Veterans Stadium Showcase Results: Mike Ohan Jr Digs Deep, Picks up Career-Best Win
(Photo courtesy of Emily Harney, Fightography)
(All other photos courtesy of @thefightphotos, Instagram)
Friday night I was at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Quincy, Massachusetts for a twelve-fight card that included three amateur boxing fights and nine professional boxing matches. The card was promoted by Chris Traietti of Granite Chin Promotions and was extremely entertaining from beginning to end.
The night’s main event was a highly anticipated local 140lb matchup between Mike “Bad Man” Ohan Jr (Holbrook, MA) and Harry “The Hitman” Gigliotti (Haverhill, MA). Both men are well-respected fighters from the New England boxing scene and left it all in the ring. Gigliotti began the fight on the front foot and tried to make Ohan uncomfortable. Gigliotti had some success going on the offensive, but Ohan was able to weather the storm and land some sharp counter shots. A left hook to the body in the fifth round forced Gigliotti to crumble to the canvas, but to his credit, he rose before the count of ten and continued to fight. Ohan would continue to hurt Gigliotti to the body. In the sixth round, Ohan connected on another left hook to the liver that bothered Gigliotti but the bell came right as he was closing in on another knockdown. Gigliotti continued to bring it, but Ohan seemed to be one step ahead and always retaliated whenever he was hit with a good shot. Ohan improved to 19-2 and put in a career-best performance. Gigliotti is now 9-5 but showed the heart of an absolute warrior and deserves a ton of credit for not only accepting this fight but also for the determination that he showed for all eight rounds. Can’t wait to see both men back in action in the near future.
The co-main event was a middleweight unification bout between USBF Middleweight Champion Julien “Black Dragon” Baptiste (Woburn, MA) and USA Massachusetts State Middleweight Champion Jamer Jones (Pittsfield, MA). Jones came out using his height and reach advantage, and dropped Baptiste with a straight right hand near the end of the opening round. Baptiste would recover in between rounds though, and begin to close the distance and get on the inside. The fight was a give and take affair until the sixth round when a huge overhand right from Baptiste floored Jones and ended the fight in dramatic fashion. Baptiste improved to 6-3 and picked up his third KO victory, while Jones fell to 3-2.
Rising star Francis “Frank The Tank” Hogan (Weymouth, MA) was in action on the undercard and delivered another dynamite performance. He was in against Miguel Angel Suarez (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and showed right away that this would be a quick night’s work. A left hand followed by a right hook scored a knockdown for Hogan in the last minute of the opening round, and a combination against the ropes dropped Suarez again in the second round and ended the fight. Hogan, who was a 2020 US Olympic alternate, is now 15-0 with 14 KOs while Suarez drops to 15-13.
Highly touted 175lb prospect Thomas “The Kid” O’Toole fought for his first regional title in a cruiserweight battle against Scott “Scotty Bombs” Lampert. O’Toole was an Irish national champion as an amateur and had too much firepower for Lampert. A five-punch combination dropped Lampert thirty seconds into the fight, and a check left hook set him down once again a minute later. To his credit, Lampert continued to try and make something happen, but he was outgunned and the fight was called off in the corner between the first and second rounds. O’Toole became the USBF Atlantic Cruiserweight Champion with the win but plans to focus on rising up the light heavyweight ranks going forward. “The Kid” improved to 8-0 and picked up his sixth knockout with the win. Lampert falls to 5-9 with the defeat.
Tommy “The Governor” Hyde (Cork, Ireland) picked up his sixth straight win and got some quality rounds in against 51-fight veteran Robert Talarek (Ruda Slaska, Poland). Hyde is now 6-0, and someone to keep an eye on in the 168lb division. Talarek dropped to 27-21-3, but proved that he can still give young prospects on the rise some valuable experience as they level up.
Gabriel “The Menace” Morales (Lowell, MA) turned in a workman-like performance against the tough and rugged Nathan Benichou (Puebla, Mexico). Benichou did what you want to see every B-side fighter do, which is come to fight and test the prospect that is in front of them. Morales was in the driver’s seat for the four-round distance and took home the majority decision victory. Morales bettered his pro record to 8-0, while Benichou is now 2-17.
Kenny Larson (Salem, MA) squared off with Alfred Raymond (Pawtucket, RI) in a six-round 154lb contest that was not without some controversy. It was a fight where both men had their moments, but the general consensus from ringside observers was that Larson edged it out. Originally the fight was declared a majority decision win for Raymond, but the result was later changed to a split decision draw due to a judging error. Larson, now 7-0-1, has a blemish on his record but gets to keep his undefeated record while Alfred Raymond is now 1-6-2.
The second fight of the night was a heavyweight fight that was action-packed for as long as it lasted. Kevin “Big Gulp” Nagle (Scituate, MA) was in a tough battle against debutant Bruno Saraiva (Boston, MA). Saraiva was outweighed by nearly 100 pounds, but came out firing and caught Nagle flush with some overhand rights in the opening round. Nagle took the shots well though, and began attacking the body of Saravia which lead to a right hook downstairs that ended the fight in the second round. Nagle improved to 3-0 with 3 KOs. Though Saraiva came up short in his pro debut, he showed courage and I wouldn’t be surprised if he got rewarded with another opportunity soon.
The first pro fight of the evening was a middleweight contest between Luke Iannucilli (Methuen, MA) and Ryan Clark (Berwick, MA). Clark is a fighter who’s record is deceiving, most of his losses have been competitive decision losses where he came in on the B-side. This fight was more of the same, but Iannucilli limited Clark’s offense and didn’t let him get going like he has in some of his previous fights. Iannucilli is now 7-0 with the win, while Clark fell to 2-5.
Three amateur bouts preceded the nine-fight pro card. The fights followed the three, two-minute rounds format and were sanctioned by USA Boxing.
The opening fight was a welterweight matchup between Shaquille Mair and Desmond Le. The first round saw both men feel each other out, but Mair took over in the last two rounds en route to a decision win. His punching power and timing made the difference, as he had Le buckled a few times with both the jab and the right hand which he set up beautifully by placing the jab to the body and then following it up with a straight right upstairs. Mair got a late start to the sport, but he is training day in and day out with several high-level professionals and the sky is the limit for him.
The second bout of the amateur show featured Jenn Perella who was opposite of Danielle Millian in a 119lb showdown. Both women came to fight, but Perella’s overall activity and accuracy proved to be too much as in the end she was announced the winner via unanimous decision. Her combination work is exactly what you want to see from an amateur fighter, and she will be tough to beat going forward due to her style.
The third and final amateur fight of the evening was a firefight that set the tone perfectly for the pro show. Ronilson de Castro started strong, knocking down Dylan Connors in the first round. Connors did not allow the knockdown to alter his gameplan though, as he landed a crisp left hook (shown above) that dropped de Castro and gave the referee no choice but to end the fight.
All in all, it was a successful night of boxing. Veterans Memorial Stadium was a nice venue to see fights and I hope that they continue to have cards there. I have been around and gotten to know all the fighters at Everybody Fights (a gym in Boston) this summer and Friday night was the latest example of the great work that they are all doing over there. Trainers Mark Deluca (current 154/160lb contender) and Matt Ryan went 5-0 on the night, with Shaquille Mair and Jenn Perella winning on the amateur show, Thomas O’Toole and Frank Hogan picking up early knockouts, and Mike Ohan closing the show strong with the unanimous decision victory. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for everyone who competed on the card, and can’t wait to see them back in action.