Boxing show will benefit Wolfords’ cause

The upcoming amateur boxing show at St. Mary’s Assumption Center, 356 S. Belle Vista Ave., will benefit the No Stone Unturned Foundation of Youngstown State head football coach Eric Wolford and his wife, Melinda.

The 15-bout card, scheduled for March 8 and presented by Lights Out Management, will feature local fighters from five area gyms while A2 Boxing Academy out of Ann Arbor, Mich., which boasts six-time national champion Jasmine Hampton, also will be represented.

“When Lights Out Management approached us I was just so grateful to those from the community for wanting to lend a helping hand. The foundation takes care of families with special needs and that can become very costly,” Melinda Wolford said. “Fundraisers like this are essential because once we get the dollars we empty the bank in order to help families that are in need of assistance.”

The mission of the foundation’s Therapeutic Learning Center, which was established while the couple was located in Manhattan, Kan., is to provide an individualized, child-centered program that is evidence-based for children with neurologic or developmental impairments, including but not limited to Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The center is based on an interdisciplinary approach, which may include educational, behavioral and therapeutic interventions including speech, occupational, and/or physical therapies to address specific needs.

The program also provides family, educational and community support to ensure individual fulfillment that spans a lifetime.

“Our last two shows earmarked proceeds for both Make-a-Wish Foundation and Sojourner House and they were well-received. We’ve been aware of the Wolford family’s No Stone Unturned Foundation and all the work that they have done so we wanted to assist them as they raise awareness for such a worthwhile cause,” said Mike Cefalde of Lights Out Management. “Our goal for the show is to have a complete sellout.”

The 13 local fighters hail from Keith Burnside’s Gym, Sammy Calderon’s United City Boxing Club, Downtown Boxing Club, Campbell MMA and Salem Boxing Club with Eric McGuire’s A2 Boxing Academy accounting for another 10 entries.

Fighters from Burnside Gym include Chris Miller (135 pounds), Lavell Sharp (135), Tom Flannery (195) and Chris Young at (195), and up-and-coming female boxer Erica Barone (135).

United City B.C. will be represented by Juan Tamfenio (160) and Angel Rojas (170) while Campbell MMA has Anthony Alexander (150), Mike Waters (155) and Jason Mullen (160) ready for the bell.

Tyler Smith (135) from Downtown B.C. is also slated for action, as are Jordan Troy (120) and Drew Smith (145) of Salem B.C.

The A2 Boxing Academy is overseen by McGuire, an assistant coach for the University of Michigan Boxing Club and in addition to Hampton they’ve also committed Humberto Esqovil (120), and 132-pound entries Cedric Johnson and Anthony Brown.

McGuire’s remaining roster will be announced later this month.

The “Men of the Year” award will be presented to Attorney Lou Schiavoni and his son, State Sen. Joe Schiavoni with its “Lifetime Achievement Award” earmarked for Henry “George” Budaker.

“This is an excellent illustration of family development in the Mahoning Valley; a family like the Schiavoni’s who have done just wonderful things over the years while devoting their efforts to the growth of this area,” former State Sen. and Ohio Athletic Commission founder Harry Meshel noted. “They’ve become community supporters and are considered the nerve and muscle of the Mahoning Valley.”

The card will begin at 7 p.m. with doors to open at 6 p.m.

General admission is $15, VIP tickets are $50 and tables can be reserved for both $300 and $400. Ticket outlets include Ackworth Construction, Clemens Wine Cellar, First Choice Rentals, Snovak Carpet, The Body Shop and Jimmy John’s.

Further information can be obtained by calling 330-787-4228 or 330-717-4201.

Greg Gulas covers boxing and other combat sports for The Vindicator. Write him at

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