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17 NOVEMBER 2018

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Pinnacle Boxing Championships Hosts Successful Pro-Am in Pittsburgh

By Derek Gionta:


Club-level boxing made a major impact in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh on Saturday night, 2/27, at the Teamsters Union Hall with a seven-bout Pro-Am card promoted by Pinnacle Boxing Championships.


The venue located minutes outside of downtown Pittsburgh was packed with boxing fans of all ages from VIP stage seating, floor tables, to balcony level, with the remainder of fans standing along the outskirts of the hall floor.


Promoter Matt Leyshock, a well-known MMA promoter in Pittsburgh, is now looking to brand the Pinnacle name in the sport of boxing. Having some roots in the sport, Leyshock’s promotional cross-over was a near seamless process. A few MMA fighters with boxing backgrounds took the stage in amateur and pro fights, as well as some decorated boxers looking to advance their careers. All had a nice following of fans.


Working alongside matchmaker Chris Williams, the Pinnacle crew put together match-ups of names recognized by locals. But most importantly, the match-ups were set well in advance allowing for build-up and excitement, which did not fall short of impressive.


Local welterweight Bill "Hutch" Hutchinson, 10-1-4, 5 KO’s, headlined the event, winning a competitive six rounder against Fairchance, PA’s Eric "The Gentleman" Palmer, 8-10-3, 1 KO, by unanimous decision. The scores of 60-54 X 2 and 59-55 were not indicative of the consistent nip and tuck action throughout the fight. Hutchinson picked his shots, landing a lead left hook to the body consistently over the duration. Palmer withstood Hutchinson’s best onslaught in the fifth round and worked his way through the final bell, finishing his second fight in a two-week span. Hutchinson, a big ticket seller in the region, has a professional MMA bout under his belt as well as a BKB appearance.


Pittsburgh middleweight Gerald "G5" Sherrell, 1-0, 1 KO, won his debut in exciting fashion with a first round TKO over Turner Williams, 1-1, of Beckley, WV. Sherrell, the former #4 ranked amateur in the United States, was recently signed to a managerial deal with Mike McSorley and JJ Richardson’s Integrity Fighter Management Company.


The slick orthodox fighter patiently walked down and dropped the southpaw Williams three times as referee Chris Riskus called off the fight at the end of the round. Williams was taken out of the ring on a stretcher but was released from medical observation the next day.


Weirton, WV middleweight Justin "The Hawk" Steave, 3-0, 1 KO, finished off Henry Mercer, 1-6, 1 KO, of North Carolina at the mid-point of the third round following multiple knockdowns. Steave, also a professional MMA fighter, stalked his southpaw opponent throughout the fight, wearing down Mercer with single power shots to the head and body.


In the opening professional bout of the night, Rock Nation Sports’ Wellington Arias Romero AKA W.A.R., 10-0-1, 5 KOs, of the Dominican Republic, stopped Nicaragua’s Carlos "El Guerrero" Velasquez, 24-23-2, 14 KO’s, at the end of the opening round. The two were scheduled for six rounds at junior welterweight.


Romero, a southpaw, dropped Velasquez towards the end of the round. Making it to his feet by the nine count, Velasquez slowly back pedaled giving referee Chris Riskus no choice but to stop the fight.


The amateur portion of the card was an exciting three-fight start to the night, with local amateur Sylvio Cercone (Pittsburgh Boxing Club) winning a decision in the opening bout against Cameron Donnelley (Mt Washington) in a competitive, pleasing fight to watch. The two 125-lb boxers compete in the cadet division. Rich Cantolina (Cherico Martial Arts) defeated Cortland Woodard (Pittsburgh Boxing Club) by a unanimous decision in a 155-lb bout. Cantolina boxed well from the outside against his shorter, muscular opponent. The final amateur fight saw 180-lb Gregg Rudolph (Cherico Martial Arts) earn a decision victory over John Jaquay (Pittsburgh Boxing Club) in a close, competitive fight with no knockdowns or standing eight-counts recorded.


Local fighters in attendance were former IBF lightweight champion Paul Spadafora, a pair of undefeated heavyweights Ed Latimore and Fred Latham, as well as undefeated welterweight Amonte Eberhardt.


The Lawrenceville region of Pittsburgh has seen a lot of build-up over recent years with local businesses and real estate taking off. Professional boxing once thrived in the Pittsburgh area with names like Billy Conn, Harry Greb, Charley Burley, and Fritzie Zivic representing the city. With a hopeful surge of local pro boxing, the night was a step in the right direction. Pinnacle Boxing Championships plans to continue promoting at this venue, with the next fight card scheduled for April 2nd.


February 29, 2016


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