By Larry Snyder
New Cumberland, WV – For followers of the Sweet Science, it was a standing-room only event in the Grand Ballroom at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort Sunday, Sept. 2 for the Labor Day Eve Bash presented by Angelo Magnone and Made Men Promotions. The ten fights on this quality card contained some surprises.
Weirton’s Justin Steave, 32, was unable to collect his 10th career triumph in the main event as his arduous six-round super welterweight match went the distance with 32-year-old Rick Graham from Detroit, Michigan. Two of the three judges ruled 57 to 56 in favor of Graham while the third scored it 59-54 for Steave.
Late in the opening round, Graham (6-20-3, 2 KOs) delivered a robust right to stagger Steave (9-2-0, 4 KOs) and it may have been the difference-maker for the judges. During the fourth, the fury of the two combatants exchanges led to two tie-ups near the ropes which saw the pair become entangled and crash together to the canvas.
During the co-main event, the heavyweights took control of the ring as Daniel Martz (17-6-1, 14 KOs) of Clarksburg, WV needed just two rounds to defeat Richard Carmack
(15-14-1, 12 KOs) from Kansas City, MO for the vacant American Boxing Federation Colonial Atlantic Heavyweight Championship.
The 27-year-old Martz, who weighed in at 251.8 pounds, dropped Carmack, 30 years old and 360 pounds, to his knees twice with a convincing combination of head and body shots. Martz picked up the win at 2:59 of the second.
Danny Rosenberger (4-5-3, 1 KO) from Niles, Ohio served the fans the first of three electric knockouts in the first round with his victory over super welterweight Erik Plumeri (0-8-1) of Lockport, New York. Rosenberger, 28, never let up from the bell with his assault, forcing referee Chris Riskus to stop the proceedings at 1:05 with the 33-year-old Plumeri against the ropes, showing little resistance.
Rosenberger, who trains out of the Downtown Boxing Club in Youngstown, talked with Brian Whan of Youngstown Boxing News about the quick conquest, “It felt good, that was the game plan to get back to it and in the ring and do stuff I didn’t do my last fight. I’ve learned that if I stun I need to follow with that kill shot.”
Brandun Lee (11-0-0, 9 KOs) from La Quinta, Calif. provided the swiftest kayo of the night when he stunned Jorge Luis Munguia (13-14-0, 5 KOs) of Tegucigalpa, Honduras just 56 seconds into the first round. Back to back lefts, first to the body and then the head, caused the 29-year-old Munguia to go down.
Lee told me after the bout he has been boxing since he was six years old. Per reporter Samuel McKibben, the 19-year-old Lee is trained by his father at the Coachella Valley Boxing Club in Coachella, CA.
For his professional debut, Beaver Falls middleweight Kiante Irving, 24, furnished the final first-round coup de grâce when he stopped Vince Berkhaulter (0-8-1) from New Orleans, LA with punishing body shots at 1:57 of the opening frame.
Irving was the 2018 National Golden Gloves champion in the 165-pound middleweight class and trains at Tom Yankello’s World Class Gym in Ambridge, PA. He took the next step by signing recently with Chris Middendorf’s Victory Boxing Promotions.
Ellwood City’s Rosalindo Morales (2-0-0) and Latorie Woodberry (2-7-2) from Roanoke, VA dueled for four demanding rounds in their super lightweight meeting. Both were resilient in absorbing the attack of his opponent, and the duo stayed upright throughout the contest. The majority decision from the judges went 40-36, 39-37, 38-38 in favor of Morales.
Morales, who is an infantryman in the United States Marine Corp Reserves, told me later in the casino he had just two weeks of training for this bout because of reserve duties. He trains at the Ellwood City Police Department Boxing Club. I believe this 24-year-old has a bright future.
Remaining Professional Outcome:
Welterweight – Tre’Sean Wiggins of Johnstown, PA – UD – Over Justin Johnson of Pittsburgh, PA
It was an All-Ohio confrontation between semi-pro middleweights Zack Odell of Mingo and Brock Eakle of Steubenville for the vacant Tri-State Amateur Championship. After three rounds, the judges awarded Odell the win by a unanimous decision, which I agreed with, as he was the clear aggressor throughout the matchup.
Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2018 first-round draft pick, safety Terrell Edmunds made the presentation of the belt to Odell in the center of the ring.
Remaining Semi-Pro Results:
Heavyweight – Gabe Lambert of Parkersburg, WV – TKO 3rd Rnd – Over Paul Eakle Jr. of Steubenville, OH
Light Heavyweight – Ethan Hayes of Uniontown, PA – UD – Over Andrew Odell of Mingo, OH
Acknowledgments: Thank you to Angelo Magnone and Made Men Promotions for allowing me to attend the event. My thanks also to writers Brian Whan of YBN and “Pittsburgh Sam” McKibben along with ABF photographer Deborah Carbone for their help throughout the evening.