Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Girl Power: Little "Z" Gearing Up As Debut Nears

Over the past few years, local boxers have not had a bigger fan than 9-year-old Western Reserve Elementary student Zion Hensley.

Now the tables have turned and it's the local boxers who have taken the time to show support for Hensley as she prepares for her amateur debut that is slated for May 25 at the Metroplex in Liberty.

"I first started coming to the gym to watch", said Hensley.  "After watching I wanted to train and after I started training I wanted to fight".

Now Hensley, who trains under the watchful eye of trainer Vinny O'Neill at Southside Boxing is gearing up for that fight.

Hensley spends a good amount of time on in the boxing gym after school but is also gearing up for the softball season, a sport she also loves.

"Softball and vacations are my favorite things to do when I'm not boxing," Hensley said.  "Shortstop and third base is what I played last year but I also like to draw and take pictures in my spare time".

While the local boxers who come in and of the Southside Boxing Club doors including Alejandro Popo Salinas, Willie Nelson, Darnell Boone, along with her trainer Vinny have taken the time to show support to the young girl who has supported them all these years, Hensley knows who her biggest fan is.

"My dad, it's awesome having him around and cheering and yelling for me," Hensley said of her father who recently took Hensley on a road trip to Atlantic City to root on one of her favorite fighters, Popo Salinas. 

While Hensley might sometimes feel she is a girl in a man's world, she has found guidance in O'Neill's longtime girlfriend, Jenn Sharp who is also gearing up for her amateur debut on May 25th.

"It's awesome having Jenn at the gym training with me," she said.  "We are showing girls can do this".

With all the guidance Hensley receives at the gym, possibly the most influential comes from the man whose name is painted on the Southside Boxing Club building, Jack Loew.

"It's fun when Jack takes the time to work with me and always shows me new things for me to work on".

So with fight night nearing, Hensley is in no way having any second thoughts about stepping into the ring.

"I'm not scared but I'm a little nervous but also excited since it is my first fight," stated Hensley. 

Tickets for the event, which start at $25, can be purchased at Southside Boxing Club from 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM Monday thru Friday.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Tickets On Sale As Jack Loew's Southside Boxing Club Brings Boxing Back To The Metroplex

Tickets are now on sale for Jack Loew's Southside Boxing Club "Battle On Belmont" Pro-Am show on May 25th at the Metroplex in Liberty.

General admission tickets are on sale for only $25 with ringside seating on sale for $50 with tables of eight are also available for $400.

Those wishing to purchase tickets can do so by stopping by Southside Boxing Club between 4:30 PM and 7 PM Monday through Friday.

Boxing fans won't want to miss this event which will feature many of Youngstown's top pro fighters including fan favorite Vinny O'Neill who will be taking on the dangerous Mike Conway out of Pittsburgh.

Also slated for the pro half of the card is Youngstown's top prospect Alejandro Popo Salinas fighting for the first time in his hometown in over a year and the debut of 6'5" heavyweight, Rocky Nolfi.

The amateur portion of the card will feature former Youngstown middleweight world title challenger, Billy Lyell bringing a team of amateurs from his gym in Naples, Florida to compete.

Also headlining the amateur half of the card will be Jennifer Sharp, who will be moving from behind the scenes to make her amateur debut and Zion Hensley, a 9-year-old Western Reserve student who is also slated to make her debut.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Regional Roundup: Pinchuk, Norman Pick Up Victories In Morgantown

- Ukrainian Lyumbyr Pinchuk who now resides in Pittsburgh scored a brutal knockout victory over Anthony Trotter in Morgantown this past weekend as the up and coming cruiserweight improved his record to 10-1 with 7 of his victories coming by way of knockout.

Pinchuk, 22, who trains under Michael McSorely Jr. has now won six consecutive bouts and will return to action in July at Pittsburgh's Priory Grand Hall in July.

- Cleveland super middleweight Latiss Norman also scored a victory in Morgantown as he won by unanimous decision over Edwynn Jones to improve his record to 3-3.

Norman, 26, has now won three consecutive matches and is also slated to fight in July in Pittsburgh at the Priory Grand Hall.

- The Pittsburgh area will be represented in its own backyard on the WFC promoted card at the Meadows Racetrack and Casino in the Pittsburgh suburb of Washinton.

Headlining the May 4th event will be one of the cities top prospects in super featherweight Matt Conway.

Conway, 23, is currently 16-0 and is quickly becoming a fan favorite.

Also slated to be on the card is Contender participant Morgan Fitch, and fan favorite Riche Cantolina.

- Pro boxing will return to Cleveland at the Agora Ballroom on May 11th as Thomas Mattice will headline an RB3 Sports promoted card that is slated to showcase talent from the Cleveland area.

Mattice, 28, will look to rebound from his first career loss the lightweight suffered back in February to Will Madera.

Also slated to appear on the card is Akron native Jose Rodriguez Jr.

Rodriguez Jr., a 24-year-old middleweight, is currently 6-0 with 4 KOs and has recently been spending time in Las Vegas training with fellow Akron native Shawn Porter alongside his brother, undefeated super lightweight David Rodriguez.

- The Cleveland Golden Gloves will hold its finals this upcoming Saturday, April 13 at the Brook Park Recreation Center in Brook Park starting at 5:30 PM.

Admission for the event starts at $20 for general admission.

- The Western Pennsylvania Golden Gloves held its championships this past weekend at the Monroeville Sports Center.

The following champions advanced to this upcoming weekends Pennsylvania State Golden Gloves finals to be held at the Monroeville Sports Center:

85 lbs Bantam-Elijah Petronic (Jacks Gym)
154 lbs Cadet-Thomas Hudak (MAC Fitness)
152 lbs Sub Youth-Dante Santimauro (Gold Medal Boxing)
152 lbs Sub Novice-Donnie Evans (Boyce)
165 lbs Sub Novice-Anthony Sikora (Kastle Boxing)
201 lbs Sub Novice-Donnie McAfee (South Park)
152 lbs Novice-Kenny Mitchell Jr (USS Fight Academy)
132 lbs Female Open-Becca Maine (Gold Medal Boxing)
141 lbs Open-Jerome Baxter (Gold Medal Boxing)

165 lbs Open-Paul Palumbo (Stay off the Streets)

201 lbs Open-Lucas Llera (Wolfpack)

201+ lbs Open-Brian Mowry (Butler Cubs)

Friday, April 5, 2019

Youngstown Amateurs Set For Cleveland Area Golden Gloves

The Cleveland Area Golden Gloves will get started tonight at the Brook Park Recreation Center in the Cleveland suburb of Brook Park.

The Youngstown area will be represented with three fighters as Nate Cordova and Kyle Boyle will represent Burnside Boxing Club and Jake Lester will represent Zack Attack Boxing Club. 

Boyle will get things started tonight when he faces Colin Costanzo in a 178 lb. sub-novice bout with the winner set to take on the winner of Matt Bok-Isaiah White on Saturday night while fellow Burnside Boxing Club stablemate, Cordova, will take on Luke Freshour on Saturday night in a 152 lb. novice match with the winner taking on the winner of Isiah Bady-Dan Stoner on Championship Saturday on April 13.

Lester will take on Teal Mathis in a 165 lb. novice this evening with the winner set to take on the Nicholas Duganier-Carl Polk winner on Championship Saturday next weekend.

First bout times for both tonight and tomorrow at 7:00 PM with next weekends Championship Saturday starting at 5:30 PM with tickets starting at $20 each night for general admission.

Please visit the Cleveland Area Golden Gloves website here for more information.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

O'Neill Opponent Named For May Show At Metroplex

Jack Loew's May 25 show at the Metroplex in Liberty Township has its first finalized match as Mike Conway (3-2-1) will make the trip from Pittsburgh for a regional showdown against hometown favorite, Vinny O'Neill in a 6-round lightweight bout.

Mike Conway

O'Neill, who trains at Southside Boxing Club, looked sharp his last time out after a nearly three-year layoff in his unanimous decision victory over James Lester in November at the Palermo Center to improve his record to 4-2-1.

While O'Neill is coming off a victory, the 24-year-old Conway is coming off a disappointing draw in a bout which he appeared to win back in February at Mountaineer against David Pena.

BoxRec.com also has an opponent listed for another Southside Boxing Club fighter who will be making his pro debut.

Rocco Nolfi, 30, is scheduled to take on 25-year-old Davmond Carter of Jamestown, NY in a 4-round heavyweight attraction.

Carter, who lost to Youngstown native Daniel Infante in November at the Palermo Center rebounded with an impressive second-round knockout victory over previously undefeated Michael Manna in Pittsburgh earlier this month to improve his record to 1-1.

Also slated to appear on the card is Youngstown's top prospect, super featherweight Alejandro Popo Salinas who was victorious this past weekend with a 5th round knockout victory over Mexican Pablo Cupul in Atlantic City to improve his record to 10-2 with 9 victories coming by way knockout.

More information on the pro-am event including ticket information will be available soon.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Dates Announced For 2019 Cleveland Area Golden Gloves

The 2019 edition of the Cleveland Area Golden Gloves, the 91'st edition of the qualifying tournament will kickoff on Friday, April 5th at 7:00 PM at the Brook Park Recreation Center in Brook Park.

The opening weekend of the event will also run through April 6th and will conclude the following weekend on Friday, April 12th with the finals being held on Saturday, April 13th with a 5:30 PM start time.

The weigh-in and draw for the event which is being sanctioned by the Lake Erie Association of USA Boxing will be held on Sunday, March 31st at 10:00 AM at the Brook Park Recreation Center.

Fighters wishing to participate must complete the entry forms which can be found here and bring them to the weigh-in along with the $10 entry fee.

More information and a listing of all the divisions and weight classes can be found here.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Salinas Scores Knockout Victory In Atlantic City

It was almost exactly one year to the date that Alejandro Popo Salinas had been in the ring, but the Jack Loew trained super featherweight showed no rust as he jumped all over Pablo Cupul early and often at the Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City to get himself back in the win column.

Salinas, 24, caught Cupul with an overhand right in the latter moments of the round that sent the crowd which included a strong showing of fans from Youngstown who made the trip into a frenzy and set the tone for the scheduled six-round fight.

While Salinas targeted and landed often on the Mexican veteran, Cupul proved to have a solid chin until Salinas stunned him early in the fifth round and finished him with a combination causing the referee to put a halt to the action before Cupul could even attempt to beat the count. 

Salinas was not surprised that Cupul lasted into the fifth round despite taking some abuse.

"I didn't want to end it early," said Salinas.  "I had the power but I wanted everyone to know that I can box".

While Salinas was enjoying himself in the ring showing that he can be more than a puncher, he was more than thrilled when he saw the referee put a halt to the action.

"It felt great," said Salinas of the stoppage.  "This was just not a win, but a knockout win over a veteran fighter".

With a lackluster 2018 behind him, Salinas, who improved his record to 10-2 with 9 KOs is ready to put Youngstown on his back and make a run to become the cities sixth world champion.

"I want to show everyone especially everyone in Youngstown that I am a true champion," said Salinas.  "When I feel like knocking you out I will but in the smartest was possible meaning if I have to take the distance I will".

Salinas was quick to point out his admiration for another Youngstown native and former world champion Kelly Pavlik after the fight.

"I know I made my family proud, I know I made Youngstown proud, and I really hope I made Kelly Pavlik proud" Salinas stated.  "I take Kelly's name everywhere I go because I see him as my older brother".

Jack Loew said he will have details on the next Salinas bout shortly but has stated previously that if everything works out he may land on his May 25th show at the Metroplex in Liberty but for now Salinas will take a week away from the gym before getting back to work at Southside Boxing Club.