By Greg Gulas
The 27th annual K.O. Drugs High School Boxing Tournament continues Thursday with 33 bouts scheduled for the Shops at North Lima Business Complex (the former South Range High School), 11836 South Avenue, North Lima.
The semifinal round will feature 17 underclass and 16 upperclass division matchups with 28 winners from last week’s opening night looking to remain undefeated in second-round action.
“Our motto this week is you win and you’re in. With 66 high school hopefuls needing a win in order to advance to the championship round, we expect semi-final action to be competitive and heated,” tournament founder and director Chuck Nelson said. “We were extremely pleased with the heart and skill that all fighters displayed on the opening night of the tournament.”
In upperclass action, two bouts will feature undefeated combatants when Logan Malik of Lisbon takes on Mike Sullivan of Struthers in a middleweight clash while Lakeview’s Gavin Clark goes up against Mathew Wood of Mohawk in a junior middleweight pairing.
Other fighters looking for a second consecutive win include junior welterweights Addison Richards (Youngstown Christian) and Chase Johnson (Lisbon), welterweight Riquan Jones (Farrell); middleweight Rashan Bell (Youngstown Christian), super middleweights Davonte Gist (Beaver Local) and Eric Liston, cruiserweight Jesse Burkey), heavyweights Dominic Martucci (Neshannock) and Colten Nitzsky (Jackson-Milton) and super heavyweights Sam Steininger (Western Reserve) and Danny Donohue (Lisbon).
Making their upperclass debuts will be Chris Edie of Western Reserve and Ashtin Hellman of MCCTC (both junior welterweights); Dominick D’Amico (MCCTC), who will meet Leetonia’s Josh Faulkner in a welterweight scrap; junior middleweight Nathaniel Bair (MCCTC); super middleweight Kevin Carbone (Howland); cruiserweight Zane Henricksen (Home School) and super heavyweights Tymere Dubose of Youngstown Christian and South Range’s Garrett Sorley.
Underclass action includes 13 initial winners with featherweight’s Alex Burson (Western Reserve) taking on Canfield’s Kyle West and junior middleweight Mike Zarbaugh (McDonald) going up against Liberty’s Devan Treharn, each of whom trying to remain undefeated in the tourney and hoping to fill a slot in next week’s championship round.
Other underclass fighters looking to remain undefeated are bantamweights Portez Smith and Re’yan Hammonds, both from Farrell; featherweight Jonathan Swoboda (South Range); lightweight Terrance Holloway (Farrell); welterweight David Scyoc (Lisbon); junior middleweight Richard Palmer (Niles McKinley); middleweight Jason Blosser (Howland) and light heavyweights Kody Kolarik (South Range) and Noah Arness (Poland).
Making their underclass debuts are Warren Harding’s Chris Robinson (lightweight); Farrell’s Malick Moody (lightweight); junior welterweight Sage Trexler-Johnson (Champion); junior middleweight Marcus Brunelle (New Castle) and crusierweights Franky Ruiz (Champion), David Basista, III (Southington) and Bryan Montgomery.
Ruiz and Basista will meet each other in one cruiserweight pairing while a light heavyweight match-up will feature South Range Raiders schoolmates Kody Kolarik and Austin Piper.
The event remains open to high school boys and girls in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties in Ohio, and Lawrence and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania.
The double-elimination tournament will conclude April 10 with champions crowned in underclass, upperclass and its female divisions.
Tickets are $9 for students and $15 for adults and will be available at the door the night of each event.
Doors open at 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Further information can be obtained by calling Nelson at 330-423-2203, or son Pat at 330-727-0932.