KO DRUGS TOURNAMENT Poland boxers feature finals gaining six titles
The Bulldogs had 10 fighters in the finals and also added two draws.
By BOB ROTH
LIBERTY -- Before a crowd of more than 600 fans at the old Liberty High gymnasium, Poland High boxers won six championships to highlight the final evening of the 14th KO Drugs High School Boxing Tournament.
Poland fighters were involved in 10 title bouts. They also earned two draws.
Ramun's dominate: Mike Ramun (4-0) was one of three Ramuns's who won championships. He stopped Justin Hollobaugh of Reynolds to win the upperclass junior middleweight crown.
Dan Ramun (4-0), Matt's brother, won the underclass featherweight crown over Mike Sackela of Austintown Fitch, and their cousin, Matt Ramun, overcame a case of bronchitis to defeat Campbell Memorial's Juan Vega in the underclass bantamweight title bout.
"It bothered me some, but I knew I had to keep busy if I was going to beat this guy," said Matt Ramun.
Mike, the oldest of the three, was in Dan's corner for his fight. "Mike told me to work left jabs, straight rights and uppercuts," said Dan Ramun.
Poland's Justin Hoffman won the underclass welterweight title and Mike Jones worked his left hook to win a decision over Campbell's Yianni Skoutellis in the underclass middleweight championship.
In the upperclass junior middleweight bout, Poland's Jerrid Lijan stopped Travis Bond in the first round.
In the upperclass lightweight and super-lightweight bouts, Lou Zamudio and Joe Merolillo of Poland earned co-championships with draws.
Close bout: Ursuline's Rob Smaltz defeated Poland's Greg Simcox in an upperclass light-heavyweight bout that was close throughout.
One of the most anticipated fights was for the upperclass heavyweight title, between Chris Koval and Josh Hansen of Warren JFK.
Koval, now 16-0 all-time in the tournament, won the bout by decision.
"I thought I could take him out in the first round when I hit him with some good shots," said Koval, a senior at Fitch, "but, he took them and stayed with me."
The bout got rather hectic after the second round bell, when both fighters continued punching.
Award winners: Koval was voted the most promising upperclass boxer.
Votes for the best underclass boxer went to John Loew, who used a two-fisted attack to stop Keystone's Chas Brier in the first round to win the junior welterweight title.
"I just came out with my jab to his face and tagged him with good rights, doing what I had to do to win," said Loew.
Woodrow Wilson fighters Joe'mon Gilbert and Dwayne Pompey won titles in the underclass light-heavyweight and upperclass middleweight classes, respectively.
Gilbert used a straight right to get a decision over Eric Gustafson from Columbiana, and Pompey survived a slugfest with Campbell's Albert Holland.
"I knew I could win if I took the fight to him," said Pompey.
Struthers' twins Jed and Jeremiah Hill split their fights. Jed used a third-round rally to get the nod of Tylon Cousin of Keystone in the underclass heavyweight fight, while Jeremiah was decisioned by Greenville's Ryan Lindsay in the super-heavyweight bout.
Another good fight featured Johnny Mallory of Warren Harding decisioning Campbell's Jim Gigax in the upperclass cruiserweight fight.
Another good underclass fight saw Girard's Mark Grdinich stop Larry Starr of Hubbard in the third round of their junior middleweight fight.
"I knew I had to come after this guy and not give him a chance to get set," said Grdinich.
Female winners: Among the 27 champions were female boxers Kelly Bako of Mineral Ridge and Amanda Markowitz of Liberty.
Bako, who participates in three sports, stopped her opponent in the third round.
"Nobody's going to walk over me because I love to fight," she said.