A sold out crowd watched hometown hero, Greg Vendetti (21-3-1, 12 KOs) break down Alan Zavala (15-4, 13 KOs) over 10 exciting rounds to win a unanimous decision last night at Melrose, Massachusetts' historic fight venue, Memorial Hall.
Zavala, who took the fight on a few days notice when Vendetti's original opponent, Manny Woods came down with the flu, gave a great effort in the loss but the Mexican couldn't match Vendetti's power and work rate. Despite Zavala's extreme height and weight advantage, Vendetti found a home all night for his lead left hook and overhand right to the roars of the enthusiastic crowd.
"It was what I wanted. A high caliber guy that came to win. I don’t want to fight potatoes. I don’t get better against those guys. It doesn’t do anything for me.", said the Stoneham, Massachusetts native who challenged for the WBA Interim Super Welterweight World Title in his last fight.
"I did well. Not perfect. I wanted the knockout and I did get hit with some big shots that made it exciting for the fans but it’s a dominant win against a really solid fighter with a great chin and I’ll take that. He was a big dude though. Over 6 feet tall, a 10 inch reach advantage, who knows how much heavier, so If I’m gonna keep it going and fight the high level guys, I’m probably gonna have to go down to welterweight. I want to see what happens when I fight a guy my size and land the type of shots that I did tonight."
As for when he wants to get back in the ring and try out the new weight class, 'The Villain' displayed the no nonsense attitude that endears him to so many fans.
"I’ll take the weekend off then hit the gym starting Monday so I can get ready for the next one. I want back in there as soon as possible. I love fighting. It’s what I do."
Murphys Boxing's founder, Ken Casey was thrilled with Vendetti's performance and agreed that it may be time for a new weight class.
"First off, as always, Greg put an exclamation point on a great event with the fight of the night. We saw him fight a different type of fight tonight and show that he's still an exciting fighter even when he’s on the back foot and boxing more than usual. I do agree with Greg about dropping down a weight class though. I mean, look at the size of the kid he fought tonight. The guy weighed in at 154 but guaranteed he got in the ring 15 to 20 pounds heavier. He had a dramatic weight, height and reach advantage against Greg who is small for a junior middleweight. We'd like to get Greg back here in May and test the waters at welterweight."
As for what makes Vendetti the quintessential Murphys Boxing fighter and such a popular draw, Casey doesn't hesitate in explaining.
"Greg is the rare fighter that, when we’re looking for opponents, turns down guys cause they’re not tough enough. That’s what I love about him."
In additional action throughout the night...
The co-main event saw Murphys Boxing's own Ryan Kielczweski (30-4, 11 KOs) win a wide unanimous decision over Nick Otieno (31-16, 13 KOs) in an 8 round lightweight fight. 'The Polish Prince' from Quincy, Massachusetts scored his 30th victory and is now looking to face a Top 10 ranked fighter as he makes another run at a world title.
Fan favorite, Mike Ohan Jr. (9-0, 5 KOs) defeated Shaka Moore (12-24-3, 2 KOs) winning a 6 round majority decision with scores of 59-55, 58-56 and 57-57. The recent Murphys Boxing signee from nearby Holbrook, Massachusetts used a sharp array of counterpunches and a tight defense to win a crowd pleasing fight against a crafty and game welterweight veteran. Ohan Jr., whose father was a successful New England based professional fighter, is quickly becoming one of the area's most exciting prospects.
Luis Arcon (6-0, 6 KOs), a two-time Venezuelan Olympian , made his debut under the Murphys Boxing promotional banner, stopping Zack Ramsey (8-7, 4 KOs) in the 2nd round. The showboating Ramsey barely made it out of the first round after hitting the canvas twice but he managed to make the bell only to be dropped and stopped at the start of the second. All of the hard hitting Olympian's wins have come by knockout within the first two rounds and Murphys Boxing is planning on putting the talented young fighter on the fast track.
James Perella (2-0, 2 KOs) dropped Andre Belcarris (0-5) three times in the first round of a scheduled 4 round welterweight bout prompting the referee to call a halt to the action. The first two knockdowns came from body shots while the third came from a perfectly timed right cross. After turning pro just 2 weeks ago at Murphys Boxing's St. Patrick's Day Clash , the young Mansfield, Massachusetts native is off to a fast start. With a lengthy amateur career, which saw him win the Boston Golden Glovesfour times, Perella is looking to return to the ring next month.
Joe Farina (6-1, 4 KOs) kept up a relentless body attack, dropping and stopping Carlos Galindo (1-9) in the third round of a scheduled 4 round welterweight bout. The South Bostonian is off to a busy 2019 having appeared just 2 weeks ago on Murphys Boxing's St. Patrick's Day Clash where he picked up a unanimous decision win.
Dublin, Ireland's Craig O'Brien (10-1, 1 KO) made his USA debut cruising to an easy 6 round unanimous decision outboxing veteran, Antonio Fernandez (9-36-4). Judges saw the fight 59-55, 59-55 and 60-54. The middleweight shares the same gym stable as Murphys Boxing's Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan and Niall Kennedy .
The night opened with surprising upset when Francisco Artri Neto (1-3, 1 KO) came off the canvas to drop and make Joe Gagliardi Jr. (1-1) quit in the third round of a 4 round cruiserweight fight. Neto, a beyond friendly Brazilian native that trains out of Rodrigo's Dungeon in Woburn, Massachusetts, picked up his first win in dramatic fashion, silencing Gagliardi's vocal supporters and, at 40 years old, proving age is only a number.
'Mayhem at Melrose' also saw the presentation of Murphys Boxing's first annual Warrior's Code Award which has been established to honor legendary New England based fighters.
The inaugural awards were presented to 2019 International Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee and at 87 years old, one of the oldest living champions in the world, Tony DeMarco and Melrose's own highly decorated amateur star, Michael D'Ampolo .
The two fighters were presented plaques in the ring by Murphys Boxing's Ken Caseyand Sean Sullivan and they both received standing ovations from the sold out crowd.