- Michael Woods, Boxing
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The diminutive dynamo of reality TV, Snooki of MTV’s “The Jersey Shore” unveiled her first fight card, dubbed “The Irish Invasion,” at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City on Saturday night.
No wiseguys, there was no hot tub action, fights in the stands among fans, or spray-tans offered at a concession stand. This was no lark, no stunt for the show, for the record.
The event was billed as the “Invasion” because the three fighting Hyland brothers, Patrick, Paul and Eddie, hailing from Dublin, fought on the card. They went 2-for-3 on the night, with Patrick getting a W in the main event, over Emmanuel Lucero, Paul winning a UD6 over Arturo Santiago, and eldest boxing bro Eddie getting the short end of a decision to Franklin Gonzalez in a four rounder.
“I’m happy with my first Team Snooki performance,” Patrick said after getting a UD win over the stubborn as hell Lucero. Patrick Hyland Sr. said after that Patrick was more than ready for Yuriorkis Gamboa. (Though Gamboa has jumped up in weight class, and will skip from 126 over 130 to 135 against Brandon Rios, it looks like.) Trainer Tracy Harris Patterson didn't take the bait on that one. After the bout, he told me that he will sit down with the Hyland Team and discuss options.
No shortage of haters have taken to the message boards, proclaiming Snooki’s debut as a boxing promote a sure sign of of the box-apocalypse. My take: what’s wrong with having yet another place for hungry boxers to earn a check? The event was put together, by and large, by Mike Pascale, and Snooki’s dad Andy Polizzi, a friend of Pascale’s. Snooki told ESPN NY that she entered this arena because it’s something the self-proclaimed daddy’s girl can do with dad. Who am I to take issue or try to poke a hole in that logic?
They had seven bouts on the card, no egregious mismatches and Snooki was present and involved, not a mere figurehead, til the final bell. That shut the haters up a bit...
SPEEDBAG A nice young lady named Veronica Kole sang the National Anthem. “I’m 5 feet tall, I’m tan, I’m from Jersey, and I’m gonna be the female Justin Bieber,” the 17 year-old told me after she sang, while watching the main event. She is signed to Snooki’s label, NEP Productions. Kole gets props for predicting that Lucero would go the distance in the feature bout, while around round three, I told her I thought he'd get stopped. Smart cookie, that Kole.
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