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Lightning Strikes Greentree: Results and Play by Play
T.j Betz is a local boxing enthusiast who will be covering some local events for this site from time to time. He was on hand for the Lightning Strikes Greentree event that went down this weekend. You can follow him @T.J.Betz
Lightning strikes Greentree, Pennsylvania on June 23 The Greentree Sportsplex played host to five local and mostly exciting and entertaining boxing matches on Saturday, June 23rd. With former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer in attendance, the crowd of several hundred enjoyed a fantastic night of fights.
The first fight of the evening was a four round middleweight showdown featuring Larry Blakely (1-1-1) against John Fairley (1-4). Both fighters came out with some goods shots in the first round. As the second round began, Fairley started as the busier fighter but after missing with some wild punches, Blakely countered with some good power shots. Blakely was mostly dominate through the first three rounds but Fairley really showed off his chin taking some impressive power shots. However, Fairley landed a good punch that took Blakely down at the end of the third, which the referee correctly ruled a slip. Fairley fought a good fourth round but it was not enough for him as all three judges awarded the contest to Blakely 39-37.
Check out the rest after the jump:
The second fight of the Lightning strike Greentree card featured heavyweight Paul Zalus from West Deer, PA (4-1) against West Virginia native Daniel Martz (2-1). This one was over almost as quick as it started. Both fighters exchanged punches as the fight began but Martz quickly grabbed the upper hand and began to dominate. After a flurry of powers shots, Zalus crumbled and was knocked out with about 30 seconds left in the first round. While it was a very quick fight, it was also very entertaining with a great knock out that most of the crowd enjoyed.
Up next was the fight that the majority of the crowd was looking forward to seeing. Monessen’s own Sammy Vasquez and the impressive Team Vasquez came to fight. In only his third pro fight, Vazquez (2-0), fought Gabriel Morris (4-19). Vasquez came out quick displaying impressive speed and a nice left that took Morris down almost immediately. Not long after he made it back to his feet, Vasquez landed a thunderous left that took Morris down again and prompted his corner to throw the towel in 1:34 in the opening round. It was a solid performance against a weak opponent but Vazquez did what he was supposed to do and will look to impress his fans again July 14th at the Rivers Casino.
After a quick intermission and a performance by the Wu Lords, heavyweights Julius Long from Detroit, MI (15-16) and Adah, PA native Jason Bergman (18-9) squared off in a bout set for six rounds. Long, standing over seven feet tall had a massive height advantage over Bergman. The fight started out very sloppy by both fighters and Long landed a few punches in the opening round to the back of Bergman’s head. By the start of the second round, Long was already winded and clinching despite his major size advantage. Bergman hit Long with a painful low blow and Long clearly looked in pain. After a few minutes of rest, the fight continued and Bergman capitalized on Long and blasted him into the corner with a series of punches. However, he could not finish him off despite Long’s head being wide open for shots.
Round three brought us another low blow and when Long went down, Bergman cracked him with a shot that sent him to the canvas. This lead to one point being taken from Bergman. Long returned the favor in the fourth round with a low blow of his own, but Bergman quickly retaliated with a nice uppercut and a powerful combination of punches that sent Long back down. Round five was too much for Long. The ref took a point off of him for holding but it was irrelevant. After two more knock downs in the fifth, Long quit on the stool and Bergman earned the well-deserved TKO victory.
Rod Salka (15-1) and Joseph Laryea (14-6) from Accra, Ghana headlined the night’s eight round light welterweight main event. Unfortunately, this was a very boring fight with a lot of running from the Buola, PA product Salka. The pace of the first two rounds was very busy for both fighters with Salka winning the first round on a solid, power shot with about 30 seconds left. Salka continued to attack in the second round with several nice combinations to win the back and forth action. However, the pace of the fight slowed after two rounds. Salka landed the more meaningful, solid punches in the third but Laryea stayed busy and started to become the aggressor.
Rounds four and five were more of the same. Salka failed to respond to the chants of his supporters and ran backwards the majority of the time. Laryea pursued him the entire middle part of the fight and out worked the local fighter. Salka landed a nice punch at the end of the fifth round to possibly steal the round on some of the judge’s score cards. Round six was uneventful as Salka barely threw any punched and ran from Laryea the majority of the round. Salka got cracked early with a nice shot to the head of round seven, which led to more Salka chasing by Laryea. Laryea continued to attack and Salka finally connected with an impressive right followed by a left to end the round.
Round eight was almost in slow motion. Laryea controlled the pace and kept Salka back peddling for the rest of the fight. There was not much action in this round and neither fighter really seemed interested in engaging. After the scores were read, two judges gave the fight to Salka with the scores 78-74 and 77-75. The other judge gave it to Laryea by the count of 77-75.
Overall, Pittsburgh boxing fans were treated to a very fun and entertaining night of fights in Greentree. While the main event was boring and not entertaining in the least, all of the other fights during the night were fun and kept the crowd on their feet. It was a good showing by all involved in making this card happen. For more information on this event and future local events, check out www.paboxingevents.com.