A fight I sat ringside for and covered.Tonight in front of a sold out crowd at the 26th annual Erie Classic at the Avalon Hotel Guillermo Sanchez pulled off another upset by beating previously undefeated Pittsburgh fighter Rod Salka.
Sanchez came in losing his last two fights but fought a good game plan against the slicker and better boxer Salka. Sanchez used brawling tactics and wild looping shots to get to Salka (12-1 3 KO).
The pattern of the fight was set in the first round with Salka winning the boxing parts of the round while Sanchez (12-2-1 5 KO) forced the fight and landed the harder shots throughout the fight.
Sanchez landed the first good shot of the fight but was met with a solid Salka left later in the round. Sanchez responded with a flurry but was trapped in the corner and took some punches.
Salka got behind the jab in round two and proved that he was the better boxer of the two and started landing body shots a trend that would last throughout the whole fight.
Salka landed a good left at the end of the round which was met with a smile from Sanchez. The fourth round would prove to be a pivotal round in the fight.
While exchanging near the ropes there was an accidental head butt that immediately opened a big gash on the side of Salka’s head.
He took a knee immediately and the cut was given some attention in the middle of the round. The Sanchez corner was not happy about that and had something to say at the end of the fight about it.
That proved to be a turning point because Salka never seemed to regain his rhythm and seemed to slug a little bit more. He did keep going to the body but was getting hit cleanly more often.
Sanchez had a big fifth round but the sixth started slow and Salka got back to his boxing. When in the corner during this round I heard him say “I can’t see” to his dad and Paul Spadafora.
The last two rounds saw Sanchez get in more shots and land the better shots. The scores of 78-74 (3x) was a little shocking as I had it a little closer with a score of five rounds to three.
The co-main event was a good junior welterweight dustup between Youngstown native Jake “The Bull” Giuriceo and Philadelphia transplant Julius Edmonds (7-9).
They were both aggressive fighters that exchanged a lot of punches. The fight saw a lot of exchanges with both fighters getting in good shots but Giuriceo (9-0-1 2 KO) had the better combination punching which won the fight for him.
The best round for Giuriceo was the third when he landed some big uppercuts. He won the fight by scores of 60-54 (2x) and 59-55.
Big Erie heavyweight Rocky Mulloly (4-2 3 KO) used his 25 pound weight advantage to knockout Ryan St. Germain (2-6 2 KO) in the first round with a big left hook and two follow up barrages. Stoppage was at 1:35 of round one.
In the knockout of the night Chris Hazimihalis(3-0 3 KO) totally flattened Justin Goodall (1-1 1 KO). He landed a huge left hook that put him down and finished the fight with a big straight right at 1:29 of the second round.
The first fight of the night set the tone for the night as Scott Alfer (1-0) won his debut by beating Aaron Dufour (1-1 1 KO). The fight started slowly but didn’t stay that way for long.
Alfer scored a knockdown in the second round and it looked like Dufour was going to get knocked out but he hung tough and lasted the whole fight. Alfer won the fight by scores of 39-36 (3x)