Smith gets split decision victory


By GREG GULAS

sports@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Drew Smith of Burnside Athletic Club scored a split decision over Gary Jackson (8-4) of Pittsburgh in the main event of Saturday’s Fighting for the Friars amateur boxing card at St’s. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Banquet Hall.

With the win, Smith (12-12) won for the second time in his past three bouts.

“I really felt good tonight, all-around good,” Smith said. “I was ready to go and just tried to keep the keep the pressure on him. I tried to wear him down.”

In the first co-main match-up, Downtown Boxing Club’s Isaac Chatman (7-4) won his third consecutive fight when he authored a unanimous decision over Nico Froche (11-16) of New Castle, Pa., at 135 pounds.

“My jab and left hook were working tonight with my hook coming off my jab,” Chatman said. “My right hand wasn’t working, so I went more to the body. I just didn’t go to the body as much as I had hoped. He was aggressive, and I need to continue to build off this win.”

The other co-main featured Cleveland’s Armond Richard (36-7), who scored a split decision win over Jerome Baxter (23-9) of Pittsburgh.

The opening bout of the night, which marked the debut for both fighters, South Side Boxing Club’s Joey Nail earned a split decision over Hadi Almanhadi of Detroit in a 95 pound pairing.

“This was a very special night for me,” Nail said. “I tried to work his body with my left and right and just kept punching. He also hit hard and threw a lot of punches.”

A 115 pound match-up had Guy Gonzalez (1-2) of Ashtabula winning his first match with a unanimous decision over Matt Moore (0-1) of Canton while at 135 pounds, Courtney Price of Burnside A.C. fell to 1-1 after falling by unanimous decision to Gram Royal of Akron.

Royal was making his ring debut.

Pittsburgh’s Michael Turner (1-0) secured his first win with a split decision over Amir Statham (0-1) of Cleveland at 120 pounds while in a 175 pound scrap, it was Paul Palumbo (13-8) of Pittsburgh earning a split decision over Ashton Owens (4-3) of South Side Boxing Club.

It was Justin Bermudez (3-1) of Pittsburgh ruining Jabril Scott’s (South Side B.C.) debut with a third round TKO (1:06) at 140 pounds and at 141 pounds, Keonte Johnson (16-11) of Dearborn Heights, Michigan hammered out a split decision over Diego Bengochea (10-11) of Meriden, Connecticut.

Detroit native Hussam Almanhadi (24-5) won his eighth consecutive fight when he posted a split decision over Jeremiah Hollinger (8-2) of Pittsburgh while a 135 pound match-up had Brock McClelland (2-0) of Pittsburgh remain undefeated when he posted a second-round TKO (1:50) over Cleveland’s Marcus McIntosh, who was making his ring debut.

A 135 pound pairing had Teddy Mrkonja, Jr. (42-22) of Pittsburgh defeat Frank Brown (16-18) of Cleveland) by unanimous decision.

Co-hosted by Banner Supply and City Printing, the night honored area sports notables and Curbstone Coaches hall of fame members Mike Butch, Joe Maxin (current organization president) and Craig Snyder.

The event was presented by Lights Out Management and raised dollars and awareness for St. Dominic’s Church on the city’s South Side.

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