Pittsburgh Boxing 2022: Integrity Fighter Management Presents Spring Slugfest Five

By Larry Snyder

Pittsburgh, Pa – The Steel City trio of Basyzbek Baratov, Johnny Spell, and Rosalindo Morales is ready to take local boxing fans to the next level when they step into the ring this weekend in the neighborhood of Oakland. Michael McSorley, J.J. Richards, and the Integrity Fighter Management team bring the Spring Slugfest Five fight card Saturday, March 12, to the Cathedral Room at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox church.

Matchmaker Brian Dillon has the 30-year-old Baratov (5-1-2, 1 KO) going for his fourth consecutive victory and the Appalachian Boxing Organization Super Bantamweight title in the eight-round main event against Alexander Castellano (6-1-0, 2 KO’s) from Buffalo, New York.

Baratov, originally from Dzhalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan, won his last encounter Saturday, September 18, 2021, by unanimous decision over Joseph Reed (0-1-0, 0 KO) at Derek Gionta’s Murrysville Madness event in the Murrysville SportZone Arena. Seven of his eight bouts have gone the distance. Baratov and his family welcomed a baby daughter at the beginning of March.

Castellano, 29, is making his second trip to the City of Bridges as his last triumph was by unanimous decision versus Shawn Rall (1-5-0, 1 KO) in January 2022 on Gionta’s Winter Mayhem clash at the Pittsburgh Shrine Center in Cheswick. He went the distance in five of his seven matchups.

For the 26-year-old Spell (5-0-0, 3 KO’s), it is about answering the challenge to remain undefeated as he faces Jonatan Hernan Godoy (5-13-0, 0 KO) from Miami, Florida in a six-round lightweight meeting.

Spell stepped through the ropes in November 2021 on a previous Integrity Fighter Management card and claimed a unanimous decision against James Early (5-8-0, 0 KO) out of Washington DC. Three of his five wins went from the opening bell to the final round. Godoy, who is 30 and was born in Argentina, hopes to reverse his fortunes by using his 18-bout experience to put the brakes on a six-fight losing streak.

Devotees of the Sweet Science have a six-round Super Featherweight contest to enjoy as part of the evening. Morales (6-0-0, 0 KO) of Ellwood City, PA, battles Guadalupe Jimenez (5-5-1, 4 KO’s) of East Moline, Illinois.

Morales served his country as a U.S. Marine. The 28-year-old southpaw owns unanimous decisions over all of his competitors. Jimenez seeks to collect victory after back-to-back losses to Jose Marquina (2-1-1, 0 KO) from East Moline, IL, in August 2021 and February 2022, respectively.

Integrity Pro Bouts – Four 3-Minute Rounds Each:

Super Featherweight – Joseph Reed (0-1-0) Buffalo, NY Vs. Jose Marquina (2-1-1, 0 KO) East Moline, IL

Light Heavyweight – Lucas Adams (2-1-0, 0 KO) Butler, PA Vs. Tahlik Taylor (4-20-1) Durham, NH

CORNER NOTES: Doors swing open for the fans at 6:00 p.m., and the first bell sounds at 7:00 p.m. The Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission authorizes the competitions, and the participants in any match are subject to change. You can locate Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox at 419 South Dithridge Street. Purchase your seat online here.

UPDATE Donya Shodja, a University of Pittsburgh Ph.D. student, kicks off the Saturday evening lineup with a three-round exhibition against Golden Glove hopeful Ashley Harner. Gionta trains Shodja.

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