By Larry Snyder
Pittsburgh, PA – The Gladiators of the Sweet Science provided fans with an exciting evening in the City of Bridges Saturday, Dec. 7th, as another quality boxing card was presented at Rivers Casino by Matt McGovern along with Sandra Ortiz-Melo and the World Fighting Championships team.
Bill Hutchinson (19-2-4, 9 KOs) claimed his second straight victory in 2019 and the ninth consecutive of his career with his unanimous decision in the Main Event over Gabriel Smith (9-2-1, 4 KOs) from Houston, Texas. The 30-year-old Pittsburgh native swept the judges’ scorecards 78-74, 78-74, 78-74. The 136-pound catchweight matchup went eight rounds.
With the backing of the raucous hometown crowd, Hutch brought a steady workman-like style to the ring and applied an assault from an assortment of angles throughout the meeting. I thought Hutchinson might pull the trigger in the seventh and eighth rounds, as I had him wrapping up the night 77-73.
After the decision announcement, Hutchinson got down on one knee and asked his girlfriend Caitlyn Klucick to be his wife in the middle of the ring, and she accepted.
When the referee brought out Beaver Falls’ Kiante Irving (7-0-0, 7 KOs) to begin the four rounds of his co-feature event with Carlos Carcia Hernandez (15-23-1, 12 KOs) from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, it marked the first time Irving ventured that far in a match as a professional. Keep in mind, four of the 25-year-old’s pro bouts did not get out of the first round, with the remaining two concluding in the second.
Irving looked like he was winding up the contest in the second as he had the left jab working and dropped Hernandez with a robust right, which resulted in a standing eight count. Hernandez, 31, recovered quickly and finished the round. The 2018 National Gold Gloves Champion in the 165-pound middleweight class continued to dominate and in the fourth, backed Hernandez into the corner with a furious exchange. Irving ended it with the approval of the entire crowd with a swift left Hernandez could not recover from at 2:32.
Pittsburgh’s Eric Lomax (1-0-0) was triumphant in his four-round super middleweight professional debut as he collected a unanimous decision (40-36, 39-37, 40-36) over Jabrandon Harris (0-5-0) from Bryan, Texas.
From the opening bell, the 29-year-old Lomax, who is managed by Derek Gionta, was the more active and aggressive fighter in the competition. He was able to target the body against Harris, 29, and use his speed to land more shots, starting with his effective left jab.
Lomax commented on his Facebook page, “Thank you to all my family, friends, and fans for your support. I humbly appreciate everyone who played a role in this dream becoming a reality.”
WFC 118 Remaining Professional Results:
James Bryant WINS By Unanimous Decision (40-36, 40-36, 39-37) Over Randy Wachacha (Heavyweight)
Robert Weisen WINS By Majority Decision (38-38, 40-36, 39-37) Over Lawrence Blakey (195-lbs)
Rance Ward WINS By Referee Technical Decision At The End Of Round Two Over Scott Perhach (160-lbs)
WFC 118 Amateur Title Match – Cleveland’s Nick Duganier reclaimed his WFC belt on points in a rematch with Paul Palombo from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. Palombo captured the 165-pound title Saturday, Sept. 21st, 2019, at WFC 113 on a split decision against Duganier at Rivers Casino. While both athletes threw substantial exchanges, Duganier used his superior height and reach to take control and build his advantage over the three rounds. He said on his Facebook page, “Can’t thank everyone enough who came out and supported me on my redemption trip! It was a hell of a fight!”
WFC 118 Remaining Amateur Results:
Ricky Carter WINS On Points Over Hank Gaston (157-lbs)
Rockill Brown WINS On Points Over Donny Behanna (190-lbs)
Jamar Sherrill, Jr. WINS On Points Over James Ross (165-lbs)
John Demus WINS On Points Over Codie Smith (Heavyweight)
Donivel Evans WINS On Points Over Jake Lester (152-lbs)
Corner Clipboard: The trio of Al Amelio, Alexis Pierce, and John Santore were the judges for the six professional bouts while Ernie Sharif and Tim Shipley split the referee duties. Eric Bohn was the ringside physician.
Gary and Trista Campbell and their GTC Promotions from Morgantown, West Virginia, provided the ring girls for all of the matches at WFC 118.