By Bob Caico
Boxing gave recently retired heavyweight Paul “The Italian Hitman” Marinaccio the opportunity to get the word out about the ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Many times Marinaccio donated his purse from his matches to the cause that took the life of his good friend. Now the Buffalo, NY native and Cary, North Carolina resident wants to give back to boxing by starting his own promotional company: Jawbreaker Promotions.
“As a retired boxer it is a pleasure to still be able to work with fighters and be a part of their careers,” said Marinaccio. As a boxer, Marinaccio had a reputation as durable boxer-puncher which he demonstrated by going twelve rounds with former heavyweight contender Michael Grant. Now Marinaccio wants to establish a reputation as a durable promoter.
His inaugural event is this Saturday at the State Fairgrounds Exposition Center in Raleigh, NC. The card will feature three professional boxing matches and seven amateur MMA bouts. This will be the first combination boxing/MMA event in the State. Undefeated heavyweight Donnell “The Real Touch of Sleep” Holmes (30-0, 26 KOs) from Ivanhoe, NC will tangle with Ryan Thompson (9-7, 6 KOs) of East Cleveland, OH in a ten-round scrap for the WBF All-America title. Vitaliy Demyanenko (16-0, 11 KOs) of Kazakhstan will defend his WBC Asian Boxing Council, WBO Asia Pacific and PABA welterweight titles against Atlanta’s Paul Delgado (20-8-1, 4 KOs) in a twelve-round contest. The third professional bout will have welterweight prospect Rashad Holloway (10-1, 5 KOs) from Raleigh, NC in a six round battle.
Marinaccio – who retired with a record of 24-5-3 – is excited about this new venture. “It’s my first show and we are coming out swinging.”
Doors open at 6:30 pm and the first bell is at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $35, $65 or $80 can be purchased at www.rapidfitness.com or call 919-239-4626.