By Derek Gionta, ringside: Roy Jones Jr. and TNT Sports Promotions made their first promotional appearance at the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in Chester, West Virginia on Saturday night, April 28th. The show featured Jake "The Bull" Giuriceo of Campbell, Ohio in the eight round main event and Butler, PA’s Brian "The Beast" Minto as the six round co-feature. Several other local prospects made appearances in the evening’s undercard at the popular fight venue known as "The Harv."
Giuriceo, 16-0-1 (3), outworked Denver, Colorado’s Juan "Chago" Santiago, 13-9-1 (8), over eight one-sided rounds by increasing his punch output and staying out of harm’s way over the course of the fight. While no knockdowns were scored, Giuriceo earned the unanimous decision by scores of 80-72 (twice) and 79-73. Giuriceo had little trouble landing punches from various angles, while slipping and rolling punches from Santiago. Giuriceo did little jabbing, however, his continued assault enabled him to walk away the clear winner of the this junior welterweight attraction.
Heavyweight Brian "The Beast" Minto returned to the ring following a third round knockout loss to Tony Grano this past January, scoring a first round knockout of Tennessee native Matt "Hurricane" Hicks, 13-7 (12). Minto landed a right hand to the head of Hicks, sending him to the canvas. Hicks returned to his feet with little support of his legs to maintain his 6’4" frame, prompting referee Tim Wheeler to call off the bout at 2:48 of the round. Minto, now 36-5 (23), will remain busy and look for bigger fights as he rejoins with former trainer Tom Yankello.
Super featherweight Joel Diaz Jr., 9-0 (8), of Palmdale, CA disposed of Colombian Yogli "Olafo" Herrera, 22-15 (15), of Miami, FL as Herrera did not answer the bell for the fifth round. Diaz Jr. scored a series of knockdowns over the first four rounds and gave Herrera a swollen right eye as the ringside doctor nearly called it off a round earlier.
Morgan "Big Chief" Fitch, 5-0 (3), of Pittsburgh, PA by way of New Orleans, scored a spectacular first round knockout over fellow super middleweight Romon "Abnormal" Barber, 2-1 (2), of Wichita, Kansas. Fitch landed a right hand to the face of Barber scoring his first knockdown. Seconds later he landed another big right hand that sent Barber down and out at the 2:27 mark. Barber was on his back for minutes before the decision was announced.
Monessen, PA welterweight Sammy Vasquez Jr., 2-0 (1), entered the professional ring for the second time this month and pounded out a dominant four round unanimous decision over veteran Damon Antoine, 9-36-2 (4), of Akron, Ohio. The former Olympic hopeful scored a knockdown and two standing eight counts en route to lopsided scorecards of 40-34 (twice) and 40-33.
Pittsburgh welterweight Billy "The Boilermaker" Hutchinson, 3-1-1 (2), avenged a draw in his most recent outing against Augustin Cicero, 0-2-1, of Indiana. Hutchinson landed the bigger blows in the first two rounds, mainly a left hook that found its target with frequency. Cicero made a nice comeback in the third landing some good shots of his own. Hutchinson needed to close the show in the fourth and final round to secure the win, and did so in similar fashion to the fight’s opening rounds. Final scores were 39-37 x 3 for Hutchinson.
Light heavyweight Jaque "Lights Out" Lutz, 5-0 (2), of Pittsburgh, PA scored a four round unanimous decision over "Tiger" Michael Wilmer, 3-3 (2), of Huntington, West Virginia. Lutz fought out of his traditional orthodox stance for over half of the fight, while switching to southpaw for a good portion of the second and third rounds. Lutz landed the bigger blows and had good movement, but was countered at times when Wilmer fought off of the ropes. In the end the decision went to Lutz in an obvious 39-37 score across the board.
In an amateur bout, heavyweight Josh "The Handsome Hitman" Himes, the former 201lb Pennsylvania Golden Gloves champ, of Monaca, PA outgunned Josh Farley of Coshocton, Ohio over three rounds.
The favorable crowd in attendance will have an opportunity to witness more boxing at "The Harv" before the year ends as Promoter Troy Ridgley, of TNT Promotions, expressed an interest in returning to the venue two more times this year. The matchmaker for the event was Mark Yankello.
April 28, 2012