By Derek Gionta, ringside: Pinnacle Boxing Championships returned to the Teamsters Union Hall in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh on Saturday night, 7/2, hosting an eight-bout card of locals, a former world champion, and a hopeful world champion on the rise.
Local Pittsburgh middleweight Gerald "G5" Sherrell headlined the event in a four rounder. In association with Don King, the card also featured a trio of King fighters, most notably Amir "Young Master" Imam.
Promoter Matt Leyshock and matchmaker Chris Williams hosted their third card this year and brought in experienced matchmaker Dave Bowers, whom has worked extensively under Don King .
In the main event of the night, middleweight Gerald "G5" Sherrell, 3-0 (2), of Pittsburgh, dominated late sub Keith Bullock, 0-2, of Shelby Township, Michigan in one round.
Sherrell, handled by Integrity Fighter Management and trained by Darren Dolby, landed a left hook sending Bullock to the canvas for the first time early in the round. Two knockdowns later, both a result of a Sherrell right hand, were enough for referee Ernie Sharif to halt the bout at the 2:30 mark.
In the evening’s co-feature bout, WBC #5 rated junior welterweight Amir "Young Master" Imam, 19-1 (16), of Albany, NY, scorched the out-matched Wilfredo "El Zurdo" Acuna, 16-20 (12), of Nicaragua in the third round of a scheduled six.
The speed and reflexes of Imam, trained by Stacey McKinley, were too much for Acuna, who surrendered after another Imam flurry sent him retreating to his corner at the 1:11 mark of the round.
Imam, coming off of an upset loss at the hands of Adrian Granados, got back in the win column and will continue his path towards a world title. He commented briefly after the fight, " I feel good. I’m ready to get back on track."
Former WBA cruiserweight champion Guillermo "El Felino" Jones, 41-3-2 (31), of Miami by way of Colon, Panama, earned a hard-fought six round majority decision over Philadelphia’s Garrett Wilson, 16-11-1 (9).
Jones, promoted by Don King and ranked 15th by the WBA, out boxed the always game Wilson. A former ranked cruiserweight, Wilson has his fair share of big victories and gritty performances despite his usual height disadvantage.
Jones worked his jab to the face of Wilson early on, while Wilson threw looping punches to the 6’4" frame of Jones. Throughout the next few rounds Wilson threatened to land an overhand right and left hook that could’ve spelled danger for the former champion. Jones showed poise and savvy to stay on his game and pump his jab while dropping occasional body shots on Wilson.
A cut surfaced over the right eye of Wilson in the fifth, but it did not deter the Philly fighter known as "The Ultimate Warrior" from swinging for the fences.
Jones withstood the barrage and earned the win by scores of 57-57 and 59-55 x 2.
Heavyweight Trevor Bryan, 17-0 (11), of NY, now living in Miami, Florida, defeated journeyman Galen Brown, 44-34-1 (25), of Saint Joseph, Missouri over six rounds of action.
Bryan, also promoted by Don King, and ranked 10th by the WBA, kept Brown at bay with a stiff jab and straight right hands to the head and body of the tricky vet of 80-plus fights.
Brown excited the crowd a bit with his tricky style and spurts of taunting, but Bryan never lost composure and put together a one-sided breakdown of Brown, 60-54 across the board.
Junior middleweight Justin "The Hawk" Steave, 4-0 (2), of Weirton, WV scored a second round TKO over rugged Charleston, WV’s Joel Guevara, 3-1 (2), with a left hook to the head that Guevara never fully recovered from.
Guevara came out strong in the opening round, pumping his jab consistently and putting combinations behind it. Steave handled the onslaught well but wasn’t busy enough to earn the round on my scorecard.
Steave was more active in the second, and landed a left hook to the head of Guevara, sending him to the canvas. Guevara was back on his feet by referee Ernie Sharif’s eight-count, but could not keep his balance and wobbled along the ropes prompting the stoppage.
Pittsburgh’s Sam "The Butcher" Suska, 4-3 (3), scored a third round TKO over Ohio’s Rick Morias, 2-5, in the evening’s "Fight of the Night."
The two squared off, following an intense stare down, as Suska began attacking from the opening bell. Morias boxed patiently, picking his shots and using the ring to alleviate Suska’s attack.
Suska continued to pressure and land heavy shots to the head and body in the next two rounds. Backing Morias into the ropes, Suska gave him no room to breathe, opening a cut over Morias’ left eye in the ensuing round.
Morias looked gassed and had little response for Suska by the middle of the third as the Pittsburgh native continued his attack, and referee Chris Riskus rightfully calling it off at the 1:32 mark.
Popular Pittsburgh super welterweight Mark Daley, 1-0-1 (1), earned his first professional victory with a dominant TKO over Brandon Davis, 1-4, of Van Wert, OH. Daley scored a late knockdown in the first, which Davis seemed to be controlling prior, followed by two more knockdowns in the second. As the round progressed, the southpaw Davis began fighting wildly and calling Daley on after each punch thrown. Davis’ corner stopped the fight before the third round.
Charleston, West Virginia’s Prientkes Sanders, 2-0-1, fought to a majority draw with Adah, PA’s Eric Palmer, 8-10-4 (1), in the opening bout of the evening. Each of the four rounds were close with Sanders fighting out of a tight orthodox stance and boxing behind his jab while Palmer took more of an awkward approach and fired off his fair share of power punches from various angles while neglecting his jab early on. After two close opening rounds, Palmer began shooting more jabs to Sanders’ upper body, while Sanders found his right hand landing to the head of Palmer consistently. A back and forth final stanza saw Sanders capitalize, landing a nice left hook to Palmer’s body. The judges’ tallies were 39-37 Sanders and two scores of 38-38. Secondsout scored the fight 39-37 for Sanders.
July 5, 2016