Archive for the ‘Boxing’ Category

Popo Salinas Upset In Southside Boxing Event

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The standing-room only crowd at the Saxon Club was treated to a tremendous night of amateur boxing.  Jack Loew deserves a lot of credit for assembling such a great array of talent from all over the State of Ohio.

The main event featured a rematch between Popo Salinas and Jeremy Abrams.  Salinas, the crowned jewel of Loew’s fortified stable, had a rough one.  Abrams showed up as tough as Loew advertised him to be.  The two fighters exchanged solid blows in the first round.

In the second round, Abrams floored Salinas with a clean shot after taking some of Popo’s best shots.  Salinas got up and the bell rung seconds later.

In the final round, Salinas couldn’t make up the difference and Abrams earned a hard-fought decision.

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Undercard Results

131 Marty Adams Decision Over Isaiah Archie

61 Tyshawn Dension Decision Over Chris Daniels

109 Carlos Figuoria TKO Terrance Graves (2nd)

87 Devion Daniels Decision Over Island Archie

151 Dominic Rogers TKO Dale Harrison (2nd, Retired)

123 Killion Santiago Decision Over Colton Elzer

160 K’Marr Cooper Decision Over Jack Trickett

189  Steve Spinelli Decision Over Brian Meyer

190 Demarkus Minter KO Octavius Webb (2)

158 Dwayne Rosebury Decision Over Lavelle Hadley

153 David Rodriguez Decision Over Ronnie Hamayle

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Vic Toney (above, left), of the South Side Boxing Club, and Jose Rodriguez of Akron had a war at the 165-pound weight class.  Rodriguez’ father called Jack Loew asking for a rematch of Toney from last year feeling his son was slighted on the decision.  After this battle, Loew’s phone won’t be ringing with that demand again for awhile.  Toney looked like Sugar Ray Leonard dodging the punches thrown by Rodriguez.  He also landed quite a few of his own in picking up an impressive win.

Popo Salinas Headlines Jack Loew’s Amateur Card

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Call Jack Loew grandma.  Loew has been preparing Alejandro “Popo” Salinas for bigger things for years.  There is no hurry, Salinas is still in high school, still fighting as an amateur, and like grandma’s sauce, is getting the right seasoning to be perfect when it is ready.

Salinas will headline Loew’s annual Southside Boxing Club show at the Saxon Club this Saturday as he faces Cleveland’s Jeremy Abrams in the 132-pound main event.  Salinas and Abrams have faced each other before with Salinas garnering a three round decision.  That fight took place in Cleveland in a higher-level tournament.

“We picked Abrams to fight Popo because he poses a good threat as a boxer”, said Loew.  ”He is very composed and well-rounded and I want to see how Popo reacts to someone that can box with the skill set that Abrams has.  If he chooses to bang with Popo it could be a long night, but we feel he will box and force Popo to work.  It should be a great fight.”

About this time next year, Loew said Salinas might be making a move to go professional with one thing that may delay the process.

If the US Olympic team wants to taste the sauce that I have been preparing, we may let them have some”, joked Loew in reference to my grandma  - sauce analogy.

“In all likelihood, he will go fight in the Cleveland Golden Gloves Tournament, and if he wins there, he will advance to the National Golden Gloves.  There are other events he will participate in such as the PAL and Ringside National Tournament before we will make a decision about his future.”

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Loew has four fighters from Hubbard on the card.  Brothers Chris Danials (63 pounds) and Devion Danials (84 pounds) will be in action.  Jack Trickett, a YSU freshman who played soccer in Hubbard, will face K’Marr Cooper in a 164-pound clash.

“Trickett is a great athlete”, commented Loew.  ”He has those big soccer legs and is training hard.”

In his boxing debut, Dale Harrison, the fourth Hubbard Eagle on the card, will face Dominic Rogers of Cleveland in a 153-pound clash.

Lavelle Hadley and Vic Toney, two more of Loew’s fighters will face tough challenges on the card.  Hadley is facing Dwayne Rosebury and trying to find his way in the open division, a higher skill level for amateur boxing.  Toney, meanwhile will face Jose Rodriguez.  Toney only fought three novice bouts before Loew decided to press him into the open category.  Rodriguez has about 80 fights in the open division.

“Those two [Toney and Rodriguez] fought already with Toney winning a close decision”, remarked Loew.  ”I got a call from Rodriguez’ father asking for a rematch which is all Vic had to hear.  It will be another solid fight.”

Willie Nelson, a winner on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights will be in attendance with his belt.  Nelson is looking at a June 1 HBO contest against a yet-to-be-determined opponent as he continues his escalation in the junior middleweight division.

Proceeds of the card help offset expense of the Southside Boxing Club for equipment, trip planning, and as Loew joked, ‘that damn six-hundred dollar gas bill I get every month’.

The doors of the Saxon Club open at 6 with the first bell to ring at 7:30.  General admission tickets are $15, ringside tables for eight can be purchased for $300 and half tables will also be offered.  Contact Loew at 330-501-5713 to purchase tickets.

Youngstown’s Willie Nelson To Fight On ESPN Friday

Willie Nelson will get a shot in the arm this Friday on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. Nelson (19-1-1, 11 KO’s) will face Michael Medina at the MGM Grand Foxwoods in Connecticut.  The winner of this fight will get a shot against an elimination match winner with a potential title at stake.

Nelson last fought on September 15, winning a unanimous decision against previously unbeaten John Jackson in Las Vegas, will be representing Youngstown as he has been training at the Southside Boxing Club for just over a year.

Jack Loew calls his latest big-timer a gym rat and says he is very easy to train and will even run, lift, and do the things that some fighters try to sneak out of without supervision or being told to.

“He has had a great training camp”, remarked Loew.  ”He knows what is at stake and is very eager to win.  He had some excellent sparring to get ready for this fight and has faced a few different capable sparring partners to prepare.”

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Loew pointed out that Medina has three losses and two of them are to Vanes Matirosyan and John Duddy.  Matirosyan just fought a draw with Erislandy Lara, who will be in the eliminator fight against a yet-to-be named opponent.

“He is a tough kid who I think will be fighting with a sense of urgency like he knows he has to win this fight.”

If Nelson can win, the #5 ranked WBC light middleweight will vault up to at least #3 in the rankings because one of the fighters in the eliminator match will lose.

Jake Giuriceo Talks About Recovery And The Future

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Since early December, Jake Giuriceo has been inactive.  Giuriceo took a vicious head butt in his last fight that caused a detached retina and left an uncertain future in the sport he loves.

The butt came against Peter Oluoch on a December 1 card at Mountaineer.

Since December, “The Bull” has successfully undergone surgery to correct the retina, but will not be cleared until the second part of the process happens.

“I have to have cataract surgery now”, said Giuriceo.  ”I go see the doctor on February 13, that is my next step.”

If Giuriceo gets clearance he said he is leaning toward continuing his career.

“I miss it.  I am jogging and shadow boxing to stay in shape, but I really love boxing and hope to be able to come back.  It’s in the Lord’s hands.”

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Giuriceo will turn 28 on February 25th, an age too young to retire from boxing in his mind.

“Just about everyone is saying that it is enough and that I should probably retire.  My wife is on the same page with me and I really don’t feel like it is over”, said Giuriceo.

The Bull also touched on the recent retirement of Kelly Pavlik.

“I have been very happy to see a Youngstown guy do so well”, said Giuriceo.  ”He can’t get the fights he wants, so basically he is walking away.  I wanted to see him fight for another title, but if nobody wants to give him a good shot at a big fight, he did the right thing by choosing to not beat himself up over smaller paydays.  He really did a lot for this area.”

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Giuriceo (16-2-1) is still the same person he was, staying in great shape and currently tipping the scales at 154, and remaining a busy guy.  With his future in boxing in question, he hasn’t changed much in his daily routine.

“I still get up and go to work”, said Giuriceo.  ”I come home and still work out.  My wife and I are looking to buy a house in the area and have been busy with that.  I also continue going to church and my Bible study on Sundays and Wednesdays.”

So for now, Giuriceo awaits some big decisions which he has no control of.  If he gets the green light from the medics, he would probably stop at the gym to spar on his way home.  The waiting game is in session and The Bull can almost see red again.

Kelly Pavlik Update: Ward? Bute? Froch?

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Speaking with Kelly Pavlik, nothing in the immediate future is set in stone.  In fact, the former middleweight champion says nothing, as far as he knows, is even in negotiation.

“You probably know more than I do”, said Pavlik (40-2, 34 KO’s).  ”I am just trying to train and stay fight-ready so when I get the call, I will be ready.”

Pavlik has had a good bit of in-ring action to shake the rust with wins over inferior competition.  In his last three fights, ‘The Ghost’ has three different results, despite winning all of them.

Aaron Jaco was knocked out convincingly in the second round.  Then Scott Sigmon lasted longer than most thought he would until the referee stopped that fight in the seventh round.

On July 7, Pavlik faced a game Will Rosinsky, and came away with a unanimous ten-round decision.  This was to be his final setup for a bigger payday and tougher opponent.  The names of Carl Froch, Andre Ward, and Lucian Bute, all surfaced as big-name opponents.

Ward took the steps and the deal was signed, but he injured his shoulder for what could have been Pavlik’s shot at regaining the limelight.

Interestingly, with Manny Pacquiao losing his last fight, the sport needs back some of the faces that people actually watch.  There is constant turnover in boxing, but the critical period it is enduring right now needs star power.

Love him or hate him – people watch Kelly Pavlik.

“I wanted to stay active and hopefully we will get something done real soon.  When I know, you will too”, promised Pavlik.

Exclusive Interview With Larry Holmes

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Larry Holmes was one of the greatest champions to ever grace the boxing ring.  Holmes achieved so much in his career and his legacy is cemented among the elite heavyweights in the history of the sport.

The “Easton Assassin” posted a professional record of  69 wins against just six losses.  He recorded 44 of his 69 victories by knockout.  Some of his notable wins as a champion came against Ken Norton to claim the championship, Mike Weaver, Earnie Shavers, Trevor Berbick, and of course, Muhammed Ali.

Holmes also gave Evander Holyfield, Ray Mercer, Carl Williams, Renaldo Snipes, Gerry Cooney, Tim Witherspoon, and David Bey, their first losses as professionals.

Holmes, always quick with a quote, talked with me about the current state of the heavyweight division, his relationship with Don King, and about how he is enjoying retirement.

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Paneech:  Give me your opinion of the heavyweight division that we see today.

Holmes:  It sucks.  I don’t see anything happening when I watch these fights, they are very boring.  Not only that, but you never heard of any of the fighters.  It is very hard to watch.  It upsets me to turn on my television set and never be able to look forward to a good fight in that weight class.

Paneech:  How does that differ from the seventies and eighties when that was probably the most enjoyable weight class in boxing?

Holmes:  Well, the seventies and eighties are when the division was really good.  The fights were very enjoyable and everyone knew when the next fight was.  Nowadays, you don’t even know who won a fight three days after it happens.  We need heavyweights, the people want heavyweights.

Paneech:  So we are relegated to watching fighters who weigh less.  What fight do you want to see happen the most?

Holmes:  Everyone still wants to see Mayweather and Pacquaio fight.  When the talks start though, it always seem like it is all about Mayweather, and I think the people hate that.  That guy [Mayweather] is throwing his money around like there is no tomorrow.

Paneech:  Who was weirder?  Tex Cobb, Mike Tyson, or Oliver McCall?

Holmes:  (laughs) Tex Cobb would call me every day after we fought, I got sick of talking to him.  I liked him a lot as a fighter, and as a person, and feel that sometimes he was misunderstood.  Oliver McCall was someone who I never really got to know too well, and he had some well-publicized problems.  Tyson was not a bad guy, he just kicked my butt when I wasn’t ready for it.

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Paneech:  In many of your pre-fight and post-fight interviews, the word money came out of your mouth.  What kind of things are you into to generate the money today?

Holmes:  I’m tired.  I am 63  years old and I have never quit pursuing my goals.  I am heavily involved in real estate right now, but I am trying to get out of it altogether, I am just tired.  I make appearances, but I really want to spend more time fishing.  That is what I really enjoy doing with my spare time.

Paneech:  In your book, you really take some shots at Don King, but you also claim that he made you a lot of money.  On the record, in this interview, I want your feelings on Don King.

Holmes:  Don King ain’t a bad guy.  He cut my earnings, but I don’t hold any hard feelings toward him.  It’s like this…  I did a job, he took money, probably more than he should have.  If I was supposed to get $10 million, I was lucky to get $6.5 million.  It happens and you can’t do much, you decide whether to take it or leave it.  King was a promoter, and he was good at it.

Paneech:  There was an incident (see video below) leading up to your fight with Trevor Berbick where you came out of a limousine through the sunroof, ran down the hood of the vehicle, and jumped off, kicking Berbick in the face.  What caused that?

Holmes:  He was talking a lot of shit.  He accused me of being with his wife.  His wife was merely the friend of a friend and nothing ever happened between us.  He wanted a fight, so I gave him one.  Leading up to the fight he took every opportunity he could to badmouth Larry Holmes and I just blew up.  After I beat him in the ring, he tried to get me going again, saying he deserved another fight, wasn’t happening.

Paneech:  One of your most admirable qualities is that you tell it like it is.  What is your biggest regret in life?

Holmes:  I don’t know if I have any regrets, I have had a pretty successful life.  I have learned good, bad, and ugly.  I have learned that promoters can love you, hate you, then love you again.

Paneech:  Who hit you harder?  Ali or Tyson?

Holmes:  Neither.  Kenny Norton hit me so hard that it still hurts.  Now there was a case of two fighters who did not like each other.

Paneech:  You were once quoted as saying that Rocky Marciano couldn’t hold your jockstrap.

Holmes:  The media loves to take things like that out of context.  There was no harm meant when I said that, but plenty of harm came from it.

Paneech:  With that being said, who was more annoying to you, Howard Cosell or Larry Merchant?

Holmes:  I liked Cosell.  I don’t like Larry Merchant.  He thinks he knows everything about a sport that he was never in.  He walks around with papers and studies what he writes, he just pisses you off.  I cursed him out once, and I told him that he was a phony.

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One Word Answers With Larry Holmes

Favorite Meal of The Day:  Spaghetti, everyday — with sausage.

Favorite Sports Team:  Boston Celtics, and least favorite, the Miami Heat.  They think that their shit don’t stink.

Favorite Junk Food:  Watermelon.

Favorite Musician:  I sing in a band – so me.

Shows You Watch On TV:  NBA and The Price Is Right.

Biggest Phobia:  I’m afraid of my own shadow.

Typical Fast Food Order:  Chicken McNuggets with BBQ and Sweet and Sour sauces.

Worst Habit:  Drinking too much Budweiser when I get angry.

Giuriceo Has Surgery For Detached Retina, Future In Question

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Jake Giuriceo has had a rough 2012 in the ring.  In his last fight, on December 1, at Mountaineer, “The Bull” lost a split decision to Peter Oluoch.  The two fighters butted heads, and the result was not only a loss in the record book, but perhaps a loss of a career as Giuriceo suffered a detached retina.

According to Giuriceo’s manager, Joe Corvino, the junior welterweight had successful surgery on Monday.  Unfortunately, as in the case of Sugar Ray Leonard, a detached retina is a tricky obstacle to overcome and Giuriceo has to be patient and follow the doctor’s orders before he will be cleared for in-ring action.

Giuriceo lost a unanimous decision on March 31 to Michael Clark in Columbus.  That was his first loss as a professional fighter.  With this most recent setback, his record now sits at 16-2-1.

Jake Giuriceo Is Meant For More, Courtesy of Alex Vo Films And Vimeo

Giuriceo is a very strong and spiritual individual and if anyone could come back from such an injury, my money would be on him pulling it off.  I have covered several boxers in this area and nobody works as hard as Giuriceo in the gym.

The video clip above is very telling of what Giuriceo has endured so far in his life.  He is now a married and responsible adult who has overcome adversity in every form.  He still has the potential to be a fresh breath of air in a sport filled with pollution and corruption.

I will pass along more details as I get them.

Popo Salinas To Headline 24th Annual Thanksgiving Feast Boxing Show

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Jack Loew is putting on his 24th Annual Thanksgiving Feast boxing card.  This year, things are a little bit different.  The show was usually held the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving Day in the past, but was moved to a Saturday this year.

“As we all get older, we have children and grandchildren to spend time with around the holidays”, said Loew.  ”So this year we are having the show on a Saturday night, but we are keeping the Thanksgiving theme alive.”

Popo Salinas was originally scheduled to fight Romero Hernandez of Cleveland, but Hernandez has pulled out of the fight.  Loew, scrambling madly, has found a worthy opponent after spending his entire Thursday on the phone.

The new opponent will weigh in around 150 pounds, much heavier than Salinas, who fights at 132 pounds.  Christian Maynor, a two-time Golden Gloves champion has been named the new opponent, probably a harder foe for the fast-rising Salinas.

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The show will start at 7 pm and the doors of St. Lucy’s Hall in Campbell will open at 6 pm.  There are 15 bouts confirmed to take place on the card.

Loew will also corner members of his gym.  Vic Toney, Lavelle Hadley, Vince Hadley, and Chris Daniels will all get a chance to showcase their skills on the card.

Daniels is a 64-pounder from Hubbard, Ohio making his debut.

General Admission tickets are only $15 and ringside will sell for $25.

Tweet #5,000

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In the Winter of 2008, I had to have a hip replacement.  The down time I had to endure meant a lot of sitting around with nothing to do except watch reruns of Two And A Half Men and a bunch of game shows.

A friend of mine, Ethan Jaynes, who operated a blog called NESW sports, asked me to write a couple of posts.  When those stories did well, Jaynes hooked me up with the knowledge I would need to run my own site, Paneech.com.

In the time since, I have made a bunch of good friends and probably a few enemies too.

Fast forward to September of 2012.  I am working a 40-hour-a-week job, and still trying to keep up with this website.  Sometimes the posts seem scant, but that is because of the time constraints I have to deal with.

On of the biggest events I was lucky enough to cover was the dedication of Dave Grohl Boulevard in Warren.  I was interviewing Jen Campbell, the organizer of the event, in a side building as warm-up bands were wailing away outside.

Suddenly, on the third question of the interview, the door opens, and it is Dave Grohl.  He looks at us, the only two people in the room, and asks, “Am I early?”

Campbell had to run and gather some folks which left me solo with Grohl, who offered me a Budweiser.  We talked about everything from the steel industry to Wedgewood Pizza, to Kurt Cobain, to how often he sneaks back to this area to visit family.

It was the biggest, ‘right place at the right time’, moment in my life.

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I have caught some good breaks to gain access.  My first real coverage was of the Youngstown Thunder Arena Football team.  Those games were a lot of fun and I was able to develop my first player profile interviews while I was there.  Thanks to Anthony Farris for a chance.

The next break to fall into my lap was the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.  Marc Means and Dave Smith, the GM at the time, were instrumental in getting me the trial year of credentials.  The Scrappers, now functioning on the watch of Jordan Taylor, are fun because of the themes, the wrestling, the fireworks, and the personalities you meet who deal with baseball as a way of life every day.

Youngstown State University is something I never thought I would want to cover.  Too much stuff going on.  I wanted to give football a shot, so for the 2009 season, Jon Heacocks’s last,  Trevor Parks gave me that chance.  Call it good timing because nobody but WFMJ and Pete Mollica cared about the football program which seemed to be spiraling negatively.

I took a real liking to the way that the YSU people do things.  There were not too many media people who bet Jerry Slocum would still be around.  I got to know Slocum a little better than some and am glad he has found his niche here.

Covering Cindy Martin was tough because when a team goes 0-30, it is hard to ask many questions with positive answers.  Bob Boldon and his staff have picked up the slack in a big way and made that program fun.

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When Ron Strollo hired Eric Wolford for the 2010 season, he made the best possible choice for the university to rekindle a program known for its strong tradition.  Strollo has been fantastic and has seemed to make all of the right moves in the past couple of years.

Wolford is destined for bigger things.  I do not know how long he will be here, hopefully until he retires, but he makes no bones about being an SEC guy and by getting all of the good experience as a head coach here, Wolford will make a jump to a D-I school within the next few years.

Kelly Pavlik was getting recognition for beating Jermain Taylor a couple of times when I got to sit with him and chat.  Still active and back on the rise, The Ghost has provided some huge moments for this site.  Everything from title defenses to a bitter separation with Jack Loew, and no mention of foul play or substance abuse here.  No reason to.

Jake Giuriceo seems to be the next thing to emerge as a televised boxer from Youngstown.  This kid is so laid back, so spiritual, and so focused, that anyone who talks with him would be hard-pressed not to root for him.

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As the website continues to progress, I remain focused on trying to be entertaining and informative without the demise factor.  There is enough positive in the Youngstown area to avoid all of the negative.

So to Larry Holmes, the Youngstown Phantoms, 38 Special, Ron Stevens, and Pete Rose.  Thanks for the roles you have played here at Paneech.com!

Giuriceo’s September 29th Fight Cancelled

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Late word that Jake Giuriceo‘s scheduled ten-round championship match in Minnesota has been cancelled.  Giuriceo was to face Jason Litzau on September 29, for the interim WBA/NABC Lightweight Championship.

“When Floyd Mayweather Sr. pulled out of the card yesterday, it kind of set things in motion”, remarked Joe Corvino, Giuriceo’s manager.  ”Billy Lyell was set to fight on the same card and it was shaping up to be a really good night of boxing, but as we all know, this is sometimes a weird sport to figure out.”

Giuriceo is training with Frank Duarte in California.  The Bull will stay put and keep training in hopes of Corvino patching another deal for him somewhere else.

The best option may be a Roy Jones Jr. card at Mountaineer on September 29.  Jones asked Giuriceo to be on the card when it was being originated.  Corvino and Jones talked about the opportunity that Giuriceo had to face Litzau in Minnesota on the same night.  Jones reportedly said that it was a better opportunity for Giuriceo and that he would take that fight too.

** Photo Courtesy of Ron Stevens