By GREG GULAS
With threatening weather never materializing, boxer Jake Giuriceo withstood the elements and a nearly 70-minute delay to correct a lighting problem on Saturday at Bob Cene Park.
Giuriceo earned a hard-fought, unanimous decision over Ramesis Gil at the “Destruction on the Diamond” fight card.
“He [Gil] was a very, very tough opponent and this was a good, strong fight,” Giuriceo said. “He was a real warrior; a tough guy who knows exactly how to fight.”
The judges — Phil Rogers (77-75), John Kikta (78-74) and Jamie Garayua (78-74) — agreed that the Campbell native was the winner as he improved to 13-0-1 (3 KOs) to remain undefeated professionally.
Gil, a native of Santo Domingo, D.R., fell to 6-3-4 overall, losing his third straight decision after starting off 6-0-4 professionally.
”After this fight, I felt a little bit different,” Giuriceo said. “I felt much better in the ring tonight.
“I felt like the aggressor, landing a lot more of my punches and in the process really learned a lot,” Giuriceo said.
“It helped that I had him on the ropes throughout the fight,” Giuriceo said. “It’s also a great feeling to be able to fight in front of both family and friends.”
In the co-main feature, Miguel Gonzales (19-2, 13 KOs) scored a unanimous decision over Tyrone “Fist of Fury” Harris (24-8, 16 KOs) of Lansing, Mich.
Austintown native Chris Koval made a successful return to the ring, albeit 75 pounds lighter when he scored a majority decision over James Porter (5-16, KO) of Terre Haute, Ind.
“It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win and I’ll take it,” Koval said. “I had only three days of sparring and I guess I expected a little more out of myself tonight.
“His record wasn’t indicative of how tough a fighter he actually was,” Koval said. “His body was open so I took advantage of that, but otherwise we both worked really hard in the ring.
“I wanted to test myself and that is exactly what happened tonight,” Koval said.
Gonzales remained undefeated in three fights on Youngstown soil.
“I really like fighting in Youngstown and tonight’s fight outside was an excellent setting,” Gonzales said.
In the opening fight of the night, Derrick Evans (2-0, 2 KOs) of Utica, N.Y., needed just a minute and 37 seconds to dispose of Ashtabula’s Aaron DuFour (2-2), knocking him down three times in the opening round to claim his second straight professional victory.
Cleveland’s Jason “Big Daddy” Massie (7-0, 4 KOs) won by majority decision over Mujaheed Moore (4-5) of Shaker Heights in heavyweight action.
Nicolai “The Mountain Man” Firtha (20-8, 8 KOs) took advantage of the break to score a unanimous decision over Ross “The Boss Thompson (27-16-3, 17 KOs), also in heavyweight action.
Honored for their dedication to sandlot baseball were Bob Cene, Sr.; Dr. Raul A. Hernandez; Bob Jones, Sr.; Mike Goldstone; and Rudy Granito.
“The group being honored loved baseball so much that they took it upon themselves to sign a bank note in order to make lighting, field and press box improvements to both Pemberton Park and Oakland Field some four decades ago,” said Mike Cefalde of Lights Out Productions.
“Those improvements for both our Class B and Class AA Leagues were necessary and it really helped resurrect sandlot baseball in the area,” Cefalde said.
“New leagues and the development of the Cene Park Complex then took the area sandlot game to the next level,” Cefalde said.
Proceeds from a hand-painted, autographed picture of Giuriceo and Gonzales, the 50/50 raffle and sales of Budweiser umbrellas were earmarked for the Ashley Jane Stottlemire Fund.