By Greg Gulas
It has been 133 days since local boxer Jake Giuriceo (16-1-1, 3 KOs) absorbed the first loss of his professional career, a majority decision suffered at the hands of an aging Michael Clark on July 21 at the Columbus Lifestyle Pavilion.
It’s a loss that still stings him today and caused a shakeup in his camp.
But, he’s turned it into a positive, using it as his motivation in the past 17 weeks by reflecting on what went wrong while thinking what could have been during preparation for his light welterweight clash tonight against WBO African title challenger Peter Oluoch (11-6-2, 6 KOs) of Nairobi, Kenya.
The fight will take place on the undercard of the Paul Spadafora (46-0-1, 19 KOs) vs. Solomon Egberime (22-3-1, 11 KOs) light welterweight main event at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in Chester, W.Va.
“I had just gotten married and my mind wasn’t right for that fight with Clark,” Giuriceo said. “We prepared for a toe-to-toe brawl, which was wrong and while I felt like I should have beaten him, I just felt like I wasn’t growing with Keith [Burnside]. We didn’t make the necessary adjustments.
“While Keith is still a part of the team, I felt like I was growing more with Frankie Duarte, a trainer who has worked with me on and off the past two years. I’ve worked with him the past 10 weeks or so out in California and we’ve been focusing on everything. Mental preparation is just as important as physical preparation,” he added.
Giuriceo had gone 16-0-1 before his first loss. Oluoch will enter the ring tonight having lost four of his last five fights after winning seven in a row.
“I have seen just one film of Peter [Oluoch] but in studying and breaking down his style, he seems to be a tough opponent who will come prepared to fight. My style is inside and that is where I want to fight him,” Giuriceo said. “I feel like I will have to throw some loops to get to that left jab and then counter with my right if I expect to be successful tonight.” While Giuriceo feels that he is right where he should be weight-wise for tonight’s fight (he weighed in at a little over 141 pounds), Duarte feels like he is knocking on the door and with a win, will continue to move up the ladder of contention.
“Jake is a tough fighter who is ready to get to the next level, which is why it is so important to win tonight. He’s shown a big improvement over his last two training camps and things seem to be clicking for him right now,” Duarte said.
In addition to the 10-round main event between Spadafora and Egberime and Giuriceo’s eight-round scrap with Oluoch, an eight-round super featherweight pairing between Monty Meza-Clay (33-3, 21 KOs) and Emmanuel “The Butcher” Lucero (26-12-1, 14 KOs) is also slated.
Other bouts include a six-round light welterweight battle between Billy “Hutch” Hutchinson (4-1-2, 2 KOs) and Jose “The Puerto Rican Prince” Caraballo (5-4, KO), and a six-round super middleweight pairing between “Big Chief” Morgan Fitch (7-0, 3 KO’s) and Cameron Allen (4-11, 2 KO’s).
The night also will feature the pro boxing debut of MMA favorite Joey “The Hitman” Holt of East Liverpool against veteran Alan Moore (3-17, 2 KOs) in a light middleweight pairing with a prelude bout featuring Steubenville’s Angelo Magnone set prior to the first professional bout.