By Noah Fowle at ringside
Nick Firtha added the Ohio State Heavyweight Belt to his NABA U.S. strap after ten hard fought rounds against Mike Sheppard. While Firtha’s offense was diverse and relied equally on both hands, he failed to produce the stopping power needed to put Sheppard down. Scoring behind a heavy workrate, Firtha stayed on the offensive and reduced Sheppard to relying on his overhand right, which proved to be dangerous at times. Judges scored the bout 97-93, 95-95, 97-93 for Firtha. With the majority-decision, Firtha improves to 19-7-1, 8KOs and Sheppard dropped to 15-11-1, 8KOs.
In the co-feature bout, local junior-middleweight phenom Dante Moore, 6-0-1, 4KOs, displayed superior speed and power against Corey Rodriguez, 4-1-2, 3KOs, but seemed to lose a step toward the end of the six-round affair. Moore established a solid lead ripping uppercuts to the body and sending his laser right hand upstairs. But he opted to snap his jab and rely mainly on his footwork and holding tactics in the last two rounds allowing an aggressive and unrelenting Rodriguez to claw his way back. Judge Mike Wick scored the bout 58-56 for Rodriguez, while Judge Earl Jewell had it the otherway 58-56 for Moore and Judge Ben Rochester made it a split draw with a card of 57-57.
Middleweight Wilkins Santiago took at well-earned TKO at 2:08 of the second-round against a game, but overmatched Matt Keglovic. Wilkins moves to 2-0, 1KO, while Keglovic falls to 1-2, 1KO
Heavyweight Jason Massie, 6-0, 4KOs, kept his undefeated record intact with a four-round unanimous decision against Mujaheed Moor, 4-4, 3Kos. Scores were 40-36 and 39-37 twice.
Middleweight Michael Moore improved to 3-0, 3KOs, after dispatching Eric Draper, 1-4, at 2:02 of the fourth-round.