It was the only knockout in the 36-bout card at Hubbard High gym.
By BOB ROTH
HUBBARD -- A big crowd was on hand Wednesday night at the Hubbard High gymnasium for the second night of action in the KO Drugs High School Boxing Tournament.
This was a night of elimination for some and advancement for others as 36 bouts were fought, with six fighters winning by default when their opponents failed to show.
In the bouts contested, 21 were won by decision, 11 were stopped by the referee, there were two retirements and two were judged as draws.
One was an actual knockout, with Dana Mathews from Keystone nailing Cody Cooper of Poland with a big right in an underclass division heavyweight battle.
Justin Wess of Hubbard, who had a win by default last week and is a two-time KO Drugs champion, opened the upperclass division bouts with a decision over tough Rommel Cortez from Boardman.
Experience and body punching won it for the Hubbard senior, who wrestles for the Eagles. He took the lead in a close fight with barrages that resulted in two standing eight counts for Cortez in the third.
Wess said his plan was to use the body shots. "Working to the body opens things upstairs for shots to the head," he said.
Others staying alive
Anthony Smith and Lidel Hilson of Hubbard stayed alive in the tournament, coming back from defeats with big wins. Smith threw shots from all angles in a decision victory, that included a pair of standing eight counts against his opponent, Tim Morgan from Girard.
"I came out swinging not wanting this fight to be by decision and it still was, but this time I won," said Smith, competing in the super middleweight division.
Hilson, who lost to Boardman's George Key last week, came out throwing bombs against Howland's Lanny Crawford with the latter taking an eight count in the second round, just before the referee stopped the fight.
"I had to show this guy some power early," said Hilson, a heavyweight.
Also in the upperclass division, Boardman's Tom Andres won a decision over Greenville's Jeff Myers in a super heavyweight bout, and heavyweight Tom Haynes won a decision over Leetonia's Bob Wining.
Haynes, a senior who played football at Boardman, said, "Wining and I are good friends, but after the first round I had to get serious."
A super heavyweight who was serious was Chaney's 6-foot-5, 250-pound Joshua Rosa, who stopped Brian Harris from Sharon in the third round. Harris was staggered in round two by Rosa.
"That guy was tough, but I tagged him with a good right," said Rosa.
Another good upperclass heavyweight fight was Liberty's Brandon Winner, earning a decision over Boardman's Cody Kelly.
Fitch's upperclass lightheavyweight, Mark Matzye, left hooked his way to a decision over Sharpsville's Tyler Greene, who took two standing eight counts in the first two rounds.
Another standout upperclass bout, a middleweight bout between Liberty's Lawrence Clinkscale and Howland's Jason Cronenwett. Cronenwett came away with a decision saying, "He was hard, I thought I had him and I didn't, with the third round a difference for me."
In the underclass division, three Campbell fighters won consecutive fights, two in the lightheavyweight class and a heavyweight bout.
Heavyweight Xavier Vega stopped Mark Rabinek of Keystone, who didn't answer the bell for the third round.
Campbell's Jose Mateo won a decision over Hubbard's Ben Lane and Dan Stucky stopped Ursuline's Nathan Paul in round two.
"Soon as I hit him with the first punch I knew I had him," said Stucky.
Next Wednesday's card will start at 7 p.m. and will include some semifinal-round bouts.