By Cliff Rold
28-year old Welterweight Sammy Vasquez (18-0, 13 KO) of Monessen, Pennsylvania, continued his move towards serious contention on Friday night at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with a unanimous ten-round decision over 33-year old Ghanaian Emmanuel Lartey (16-2, 7 KO) of Brooklyn, New York.
Vasquez came into the bout at 147 ¼, Lartey at 146 ½. The referee was Gary Rosato.
Vasquez dominated the contest from bell to bell, beating Lartey on the inside and at range when he wanted to. The exciting hopeful showed off a solid mix of speed and aggression as he conquered the ten-round distance for the first time. Lartey, who has never been stopped, kept that honor. He may not have won a round, though two judges charitably gave him one with final scores of 100-90 and 99-91 twice.
31-year old Light Heavyweight Craig Baker (16-0, 12 KO), 174, of Baytown, Texas, overcame a rocky first round to obliterate 36-year old Cuban Umberto Savigne (12-2, 9 KO), 176, of Miami, Florida, with a second round stoppage.
Baker battered Savigne near the ropes before dropping him, Savigne struggling to his feet. Unable to steady himself, Savigne was saved by referee Ernie Sharif at 1:58 of the second.
In the televised opener, 25-year old featherweight Claudio Marrero (18-1, 13 KO), 126 ¼, of the Dominican Republic, won his fourth straight with a four-knockdown unanimous decision win over 30-year old Orlando Rizzo (18-6, 11 KO), 126, of Managua, Nicaragua.
Marrero scored a knockdown in the second, two in the fourth, and another in the fifth. The fight’s best round was the second, Rizzo rising to stun Marrero before Marrero took over the fight for good. Final scores came in at 78-70, 80-68, and 78-71. The referee was Rick Steigerwald.
The card was broadcast in the US on Showtime as part of its “ShoBox” series, promoted by Goosen Promotions.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]