Mancini-sponsored boxing show coming to Covelli Centre

Local fighters set

to battle Italians

By Greg Gulas


It takes a lot to convince former WBA lightweight champion and Youngstown native Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini that he should commit his name as a sponsor for an event or fundraiser.

There wasn’t much convincing needed when Michael Diven of Pittsburgh-based Hibernian Celtic Athletic Fund approached Mancini about taking part in their upcoming “Youngstown Versus Italy” boxing show, scheduled for Oct. 5 at the Covelli Centre.

“This will be a great event and a great experience for those in the Mahoning Valley,” Mancini said. “Mike thinks outside the box, which is why we get along so well. They’ve done shows in Ireland and I went with them to Cuba. On the plane ride home I said, ‘Let’s do Italy,’ and here we are.”

A portion of the proceeds from the 16-bout card will benefit the Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini Foundation, whose main objective and goal is to sponsor events that benefit either other charities, individuals or families in need.

The Oct. 5 match will celebrate both Youngstown’s Italian heritage and the Columbus Day holiday.

The team of amateur boxers from Italy (Gruppo Sportivo Fiamme Oro or the Golden Flames) will be coached by their country’s highly decorated Olympic champion Roberto Cammerelle, who joined Mancini and Devin at the press conference.

“I want to thank you very much for the opportunity,” Cammerelle said through an interpreter. “This will be a very exciting event.”

The Italian contingent will take on competitors from the Youngstown and Pittsburgh areas at the Covelli Centre first, then at the Priory in Pittsburgh on Oct. 9.

“I want to thank the folks here at the Covelli Centre,” Diven said. “We decided to expand the International boxing exchanges that we’ve held in Pittsburgh to include Youngstown, primarily because Ray wanted to something great in his hometown. Working with these guys over the past few weeks, they really fast-tracked and worked to make this event a reality,” Diven said.

Mancini added that it will be a great experience for everyone.

“I’m really excited for the local guys as they get to fight international competition,” he said. “Plus, it will be a great cultural experience as well. We have a large Italian-American community here. They’re very proud of their heritage and now we’re going to see how proud.”

Mancini’s Foundation and Hibernian Celtic Athletic Fund are non-profit 501c3 organizations.

Sponsors are currently being sought for the event and packages include both bout and boxer sponsorships.

Each contribution is tax deductible.

Tickets are $15, $25 and $100 for Gold Circle and go on sale Aug. 31 at 10 a.m. at Ticketmaster and the Covelli Centre Southwoods Health Box Office.

Special VIP hospitality tickets are also available and can be obtained at

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