On Friday night in Cleveland, Jake “The Bull” Giuriceo got two knockdowns, a sore right hand and a little bit of redemption.
Giuriceo (6-0-1, 2 KOs) scored a unanimous decision victory over journeyman James Ventry in a six-round welterweight bout at Cleveland State University. It was his first fight since earning a draw against Henry White Jr. on the undercard of Kelly Pavlik’s December 19 bout in Youngstown.
“The draw definitely was motivation,” said Giuriceo, a Campbell High graduate who lives in Struthers. “I felt like I had something to prove. I wanted to show the crowd that I have some power, so I went in there trying to knock him out.
“I’m happy I dropped him twice.”
Giuriceo scored knockdowns in the first and sixth rounds. He used a flurry of punches, including a right hand to the face, to score the first knockdown, but ended up hurting his hand that round. It bothered him through the rest of the bout — “I couldn’t turn it over,” he said — but he was able to get through it.
“I hurt it almost every pro fight so far,” he said, when asked if he’s hurt his hand before. “I definitely could have knocked him out [if he hadn’t hurt his hand].”
Giuriceo gave Ventry (7-10-1) credit for his toughness — “He kept coming forward,” he said — and his ability to fight inside, but Ventry was never able to hurt him and Giuriceo said he stayed in control through the entire fight.
Giuriceo, who trains under Keith Burnside, entered the night with an outside chance of getting on ESPN’s Friday Night Boxing, but both televised bouts went the distance so he didn’t end up fighting until about 11:30 p.m.
“It was a long night,” said Giuriceo, who first got to the locker room around 6. “I just sat back, relaxed and waited and waited.”
Giuriceo felt he should have earned a unanimous decision victory against White in December and said he’ll “definitely” get a rematch. Until then, he plans to stay in shape and get ready for his next bout.
“I’m always anxious to get back in the ring,” he said. “I feel a little better after every fight.
“I’m ready to go again.”