By Derek Gionta, ringside: Sammy Vasquez Jr. made his first headline assignment a successful one. In front of over 1,000 fans at the Rostraver Ice Garden in Belle Vernon, PA on Friday night (8/17), the former Olympic hopeful, PAL National champion, and All Army and Armed Forces Gold medalist, easily defeated West Virginia’s Austin Marcum by a devastating first round knockout.
Vasquez entered the ring with a perfect 4-0 record decked out in his Army fatigues and accompanied by training stable mate Jeff Spencer and his usual corner crew behind a herd of raucous fans sporting Team Vasquez shirts.
Vasquez started patiently behind his jab in the opening moments of the first round. Soon after the Monessen, PA southpaw landed a straight left hand to the head of Marcum, 2-2 (1). Marcum retreated to the ropes near his corner and was again caught with a precise straight left to the head. Vasquez smelled blood, knocking down Marcum with a flurry of punches. Marcum got back to his feet before referee Ernie Sharif reached the eight count, but immediately fell back to the canvas. Time of the stoppage was 1:46.
Vasquez, now 5-0 with 3 knockouts, plans to fight from 147 to 154 lbs as he continues to make a surge as a prospect to be reckoned with. At 26, he’s moving at the right pace.
In the co-main event, heavyweight Jason "Iron Man’ Bergman, 20-9-2 (13), of Adah, PA won a six round unanimous decision over Paris, Tennessee native Rodricka Ray, 4-6-1 (2).
After a quiet opening round, Bergman, a southpaw, scored a knockdown with a straight left behind a feint that sent Ray to the canvas, catching him off balance. He proved to be ok from the blow but his work rate did not prove that he was winning any rounds as Bergman continued to pressure and look for openings. Ray’s best counter by this point was grabbing Bergman when the two met in close quarters.
Ray landed a nice right hand in the fifth that caught Bergman’s attention. Bergman shook his head and continued pressuring.
Ray’s best round was the final as he landed a couple of nice right hands behind his jab. He won the round but it was too little too late. The judges scored the fight 58-55 x 2 and 59-54 for Bergman, now on an 11 fight winning streak.
The second bout of the night featured two junior welterweights making their debut. Eric Palmer (1-0) of Uniontown, PA out boxed Pittsburgh’s Dante Ruberto (0-1) over four rounds of action. Palmer, the more nimble fighter, kept the fight on the outside and threw continuous left hooks to deter the stalking of Ruberto. Ruberto did most of his punching from the inside, which found the target very little. An inspiring effort by Ruberto in the fourth was met with Palmer’s check hook often enough to lose the round.
All three judges scored the fight for Palmer, 40-36 x 2 and 39-37.
In the opening bout of the night, light heavyweight Jeff "TNT" Spencer, 2-0, of Colorado Springs, Colorado outgunned a game Tristan "TNT" Todd, 4-2 (2), over four rounds. Both fighters were in shape and well trained. Spencer was the stronger, more slick of the two, but had to work hard to keep Todd from imposing his will. He did just that with a series of combos, opening a cut over the left eye of Todd. The fight was competitive but the decision was never in doubt. The judges scored the bout 40-36 and 39-37 x 2. Spencer is also an All Army and Armed Forces Champion.
Luke Gloeckl (Pittsburgh Boxing) W Dec over Colson Koontz (Rimsek’s Boxing)-123 lbs
John Ladasky (South Park Boxing) W Dec over Damon Ealy (Bridgeville Boxing)-178 lbs
Cory Imbreskia (Rimsek’s Boxing) W Dec over Jeremy Tissenbaum (South Park Boxing)-141 lbs
Matt Conway (South Park Boxing) W Dec over DeAndre Alford (Rimsek’s Boxing)-141 lbs
The 8 bout pro-am card was presented by Rod Salka’s Team Salka Promotions and Team Vasquez
August 17, 2012