Professional boxing continued its active schedule in Western Pennsylvania last night at The Hollywood Casino at the Meadows with a five-bout card before a large crowd of enthusiastic fight fans.
The fights went down at the Washington, Pennsylvania (30 minutes south of Pittsburgh) casino – the first since before the pandemic.
Integrity Fighter Management, led by Mike McSorley and JJ Richardson, promoted the event, punctuated with two thrilling first-round knockouts by two undefeated local prospects.
In the 8-round main event, Rosalindo “Rosie” Morales (8-0, 2 KOs), of Ellwood City, stopped West Virginia native Ronald Harrison (4-2, 3 KOs) with a series of punishing body shots while Harrison was in retreat and against the ropes.
Harrison was unable to make it back to his feet before the 10-count.
Morales captured the ABO (Appalachian Boxing Organization) 130-lb belt with the victory, but most importantly, the continued momentum with his second knockout in a row. Morales has been in with some tough opposition since turning pro. He seems to be settling in well at this weight which has his team excited about what’s to come in the future.
Mike McSorley commented after the fight, “Rosalindo Morales has frustrated each and every opponent he has faced in the pro ranks. He is a tireless, humble worker, JJ and I look forward to what’s next.”
With a large contingent of fans, you can expect to see Morales headlining more events here in the region in the near future.
In the evening’s 168-lb co-feature, Beaver Falls native Kiante Irving notched his 10th professional victory with a devastating first-round knockout over Charon Spain (4-19-2, 1 KO) of Davenport, Iowa.
Irving, a 2018 National Golden Glove champion, put together a violent assault behind a steady jab and series of hard right hands and left hooks that saw Spain hit the canvas multiple times – prompting the referee stoppage at 2:16 of the round.
Trained by Tommy Yankello, Irving (10-0-1, 10 KOs), will look to continue his knockout streak moving forward into bigger fights.
With a massive crowd behind him, you can expect more fireworks here in the western Pennsylvania from the 6-foot-3-inch prospect.
In an absolute barn burner heavyweight fight, local Pittsburgh favorite Joseph Turk (2-0, 1 KO) won a 4-round decision over Dennis Vance (1-5, 1 KO), of South Branch, Michigan.
The two traded heavy blows back and forth for the duration of the fight while Turk, the more conventional boxer of the two, patiently looked to set up power punches behind his jab.
Vance, a scrappy southpaw that gave you looks from all angles, had success with looping hooks and overhands to counter Turk.
This fight had the crowd roaring throughout before the final tallies were in. Ringsode scores were 39-37 scores across the board went for the local heavyweight Turk.
In a six-round lightweight affair, Pittsburgh’s Johnny “TTG” Spell (7-0, 4 KOs) defeated Marcello Williams (3-13), Orlando, FL. by way of Brazil.
Spell worked behind his jab and looked to pick his shots against the awkward, cagey Williams.
The judges had Spell winning every round. It was a good test for Spell, though the scorecards certainly did not indicate the test provided by Williams in his second fight here in the Pittsburgh.
In the opening bout of the night, Pittsburgh’s Deon Goodlow (3-4) won a unanimous decision over Cheswick’s Jordan Zlacki (2-5, 1 KO) over four rounds of action in the junior middleweight division.
The fight was a rematch. Zlacki won the first encounter by decision.
Goodlow made solid adjustments this time and boxed well against the pressing brawler. A steady jab with sneaky right hands over the top made this one clear-cut, although competitive as Zlacki pressed forward the entire fight.
Goodlow used his feet and moved his head well causing Zlacki to miss consistently, seemingly exhausting him by the final round.
Accurate scores were 40-36 across the board.
The event streamed live on BXNG TV as Marc Abrams and former two-time IBF cruiserweight champ Steve Cunningham handled commentary duties.
Integrity Fighter Management looks to return to this venue later in the year, where fans will see similar names and other locals.
Action will resume July 2 in the region as our promotion, under my Gionta Management LLC banner will present Pro-Am boxing at the nearby Washington County Fairgrounds.
Locals Matt Conway and rising female professional Mary Casamassa will headline the card along with Oakland, Ca’s Willie Shaw – while several of the region’s top amateurs will step in the ring to start the night.