The boxing world could use a
few more cities like Youngstown, Ohio. On Saturday night, fight fans packed a
church banquet hall in nearby Campbell for a five-fight card featuring
prospects Jake Giuriceo, of Campbell, and Cleveland’s Miguel Gonzales. Among
the faces at ringside were Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, trainer Jack Loew, former
lightweight champ Harry Arroyo, welterweight Shawn Porter and lightweight
After scrambling since
Tuesday night, the promoters succeeded in finding opposition for local
favorite, lightweight Jake Giuriceo. After days of searching for a suitable
fill-in after Rod Salka was scratched following a medical test, Memphis’
Dedrick Bell agreed on Friday night to make the trip and weigh-in on Saturday morning.
Soon after the opening bell
rang, Giuriceo pounded Bell with left hooks and straight rights to the head and
body and it looked like it might be a quick fight but Bell wasn’t there just
collect a check. He fought back despite constant pressure by Giuriceo,
nicknamed the “Bull.” Giuriceo continued landing cleanly against the taller
Bell, easily winning the opening stanza.
The fight continued in that
vein for the remaining five rounds, Bell’s back to the ropes and Giuriceo
controlling the action. By the fourth round, it was clear to everyone in the
church hall who would be the victor; the only remaining question was whether it
would go the distance. It did go all
six rounds, highlighting the major concern about Giuriceo moving forward among
the lightweights, his power. Despite landing flush power punches on Bell, he
was unable to really hurt his last-minute opponent. Although Bell, 6-8 (4), has
only one knockout loss on his résumé, Giuriceo, 11-0-1 (3), should have been
able to earn the stoppage, given the number of clean shots he was able to land.
co-feature bout of the evening was the fight of the night as Cleveland’s “Silky
Smooth” Miguel Gonzales, 17-2 (13), outpointed Christopher Fernandez, 19-13-1
(12), by the score of 100-87 on all three cards. However, the junior
welterweight fight was far more exciting than the scores would indicate.
first round saw Gonzales settling in and finding his range in a relatively
close round, punctuated by a nice right uppercut by Gonzales toward the end of
the stanza. Gonzales began throwing combinations in the second as well
attacking the body of Fernandez, forcing him to a knee midway in the round.
Fernandez recovered well but it appeared his time was limited.
effective movement to Fernandez’s left, the southpaw Gonzales had another
effective round in the third but the fourth, although won by Gonzales, was the
closest round of the fight to that point. It seemed the more Fernandez was
hurt, the harder and better he fought.
started going to the body less and tried to load up on big punches as the
middle rounds progressed. His footwork, as well, was less effective in creating
opportunities to score. Gonzales was still winning rounds but not hurting
Fernandez, as he did earlier.
turned the heat up again in round eight, landing a right uppercut with
Fernandez against the ropes, hurting him. Soon after, Gonzales landed flush
with a roundhouse left, sending Fernandez to the canvas again. Another uppercut
stunned Fernandez, who showed remarkable resolve to just survive the round.
the ninth round, Fernandez seemed ready to fight again, this time using the
only weapon he really had left: fouls. He threw a blatant low blow early in the
round, forcing the referee to halt the action and give a formal warning to
Fernandez. Not long after, Fernandez again doubled Gonzales over with a
south-of-the-border punch, resulting in a point deduction. Perhaps it was a
desperate measure to buy the time needed to recover after round eight or
Fernandez’s own way of extracting his pound of flesh in a losing effort.
way, the fight ended with Gonzales completing the shutout by winning the final
and earning the vacant WBF
International junior welterweight title. Yes the WBF is a joke but Gonzales is
a prospect worth watching.
starting his career 6-2, Gonzales’ last 11 fights resemble the path of a young
developing fighter. He should be regarded an 11-0 prospect, whose pro career
began in 2010. Keep an eye on this kid.
The card began with the
debut of Cleveland welterweight Derrick Moss against Daniel Crabtree of
Columbus, 0-2. In what should have been a easy night for Moss, he struggled to
a unanimous victory with one judge scoring the bout 39-37, while judges Stevie
Wonder and Ray Charles both scored it 40-36. Moss actually possesses a good jab
and scored a nice left hook 30 seconds into the bout. I just wonder how a young
man in his pro debut can be gassed by the third round; are you kidding me?
The second bout again
displayed some questionable scoring as Toledo’s Damar Singleton, 8-0 (4),
scored a majority decision over Grover Young, 5-2 (2), as two judges somehow
believed Singleton won three rounds. He didn’t. This fight was a draw, by
anyone’s definition. Singleton used his good left hook, combined with solid
body work to win the first two rounds. Then Young’s right hook began finding
its mark in round three and Singleton tired badly in round four as Young easily
took rounds three and four.
The only surprise in the
third fight of the evening was that middleweight Wilkins Santiago, 3-0 (1), of
Cleveland somehow failed to knockout or even knock down Columbus’ Russ
Niggemyer, 2-2 (2).
By the second round, Santiago
was teeing off on Niggemyer with impunity, as the latter was fatigued by the
halfway point of the stanza. It was one of the most lopsided fights you’ll ever
see at a club show that didn’t result in at least a knockdown.
Overall, it was a good show
and I give the promoters a lot of credit for holding things together in the
final days leading up to last Saturday, when fighters seemed to be dropping
like flies. But hold it together they did and for a ticket as low as $25 and
cold beers for $3, it was a great Saturday night .