Saturday, June 9, 2018

Conway Victorious in IBA Intercontinental Title Fight; Holt Dominates Under the Stars

The weather held off on the North Shore of Pittsburgh as Made Men Promotions held the 8th edition of the Rivers Rumble under the stars on a beautiful night at The Rivers Casino.

As if the beautiful scenery provided by the Ohio River which acted as the backdrop at the outdoor amphitheater wasn't a big enough treat for the large crowd, Matt Conway and Arturo Santos Reyes put on a beautiful display of the sweet science in the evening's main event which got started just before 9:30 PM.

Conway took control of the IBA Intercontinental lightweight title fight early as he controlled the opening three rounds with what appeared to be ease despite Reyes outweighing him by 6 pounds on the scale the day prior.

Reyes, 32, has been in big fights and seemed to settle in as he began to turn the tables in what became an exciting back and forth boxing match as both fighters traded combinations, power shots, and showed the ability to slip punches and counter over the duration of the ten round bout.

In the end, the 22-year-old Conway did enough to impress two of the three judges as the Pittsburgh native earned the split decision victory in front of his hometown fans as the judges scored the bout 93-97, 98-92, 98-92.  I scored the bout from my ringside seat as 97-93 in favor of Conway.

With the win, Conway earned the first belt in his young but quickly rising professional career as he improved to 13-0 while Santos, who has taken on some of the biggest names in boxing falls to 19-10.

While Conway capitalized on his attempt to win a belt, East Liverpool native Joey Holt, who suffered his first career loss in his attempt to win the West Virginia super middleweight state title the last time he entered the ring in February at Mountaineer Casino was back in action.

Holt, 32, showed that he wasn't going to let the controversial decision loss to Aaron Quattrocchi four months ago carry over as he landed strong body shots and combinations on 29-year-old Pittsburgh product Lawrence Blakey (5-10-2) en route to a 4-round majority decision victory (39-37, 39-37, 39-37), improving his record to 10-1.

Cleveland native and fast-rising lightweight Thomas Mattice showed the crowd why he could be challenging for a world title in the near future as he made quick work of Hondorus native Jorge Mungia (13-13) and displayed his power in both hands.

Mattice, who improved his record to 13-0 sent Mungia to the canvas on two occasions in the opening round before the referee waved the bout off at the 2:30 mark of the round.

Made Men Promotions will bring boxing back to the outdoor amphitheater at The Rivers Casino on August 11th, visit www.mademenboxing.com for more information. 

Full Results
Amateur Bout
Featherweight - Adel Mason (Cleveland) DEC. Danny Bodish (Pittsburgh)

Pro Bouts
Pro Jr. Middleweight - Roque Zapata (Culpeper, VA) vs. Eric Bledsoe (Wheeling, WV) - DRAW
Pro Super Middleweight -  Joey Holt (East Liverpool) UD over Larry Blakey (Pittsburgh) 
Pro Lightweight - Latorie Woodberry (Roanoke, VA) MD over. Mike Conway (Pittsburgh)
Pro Jr. Middleweight - Justin Steave (Weirton, WV) UD over James Robinson (York, PA)
Pro Lightweight - Thomas Mattice (Cleveland) TKO 1 Jorge Mungia (Honduras)
MAIN EVENT: IBA INTERNATIONAL LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP 
Matt Conway (Pittsburgh, PA) SD over Arturo Santos Reyes (Nogales, Mexico)

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