CHESTER - Saturday's blockbuster boxing event at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort will have a strong Steubenville flavor.
Angelo Magnone, the Big Red graduate who earned 2005 Division III co-defensive player of the year honors, will step into the ring at the Harv for his fifth amateur bout. Magnone will risk his 4-0 record against Michael Shook of Pittsburgh.
Shook, who stands 6-foot-7, is an experienced amateur super heavyweight, having fought 35 times. Since a recent switch of trainers, Shook has compiled a 10-4 record.
The special prelude bout featuring Magnone, who stands 6-2 and goes 230, and Shook will get started sometime between 7 and 7:15 p.m.
Saturday's pro card features a matchup between undefeated former IBF/IBC World champion Paul "The Pittsburgh Kid" Spadafora (46-0-1, 19 KO) and current WBO Oriental champion and former Olympian Solomon Egberime (22-3-1, 11KO). They are scheduled to go 10 rounds in the main event.
Spadafora, who is ranked 11th by the WBA and 17th by the WBO in the light welterweight division, defeated Humberto Toledo in his last bout on Aug. 18 at the Harv. Egberime last fought in July.
Presented by eight-time world champion Roy Jones Jr. in association with TNT Promotions, the evening also features two eight-round battles. In addition, MMA favorite Joey "The Hitman" Holt of East Liverpool will make his pro boxing debut.
Magnone called the opportunity to perform along with the professionals "exciting."
"It really feels good," he said. "I'm hoping a lot of local people are there. It would feel nice to fight in front of them."
Magnone's venture into the sport of boxing began after his football playing days at Bowling Green State University ended. He was invited to the All-American Heavyweights facility in Carsons, Calif., to train and enjoyed the experience.
"Saturday's bout represents another opportunity for me to gain more experience in the ring," Magnone said. "Shook is a good fighter, he's tall and he has much more experience. It will be good for me to get the exposure and the chance to see where I stand."
He admits he's still not sure where his boxing journey will take him, adding he's fighting to "stay in shape, keep active and have some fun."
"I'll see where it all takes me," he noted. "I want to participate in some tournaments going forward and continue getting ring experience."
Magnone, who credits the Saturday invitation to "knowing someone involved," says he trains "at least once, sometimes twice a day."
Quick to admit that he enjoys the contact of boxing, Magnone pointed out the sport also provides a "little bigger rush than football."
"You are one on one in the ring, all eyes are on you," he said.
Tickets for Saturday's fight card, priced at $25, are available at Smokey's in Steubenville and Belmonte's in Weirton.