De Leon said. "He is eager to learn, coach able and willing to try new things. He is very mobile and can put some punches together. He is not afraid to take hits."
Unfortunately for Southichack earlier this year, he drew U.S. Army Sgt. Toribio Ramirez, 2011 Armed Forces Champion, for his first bout during the Olympic-style Armed Forces Boxing Championships held at Camp Pendleton, Calif. He was lost 17-12 in the defeat to Ramirez.
"He stood tough," De Leon said of Southichack's fight versus Ramirez who has 15 more years of boxing experience. "We thought he won that fight."
His next stop was the U.S.A. Boxing National Championships held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Southichack again lost to a fighter who finished third the year before in the featherweight division.
To improve as a competitive boxer for the Air Force, Southichack plans to box more in the San Antonio area, increase his speed and decrease his reaction time. On the national level, most fighters have at least eight years of amateur experience.
Southichack's mantra of "Fight to eat, eat to live, live to fight," tattooed on his chest, is a phrase which will continue to drive him.
His simple eating habits change to reflect his training prior to a match.
"I only diet a month before a fight," he said. "On days that I am just training with no fights, I eat pasta, greens and turkey."
His workout regimen is concentrated on him being lean and fast.
"I run in the morning," he said. "After work, I go to the gym. I do a few hours of bag work and some days light weights. For push ups, I do small increments of 10 repetitions, 40 times with a five to 10 second break in between. On the run, I do sprints, it helps increase cardio fast."
Southichack extends the same effort in his Air Force career as well.
"Senior Airman Southichack is an up and comer," said Capt. David Shaw, 433rd CES flight commander. "As long as I've known him, he's always had a positive attitude in all that he does. Having him in the squadron is a morale booster for the rest of us, we're all very proud of him."
As any good Airman, Southichack has a five-year plan. He wants to continue serving in the Air Force Reserve and eventually earn a professional boxing contract as well.
"Once he starts believing in himself as a fighter, he is going to go far," De Leon said.
To view video of Southichack boxing and an interview with DOD click the links below.