By OWEN O'BRIEN
Niagara Gazette — In Pete Mazzeo’s own words, it was a fight he didn’t know a result of until his hand was raised.
A back and forth contest, which captivated the audience throughout, resulted in Mazzeo capturing the light heavyweight title. Every takedown and missed punch appeared to have been felt by the crowd of nearly 1,000 at Sportsplex as greatly as Mazzeo.
“The guy who sorts himself through chaos is the one who’s going to win,” Mazzeo said. “I felt like I just had to get stronger as I was going otherwise I was going to lose that.”
Mazzeo’s split-decision victory went all five rounds as he extends his career record to 7-0-1.
Earlier in the boxing ring, Michael Christopher of UB Boxing had his first fight in over a year. After a shaky first round, his second and third rounds were enough to earn him the victory in decision.
“I haven’t fought in a year, so a lot of ring-rust I had to shake off,” Christopher said. “I wasn’t really happy with my performance, but came out with the win, so that was important for us”
Team Victory’s Valerie Aspaas was one of the co-headlining fighters on the boxing card the boxing card. It was the first career boxing fight for one of the most talented amateur MMA fighters in the country.
Even to the surprise of herself, Aspaas wasn’t as nervous as she expected when the bell was set to ring.
“I was a lot more calm than I expected to be since I knew no one was going to be sitting on top of me throwing punches,” Aspaas said.
Knowing the weakness of her MMA skillset was her standup, she opted to head to the ring to face her problem with a live challenger.
“My last fight was pretty good, but what I noticed I was lacking in was good, clean, crisp standup and I feel like boxing is the way to go when you want to improve your standup, get that knockout power and improve your dodges,” Aspaas said.
The other main event starred North Tonawanda’s John Nuchereno. When the fight was finished he thought he did enough to earn the victory, however the judges didn’t see it the same way.
Despite what Nuchereno described as a “sloppy” first round, he thought his recovery rounds were enough to win.
“I thought I won for sure,” Nuchereno said. “There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that my hand was going to be raised.”
Nuchereno had many big punches connect in the final two rounds, igniting the crowd’s attention and participation.
The MMA portion of the card had many fights ending in knockouts, which locked in the turbo button and brought the Sportsplex atmosphere to new levels following the boxing bouts.
Lockport was well represented in the MMA portion with victories from David Whitman and Mikey Schultz. It was Whitman’ first TNT victory and the third for Schultz.