By Derek Gionta: Amonte "The Magician" Eberhardt, 4-0 (1), remained undefeated on Saturday night (4/2), winning an impressive six round unanimous decision at the Teamster’s Hall in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh. This event was the second installment of Pinnacle Boxing Championships, witnessed by a packed house.
Eberhardt, a Pittsburgh native of sixty-plus amateur fights and a 2012 PA Golden Gloves championship, was called on short notice to face another Pittsburgh native and big ticket seller Billy "Hutch" Hutchinson, 10-2-4 (5).
The Pinnacle Boxing Championships promotion, ran by Matt Leyshock, executed their second show in five weeks, leaving the fans with four pro bouts that were nothing short of exciting and of the old-school flavor this town once carried during its boxing heydays.
Hutchinson headlined the first Pinnacle show on February 27th. Prior to his next headline under the Pinnacle banner, the initial opponent fell through, leaving matchmaker Chris Williams and the crew to fill the spot. Hutchinson and Eberhardt both obliged to this offer just above the welterweight limit. Either could have walked the other way and made a safer "business move" but the old-school mentality of both saved the show.
Eberhardt, with a size advantage, started the fight boxing on the outside, with Hutchinson looking to make his way inside, pulling the trigger on his signature left hook to the body.
As the rounds progressed, Eberhardt threw combinations, countered, and used his feet to initiate action and keep Hutchinson at bay as he looked to move forward and pressure with body shots. Many fans in attendance seemed shocked at the ability of Eberhardt to take over the fight.
By the fight’s conclusion, the result was clear and decisive with judges scoring it 60-54 x 2 and 59-55.
Eberhardt, now trained by former pro and 4-time PA Golden Glove champion Dan Connolly, has shown the same flare that earned him a State Golden Glove championship over Philadelphia’s Damon Allen in an amateur fight for the ages.
"This game is life or death for me," said Eberhardt.
"Experience is the best teacher and it has taught me while boxing that you should never stop learning and to take everyone seriously."
Eberhardt, having defeated undefeated Erik Spring last September, and now Hutchinson, will not be hard to convince into bigger fights moving forward.
Pittsburgh’s Gerald "G5" Sherrell, 2-0 (1), won a dominant decision over super middleweight Josh Fisher, 1-2 (1), of Bellaire, Ohio over four rounds. Sherrell dictated the pace and had his way whether the two fought from the outside or in the clinch. Fisher remained game but was out-gunned by a better boxer. Judges scored it 40-35 across the board.
Pittsburgh’s Larry Blakey, 3-4 (1), defeated Pittsburgh’s debuting Shane "In Ya Face" Chojnacki, 0-1, at a contract weight of 185 lbs. Chojnacki, sporting an MMA background, went after the southpaw Blakey from the opening bell up through the end of the first stanza. Blakey remained calm and kept a high guard, catching a number of punches on his gloves. The round went to Chojnacki. In the second round, Blakey began to open up and counter a wide open Chojnacki with right hooks, body shots, and looping left hands. A counter shot sending Chojnacki into the ropes triggered an eight-count from referee Chris Riskus. Blakey again sent the muscular Chojnacki into the ropes, as he dropped down in a defenseless position into the ropes. Blakey was told to step back and withhold his onslaught. Moments later a clean knockdown by Blakey secured more of a margin on the cards. Chojnacki was resilient making it to the final bell, but the more experienced Blakey walked away with the unanimous decision by scores of 39-35 x 2 and 38-36.
Debuting Mark Daley, of Pittsburgh, 0-0-1, fought to a competitive draw against Virginia’s Roque Zapata, 0-0-1, over four rounds of action at the 152-lb limit. Daley started fast and looked to box from the outside while Zapata pressured and lured his taller opponent into a phone booth. Daley was cut over the left eye and had what looked to be a broken nose early in the fight from head butts. His corner was able to alleviate the damage in between rounds but the back and forth action was anything but dull. Judges scored the fight 39-37 for Zapata, 39-37 for Daley and 38-38.
A number of current and former professional boxers were part of the packed crowd, such as Morgan Fitch, Rod Salka, Fred Latham Jr, and Steve Upsher Chambers.
Pinnacle has already announced their next event for July 2nd, which will likely present good match-ups for the local Pittsburgh fight fans.
April 4, 2016