Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Normalcy ahead: Hensley ready to knock 2020 out with a bang

During a period of time this Spring all gyms stood eerily silent as the uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus swept through our nation forcing a various amount of closures and causing the sports world to come to a sudden halt.  

As we all find ourselves currently fighting through another rise in cases while still trying to find a way to go about our normal day-to-day lives, 11-year-old Western Reserve student Zion Hensley just keeps doing what she loves and as truth will have it, she never stopped as the 5th grader found ways to keep herself sharp and in shape.

Now that she's openly able to work out again, she's back with her trainer, the former undisputed middleweight champion of the world Kelly Pavlik.

As you walk through Pavlik's Mi Gym in Columbiana the first sounds you will hear is the sound of iron weights clanking as patrons put weights back on the racks but as you walk closer and closer to the back area there is a chance you might hear the sound of leather popping.

With each punch Hensley throws, she knows she is closer to a possible ring return with a trip to USA Boxing Nationals being held December 5th-12th in Shreveport, Louisiana. 

Hensley, who will enter the ring for the first time since fighting in Kansas City in January and will fight at the 80-pound weight limit has been waiting for this moment.

"I stayed in shape running at the Western Reserve track and once I was able to get back into the gym I've worked on throwing way more punches and moving side to side with improve footwork" said Hensley.

When Hesnley did find some time away from the gym, she ventured into the entertainment business by starring in a music video for Koda Allen, a rising talent from Youngstown starring in the video for his song Elephant form his latest album, 4th of July which he released this past summer.

Along with the music video she also made a cameo alongside Pavlik on the Ohio's Finest Podcast by Savage MMG Presents in late September.

Though COVID-19 impacted many young fighters, Hensley used some of that time to give back and along with some of her friends raised $1,150 dollars by selling bracelets for the Mercy Health Foundation to purchase PPE.

Now with her return to action around the corner, Hensley is set to make the trip south with the help of some generous donations.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Fight Day: Rosta set for Bellator main card tonight as fight will air on CBS Sports Network

After months of uncertainty as the COVID pandemic kept New Castle native Dalton Rosta out of action, the unbeaten highly touted 24-year-old will be in action tonight for the second time in less than three months.

Rosta, who is 3-0 in his professional career after running the table with a perfect amateur MMA and boxing career looked dominating his last time out as he scored a first round victory over Mark Gardner as the referee was forced to stop the action after the opening round at Bellator 243.

Tonight, Rosta will step up the competition for his toughest challenge to date at Belletor 250 being held once again in Connecticut at the Mohegan Sun Casino Arena in Uncasville. 

Standing in the way of Rosta and a 4-0 start will be 26-year-old Ty Gwerder of Hawaii who now fights out of Las Vegas.

Gwerder will bring a pro record of 5 wins and only one defeat into this evenings anticipated 185 pound bout scheduled for three rounds.

Though he has a blemish on his record, Gwerder is coming off an impressive stoppage of George Tokkos at Bellator 246 in September.

Rosta and Gwrder will be televised as the first fight on the main card tonight which will air on CBS Sports Network at 8:00 PM.

Friday, August 7, 2020

New Castle native Dalton Rosta dominates in TKO victory to remain perfect in Bellator MMA

Dalton Rosta said he was going to win with a first round knockout and he did just that as the 24-year-old New Castle, PA native dominated the first round of the opening bout of tonight's Bellator card held at the Mohegan Sun Arena bubble in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Rosta, 24, wasted little time showing his opponent Mark Gardner his standup game as he shook Gardner with an uppercut early.

Gardner's best moments came in the middle of the opening round when he showed his jiu-jitsu skills and secured an armbar.

Rosta, who the commentators likened to a Greek God, was able to fight off the submission attempt of Gardner and landed a hard left before ending the round landing hard blow after hard blow on Gardner's battered face. 

On the advice of the ringside Doctor, the bout was halted after the opening round giving Rosta a first round TKO victory and improving his professional record to 3-0.

Gardner fell to 1-2 with the loss.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Salinas set for tough task tonight on ESPN

Alejandro Popo Salinas will do battle tonight in Las Vegas on ESPN as he will take on 12-0 23-
year-old Andres Cortes  of Las Vegas in a scheduled 8-round lightweight contest.

Salinas, 25, who has recently moved away from Youngstown in an attempt to revive his career after dropping two of his last three fights will enter the ring for the first time since dropping a controversial decision to Steven Ortiz in September.

This is a huge opportunity for Salinas to take on an undefeated fighter on the national stage and the first television appearance for Salinas since defeating  Duran Vue in September of 2017 when he scored an unanimous decision victory on FS1.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Southside Boxing Club Golf Outing postponed until June 20th

As expected, the COVID-19 has added another KO to its resume as Jack Loew has been forced to push his golf outing to support his Southside Boxing Club until June 20th.

Originally slated for May 30th, the outing will be held at Mahoning Country Club in Girard.

Currently Loew has 14 teams to fill and spots are filling up fast so act quickly.

Individual golfers are able get in on the action which will include 18-holes of golf with unlimited beverages and a steak dinner afterwards for $75 while teams of four can get in on the action for $300 which will also include 18 holes of golf with a cart, unlimited beverages and a steak dinner to follow.

You can contact Loew for sponsorship opportunities, questions, or to reserve your spot for what promises to be a good time to support his gym and team of boxers at 330-501-5713.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Under the hat: Getting to know Marcus "Ohio Runs Boxing" Nall

If you were born in Youngstown then chances are the love of boxing should be in your blood as the city boasts five world champions as well as a handful of world title challengers.

For one Ohio man the love of boxing runs deeper than his blood.

For 35-year-old Columbus native by way of Youngstown Marcus Nall, boxing has become a way of life, a lifestyle he is now passing off to his young son.

Nall, who graduated from Independence High School in Columbus literally wears his love for boxing, which he can trace back to his younger days, on his head with his now famous Ohio Runs Boxing kasa hat.

"When I was 9 years old my father used to play Hagler versus Hearns on VHS all the time so I always watched boxing," said Nall.  "But Prince Naseem Hamed is the fighter who made me fall in love with the sport".

As Nall's love for the sport grew, so did his appreciation for a particular group of fighters.
Those from the Buckeye State, which led Nall to start his Ohio Runs Boxing social media.

"The idea for Ohio Runs Boxing came from a fight I attended in Cincinnati back in 2012 or 2013," said Nall.  "I remember seeing some fighters from Ohio I like like Robert Easter Jr from Toledo, Rau'Shee Warren from Cincinnati, and Terrell Gausha from Cleveland all fighting on the undercard and I seen all these great fighters with Al Haymon being the mystery man who is also from Ohio putting these great fights together.  I went home later that night and started looking up all the fighters from Ohio and BANG!! it clicked and Ohio Runs Boxing was born".

With the birth of Ohio Runs Boxing, Nall knew he had something special that would draw the people in like Haymon was doing with his fights.

"I knew I would create a little controversy with this title as well and let's be honest, controversy sales but Ohio Runs Boxing is more about pride and supporting one another and trying to bring everybody together as a state instead of individual cities' '
Though the controversial name is a selling point, he will always maintain that the name is justified.

"Ohio Runs Boxing is not just based on us having the best fighters but having the best in everything from boxing journalists, managers and promoters, advisers, boxing clothes designers, and the list goes on and I try my best to cover those areas on my platform," explained Nall.  "Just look at the historical history behind Ohio boxing. Boxing statistics will show you why I think Ohio has been running boxing for years".

So with all his Buckeye State pride can Nall narrow down his love to one favorite fighter to ever represent the state of Ohio.

"I have grown to love a lot of these fighters from Ohio from present and the legends from the past covering them and following their careers but if I had to pick one it would be Kelly Pavlik because for one he brought back a world title to my hometown of Youngstown and I wasn't old enough to experiences Ray Boom Boom Mancini, Jeff Lampkin, Harry Arroyo, or Greg Richardson being world champions but Kelly gave me that experience". 

While Nall now has a product that sticks out on the internet, the one fixture that you will always see on him when he's out covering a fight is the Japanese style kasa hat.

"The hat was a great idea to stand out from everybody and it also helps people discover who was behind the social media "Ohio Runs Boxing" page".  "I was a big fan of OutKast, a hip hop group and I also loved the game Mortal Kombat and Andre 3000 who is one of the artists in the group had a unique style about him and he wore things many people wouldn't dare and one night I was playing Mortal Kombat with my favorite character Raiden and it clicked in my mind, the Raiden hat is going to do it and rest is history".

Nall knows that even though many in the sport love his social media and his style that he is not immune to those waiting to jump down his neck every time an Ohio fighter he was backing takes a loss.

"Credibility is everything to me so I always have to be careful who I'm backing from Ohio because let's be real, every fighter from Ohio is not good or elite so I'm real careful on who I'm boasting about coming from Ohio so if I'm not boasting loud about one guy my silence will give it away leading up to fight".

All his work is for nothing as Nall hopes one day his work will play a part in helping the sport of boxing reach the pinnacle of popularity that it once had.

"I hope my opinion on boxing will one day be appreciated on the biggest levels and more people will take notice of what our state has to offer and hopefully more fans from Ohio will start supporting the small and local guys".

Q and A with Nall:
Who is Ohio's biggest boxing rival?  
This is a tough question but it has to be between Detroit and Philadelphia.

Favorite Non-Ohio based fighters? 
Lightweight Sean Mason who's 4-0 with 3 KO's and welterweight Michael Williams Jr. who's 12-0 with 8 KO's are two great fighters I love watching.  I also like the Montgomery Brothers from Macon, GA. 

Favorite big name fighters? 
Terrence Crawford, Canelo, GGG, Wilder, and Josh Taylor.

Top prospects to keep an eye out for Ohio?
1. Charles Conwell - Super welterweight 12-0 9 KO’s (Cleveland,Ohio) 
2. Albert Bell - Lightweight 18-0-5 KO’s (Toledo,Ohio) 
3. Isaiah Steen - Middleweight 14-0 -11 KO’s (Cleveland,Ohio
4. Jared Anderson  Heavyweight 3-0 -3 KO’s.  (Toledo,Ohio)
5. Montana Love - Welterweight 12-0-6-K0’s. ( Cleveland,Ohio )
6. Rodney Hines - Heavyweight 8-0-5 KO’s      ( Cleveland, Ohio )
7. Boubacar Sylla - Welterweight 11-0 7 KO’s   ( Cincinnati, Ohio )
8. Alante Green - Cruiserweight 7-0-5 KO’s.  ( Cleveland,Ohio )
9. Otha Jones - Lightweight  5-0 2 KO’s ( Toledo, Ohio )
10. Ryizeemmion Ford - Lightweight 4-0-3 KO’s. ( Alliance,Ohio)
11.Ramiro Hernandez - Featherweight 16-0 10 KO’s. (Cleveland,Ohio
12.Raymond Castaneda - Super lightweight 6-0-2 KO’s  (Defiance,Ohio)

Hottest boxing city(s) in Ohio?
1. Toledo
2. Cleveland
3. Cincinnati
4. Akron
5. Mansfield

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Tiger King: Anthony Taylor set for August return, hopefully

With all the uncertainty in the sports world do to the COVID-19 Virus, Anthony "Tiger" Taylor is hoping to make his return to the ring in August.

Taylor, 29, will look to get back int he win after the Youngstown super flyweight has recently watched his record even out at 4-4.

Slated for August 8th at the Buffalo Chip Camp Ground in Sturgis, South Dakota as part of the huge Sturgis Bike Rally, Taylor will take on Jose Rodriguez of Markesan, Wisconsin, barring cancellation due to the COVID-19 virus.

Rodriguez, 32, will be a record of 4-3 into the ring and is a loser of his last two bouts including a knockout defeat back in Februrary.

For Taylor, this will be his first ring action since a disappointing knockout loss to Artrimus Sartor in Covington, Kentucky back in September.

Stay tuned for more details, updates, and a story as fight date closes in including an interview with Taylor.