Niagara Gazette

Sports

February 28, 2014

Ventry loses pro debut; Casal camp weighs options

Niagara Gazette — NIAGARA FALLS — Already dealing with the disappointment of hometown native Nick Casal no longer headlining Fight on the Falls, the Thursday night card at the Niagara Falls Conference and Event Center took another disappointing turn when fellow Niagara Falls native Jake Ventry lost in his professional debut.

The night ended, however, with a Buffalo boxer rallying to score a second-round technical knockout in the new main event.

Ventry, an 18-year-old featherweight with only a dozen amateur bouts to his record, was knocked out 1:43 into the first round by Jesus Gonzalez in the evening’s second bout.

Within the first minute of the fight, Gonzalez delivered a blow that stunned Ventry. There was then a moment of confusion as to whether the referee would give Ventry a standing eight-count. After some hesitation, realizing there was no such count coming, Gonzalez unleashed more shots, finally dealing the bout-ending blow shortly after.

Gonzalez improved his pro record to 2-4-0. His more plentiful ring experience showed. What upset the young Ventry after the fight was what he felt was an inappropriate mismatch from the start. He put the blame on his promoters, Pretty Girl Promotions, the company that organized the evening’s fight card.

“This guy, they didn’t research him. He had over 300 amateur bouts and then has his professional fights,” said Ventry. “They’re supposed to be looking out for me, the hometown guy... They’re supposed to be looking out for me and didn’t do their research.”

Though disappointed by the loss, the young boxer was not discouraged. Ventry, who trains out of his father’s gym, Thunder Boxing and Fitness Club in North Tonawanda, vowed to be back but hinted he’d like a change in direction for his management.

“I’m still 18, so I haven’t had a long career,” he said. “But I don’t know if I could work with these people again.”

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