Pittsburgh Boxing Preview 2022: Gionta Management’s “Murrysville Madness III”

By Larry Snyder

Murrysville, Pa. – Promoter Derek Gionta and matchmaker Brian Dillon return with another quality evening of professional boxing Saturday, September 17, 2022, with their Murrysville Madness III card at the Murrysville SportZone. Gionta Management continues its efforts to bring the future of the sport to the Greater Pittsburgh area.

Gionta commented to me about the SportZone, “The venue is great to work with…It looks likely that we will have two shows at the SportZone in 2023.”

Aliquippa southpaw Paul Palombo (2-0-0, 1 KO) seeks his third super welterweight victory in the main event when he steps through the ropes to battle 35-year-old Antonio Castillo Jr (2-2-0, 2 KOs) from Canton, Ohio. Palombo, 29, is coming off a win by unanimous decision in January 2022 against Leonidas Fowlkes (2-10-1) at Rivers Casino. He said on Facebook after that match, “I am extremely thankful and blessed to be in the position that I am with a solid team around me and the support system that I have. I couldn’t do it without any of you.”

Castillo Jr’s last outing was November 2021 in Erie, PA, when he claimed a technical knockout in the first round over Eric Palmer (14-15-5, 2 KOs). I think Palombo goes home with a knockout victory in the third round.

California lightweight Willie Shaw (14-3-0, 10 KO’s) makes his Pennsylvania debut in the co-main event and aims to collect the 15th triumph when he confronts Andrew Rodgers (6-10-2, 2 KO’s) of Elkhart, Indiana. The 30-year-old Shaw scored his 14th victory in July 2022 when he defeated Edgar Daniel Ahumada (11-31-2, 1 KO) by technical knockout in the sixth round. Eleven of his bouts have gone the distance.

Shaw talked with Patrick Varine of TribLive.com about his career, “I played a lot of sports in high school and kind of got away from it. But when I went to college, I needed money, and that’s when I started taking it real serious.”

Before this Saturday, Rodgers, 30, lost by unanimous decision after six rounds in March 2022 to Alejandro Paulino (11-0-0 9 KO’s) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rhode Island, he last won in September 2021 with a unanimous decision over Thomas Velasquez (10-2-1, 6 KO’s) at the Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City. My prediction is Shaw digs deep in the seventh and administers a technical knockout.

Pittsburgh lightweight Mike Conway (4-3-1, 2 KO’s) will make it three consecutive Murrysville Madness events when he takes on 35-year-old Nathan Benichou (2-11-1, 2 KO’s) of Cholula, Puebla, Mexico. The 28-year-old nicknamed Maverick lost in May 2022 by majority decision to Marcello Williams (3-14-0) during Murrysville Madness II. Conway won at the first Murrysville Madness in September 2021 by unanimous decision over Joshua Zimmerman (0-9-0).

Conway said on his Facebook page, “Grateful for the best family and friends, for having a job I love, for being able to get in the ring and do what I love, and for having the best damn team behind me supporting me and pushing me through every bit of it.” I believe this one will go to the judge’s scorecards, and Conway comes away with the second unanimous decision of his career.

Bouts featuring super middleweight Eric Lomax (4-1-0, 3 KO’s) of Pittsburgh and super welterweight Treavon Craycraft (3-0-0) from Ambridge, PA, round out the night.

From The Shootin Ur Shot YouTube Channel – October 2021: Gionta Management Presents Murrysville Madness (Clean Version)…

Your Murrysville Madness III Line-Up:

Main Event: Super Welterweight (4 Rounds) – Paul Palombo (2-0-0, 1 KO) Aliquippa, PA Vs. Antonio Castillo Jr (2-2-0, 2 KO’s) Canton, OH

Co-Main Event: Lightweight (8 Rounds) – Willie Shaw (14-3-0, 10 KO’s) Vallejo, California Vs. Andrew Rodgers (6-10-2, 2 KO’s) Elkhart, Indiana

Lightweight (4 Rounds) – Mike Conway (4-3-1, 2 KO’s) Pittsburgh, PA Vs. Nathan Benichou (2-11-1, 2 KO’s) Cholula, Puebla, Mexico

Super Middleweight (4 Rounds) – Eric Lomax (4-1-0, 3 KO’s) Pittsburgh, PA Vs. Charon Spain (4-19-2, 1 KO) Davenport, Iowa

Super Welterweight (4 Rounds) – Treavon Craycraft (3-0-0) Ambridge, PA Vs. Terry Roscoe (2-14-1) Albany, Georgia

CORNER NOTES: Steel City super welterweight Mary Casamassa (2-0-0, 1 KO) was to be part of the card, but no opponent elected to face her. The Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission sanctions the contests, and the competitors are subject to change.

Doors at the Sportzone open for the fans at 6:00 p.m., and the first bell rings at 7:00 p.m. You can check on available seats by calling 412-759-0407.

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