Pinnacle Boxing Championships 2/27 Card and Other Stuff:

Pinnacle’s debut into the boxing world is officially ready to roll as we into this weekend’s stacked event.  Every pugilist on this card can fight and we have some bangers on tap.  Tickets are basically gone aside from a few random seats here and there so that’s always a good thing.  Any promoter who has been doing this shit for awhile will tell you if you are in it for the money you prepare to have your day ruined, including myself so for me a sell out crowd validates the idea.  The event will be catered by Gus's Cafe along with the after party which is super convenient because it's on the same block as the venue. 

Last weekend’s showdown at the Sokol club was also a huge success.  These are great signs for the sport of boxing in the area.  We can’t do this without our sponsors so here they are, make sure you like their Facebook pages and support their companies like they support ours:  

Faster, HRT Regenesis, Allegheny Crane, Gus’s Cafe, KP Builders, Fit Crunch, Timebomb Shop

Here’s the card along with some random thoughts about the bouts:

                                              Professional Card:

Main Event: Bill Hutchinson Vs. Eric Palmer - Palmer’s a very tough and tested guy but has apparently rubbed Hutchinson the wrong way throughout this process which should make for an interesting match up. Palmer comes to fight and has been in the ring with some of the region’s best.

Gerald Sherrell Vs. Turner Williams - Sherrell was ranked #4 in the country as an amateur

Justin Steave Vs. Henry Mercer - Who doesn’t love a little Hawk Time? It’s great to have Steave back under the Pinnacle banner again.

Wellington Romero vs. Carlos Velasquez - Romero is getting the push from Roc Nation and Velasquez is a hired gun looking to polish off another up and comer.

Amonte Eberhart Vs. Tom Ayers - Amonte was one of the best amateurs in the city and has been sparring some of the best guys in the country including Sammy Vasquez regularly.

                                                 Amateur Card:

John Jaquay Vs. Gregg Rudolph - I have seen a lot of guys who have problems with one another many, many times in my life but I’m pretty sure the animosity between these two maybe the most genuine I have ever seen.  They dislike each other so much I actually can’t really figure it out why or how with there being so little actual interaction between the two.  For every north there is a south I guess?  Jaquay just won a tournament in West Virginia last weekend and one of the wins was via KO. So yeah, shit’s getting real bros.

Rich Cantolina Vs. Cortland Woodard -  Here is another battle between two guys who just can’t be in the same room together.  They already fought once - a highly contested decision in Cantolina’s favor- and now they are drawing swords again after a series of social media spats and a scheduling conflict.

Cameron Donnelly vs Sylvio Cercone - Both of these young guns have been making improvements in their young careers.  This fight will give you a chance to see how good the next generation is.

Hugo Garcia vs Kelvin Smith - Kel Smith always comes to fight and Hugo Garcia is arguably one of the best amateurs in the city.

We got word this morning that Steeler standout Antonion Brown will be ringside because he's bored and wants to see Rudolph and Jaquay settle up.  You know I'm serious about tickets being limited when I don't even post the link up.   

See yinz there. 

Southside Showdahn This Saturday:

2/20/2016 Southside:

If yinz are bored and looking for something to do this weekend, make sure you head dahn the southside and check out some local boxers doing their thing at the Sokol club. Yes, I may have over done my written yinzer there just now but it's for the kids.  

Anyway, Rich Donnelly always does a great job with this show and for a couple bucks you'll get to see some high level amateurs throw hands and I'm not talking about outside of Mario's. 

This fight is also sponsored by one of my favorite banks to do business with. For those of you who are interested in purchasing a new house or pick up an investment property, United American Savings on Carson is your spot.  I have been a real estate investor for 5+ years now and it wouldn't be possible without banks like UAS.  They don't even pay me to say that, I just figured I would let you in on a little secret.

I have no idea who all is on this card, but it doesn't really matter.  All you need to know is that there are fights on the southside (legal ones) and you should do your best to get out there are support your local promoters *Cough*.

Check back for updates later (if I get any obviously).

A Closer Look At Cody Garbrandt Vs. Augusto Mendes:

Well gents, it looks as though former Pinnacle FC (shameless plug right there) champion turned UFC prospect Cody Garbrandt (7-0) has found a last minute dance partner in undefeated brazilian Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes (5-0).  Mendes is a multiple time BJJ world champion and currently riding a 5 finish streak to punctuate his undefeated record. 

Ok because everyone who will read this is probably a No Love fan, I am going to approach this with that in mind. With that said here’s where we are with this guy:

The first thing that stands out to everyone with eyes and understands numbers is Augusto’s unblemished record.  A 5 and 0, mostly anonymous opponent with a super high BJJ pedigree is a scary thought for any prospect, let alone a last second replacement. However upon closer investigation, Mendes hasn’t really fought anyone yet  -the best guy on his record being a 4-1 club fighter- and this match up against Garbrandt will be his first dip into the elite level pool. This detail cannot be overlooked.  Not only is Mendes stepping up on late notice, he’s stepping wayyy up in competition.  

In terms of  overall fighting attributes, it goes without saying that Mendes is obviously a very talented BJJ player but as far as everything else is concerned, he has a ways to go to catch up to the current level of UFC talents.  His striking is basic at best, his wrestling techniques are essentially non existent aside from the occasional positional play or transitional scramble but in terms of takedown abilities he’d have better luck asking Cody for a sit down at this point.

Factoring all of this in: In my opinion, Mendes’ biggest strength is that he understands where he wants to be, and where he doesn’t.  

One would be safe in calling him opportunistic.  This may seem like an obvious approach but you wouldn’t believe how many guys at the highest levels of the sport spend time fucking around in areas of the fight where they are not the strongest.  Call it the Jorge Gurgel effect (no seriously call it that). Mendes knows he wants this fight on the floor and will take every opportunity he can get to get it there.  That adds an element of risk to this because he is always looking to capitalize on a mistake whether it be a slip or something as subtle as a mismanagement of distance.  

On the feet Mendes takes a logical and linear approach.  He ultimately wants to get into some form of clinch or force a takedown of some kind and so his standing game is designed around that concept.  He will constantly shuffle forward, forcing his opponent to react and move even though his body language reads defense.  He’ll lob low velocity kicks below the waist line and he’ll get away with it too, why?  Because the most common low speed kick defense is turning it into a single leg (it used to be a straight right hand but more on that later) and guess who is totally fine with being taken down?  

You guessed Mendes huh?

You guys are so smart sometimes.  

His boxing acumen leans heavily on a overhand right whose setup is that there is no set up and a check hook on the counter.  I would call his right hand approach the “jerry seinfeld”.  Get it?  A TV show where the plot is there is no plot... that is definitely a joke for my older crowd, all 12 of you.  Anyway back to business; a check hook is basically a lead hook thrown while stepping backward that has a pretty high probability of landing if your opponent reaches for you as your sliding away with their head higher than their shoulder.   Neither of these punches have much on them and should only be noted as habitual more than an actual threat.  

Here’s where, in my opinion, No Love has his success and makes his bonus check.  Because Mendes consistently walks forward, he is accepting the bulk of the risk.  The guy on the lead always takes more risk than the guy who fades and counters.  This is a bad statistic for Mendes because he is going to walk into a new speed territory that he has only watched on Breaking Bad. Yes bros,  I’m talking cartel level speed.  In my opinion, all Garbrandt has to do is let Mendes be Mendes IE; a no set up having mother-plodder with less power than your 2 year old remote batteries and hammer home the blistering right hand counters that made him a star around these parts not all that long ago.    The beauty of this matchup is, it’s totally on Mendes to change his situation while the stark comparison between skills and speeds will be similar to using the cast of Ocean’s 11 to steal the tip jar at your local 7/11.  

In other words, he’s overmatched, out gunned and you may even feel a little bad about it afterwards.

Yes there is always the fear of what if this fight hits the floor, to that I say, yes that’s always true.  However Garbrandt’s take down defense will shut any half assed clinching attempt faster than he dismisses a random clingy 7 who follows him on instagram and sees him out at the bar.  Only if he’s really, really fucked up then maybe.

Garbrandt looks like a superstar and puts this kid out in the city that helped shape his career in one round or less.


Special shout out to the guys reading this locked up in Connecticut; if locked up raw ever shoots there yinz better shout me out. 

Austin Warman Out, Cortland Woodard in Against Rich Cantolina February 27th:

There are a number of reasons a fight falls apart, most of the time it is avoidable, some times it is not.   This is not one of those (unavoidable) times.  
However there are times where one fight falls through and the subsequent replacement fight is arguably much better than the original.  This my friends, is one of those times. 
Austin Warman pulled out of his fight with Richie Cantolina due to being seventeen and in his place steps quasi youtube legend and Facebook savant Cortland Woodard. Before the Facebook war starts and let me tell you that this is a fight that didn't require much of a sales pitch to either guy. Especially considering this is a rematch of their closely contested first fight.
It went something like this:
Chris: "Hey Cort"
Cortland: "Yes Chris, I would love to fight Richie"
Chris: "We didn't even ask you yet"
Cortland: "Well I just wanted to let you know where I stand in case you did"
Chris: "Ok, well... You kinda ruined Christmas but do you want to fight Richie now that Austin pulled out"  
Cortland: "Uh yeah? Did you really even have to ask me?"

Chris: "Well it is kind of my job, I told you, you ruined it."
I could do this all day but you get the point. 
So everyone head back over to Facebook for the unavoidable shit talking extravaganza that you all love to read and then comment on as though you are disgusted by it. Well, shall we?
I'll start it off. 

Dom Mazzotta Vs. Rob Hanna Set For Pinnacle FC 3/26:

Every once in awhile a fight comes rolling across my desk that seems to just make sense for everybody.  And once it hits that part of my brain that recognizes great ideas, I just can't seem to figure out a better solution.  

The odds are because there isn't one or I'm getting punchy.

It's hard to say at this point.

Pinnacle FC is starting this year off with a bang and the headlining match up of our March 26th event just became one of the most important fights in the region overnight.  

Undefeated, multiple title holder and Pinnacle FC Vet Rob Hanna (7-0) will take on one of the most dynamic martial artists in the country and current Pinnacle FC Bantamweight champion Dom Mazzotta (9-1) at featherweight, for the now vacant featherweight title.

I'll let that settle in.

Dom Mazzotta is now going up a weight class to take on a guy who hasn't lost a fight since his amateur days some 5 odd years ago and who also holds recent wins over top flight regional stars including Joey Holt, Mike Wilkins and Todd Bevan. Not too mention a host of other names he beat as an amateur that will make you blush.  

Mazzotta has clearly separated himself from the regional pack blasting through anyone we can find and in unfortunate fashion (think face kicking and slamming).  In his recent outings, Mazzotta has proven - with relative ease- that hs is just on another level.  It really only makes sense for the two top guys in the area, who don't train together or hang out on Saturdays to fight each other for regional supremacy.  The last guy to hold the Pinnacle FC title was featherweight technician Mark Cherico (9-1) who retired as champion and still remains one of Pinnacle’s top prospects of all time.

The tickets for this one will be available shortly and we’re back at the Shriner’s hall in Cheswick this time which means you would be best advised to grab them quickly because we will be turning last minute purchases away at the door, again.