Before every fight, boxers meticulously undergo the tale of the tape. They are carefully weighed and closely measured. But no there hasn’t been an instrument invented that can accurately gauge a man’s heart. If there was such a device, it would have found the “South-Side” Rocky Vinny Massalaro’s heart to be among the biggest.
Massalaro, a former Brashear High School football star, won the 165-pound state Golden Gloves championship in 2010 before undergoing shoulder surgery.
Massalaro, of Pittsburgh Boxing Rt 51, won a close decision against Caleb Parrish, of WAFA, to win the 165-pound division.
If you subscribe to the adage “bigger is better” when it comes to boxing, you have to be a fan of 6’5 Jamison Bridgett of 3rd AVE WPAL. Jamison, a former Penn Hills High School basketball star, won a lopsided decision against Tony Adams of Altoona in the open heavyweight division.
“I would love to help Jimmy Cvetic and Darren Dolby and work with Jamison Bridgett,” said Ghana native and professional trainer Sam Kotey. “Together we can develop this kid into a world champion.”
Other winners: 154 Cadet Lucas Adams, 90 JR Isiah Guy, 125 Sub Novice Loren Holmes, 119 JR Charlie Clousten, 110 INT Donovan Malovich, 165 Novice Kiante Irvings, 152 Open Devin Williams, 155 Sub Novice Dave Perez, 176 INT Hunter Matthews, 178 Sub Novice Zach Jupin, 132 Open Matt Conway, 178 Open JT “The Brick” Brackett and Super Heavyweight John Zemrose.
Historian David McCullough, in his book “Brave Companions,” wrote that “at times I’ve not known for certain whether I wanted to go ahead with a story until I have been where it happened.” McCullough said that to gain a better understanding of matter, a writer must understand the subject’s terrain.
Many ringside observers believe that Spell could follow in the footsteps of former national champions that include Pernell Whitaker, Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard and Floyd Mayweather.
“He is the most talented fighter that I have ever seen,” said Al Levine, of BPTV. “I can’t believe he is still in high school. His dad is a boxing guru and together they will make history.”
Don’t pop the champagne corks just yet—-the Pittsburgh champions still have a long way to go in their quest for a state and national title.
Fighters who advanced from the western Pennsylvania finals move on to the state finals, held April 27 in Reading. Executive director and founder of Western Pennsylvania Police Athletic League, Cvetic said he had high hopes that the local fighters would succeed.
“Philadelphia has always been notoriously rough,” Cvetic said. “They get more fights than our kids. These guys get up into the hundreds of fights, where our kids have maybe 40 or 50. There’s no substitute for experience.”
The Western Pennsylvania Police Athletic League has been working hard in the communities of Western Pennsylvania spreading their message “Always for the Kids” by promoting positive interactions between kids of all ages and local law enforcement officials.
Cvetic has been involved with amateur boxing in Pittsburgh for 40 years and has seen the sport’s positive impact on many young men.
“We’re building champions in life. That’s what we’re about,” said Cvetic. “I like amateur boxing a lot more than I do Pro boxing.”
Fighters who emerge from the state tournament will head west, to the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. National tournament runs from May 11 to 18.