Sep. 23—ASHTABULA — The sport of boxing can still bring out a crowd in the city.
On Saturday evening, that became evident as the "Rise of the Gladiators" drew more than 300 people to Mount Carmel Community Center on Saturday evening.
Christian Moreno and Tim Moore put the event together to provide local boxers a chance to show off their skills.
Moreno said it was also an opportunity to have his son, Azariy, a fifth grader at Saint John School, to fight in his hometown.
The young Moreno has been boxing all over the country and his father wanted the chance for him local residents to see him box and also provide the opportunity for other fighters to get an opportunity to box.
Moreno said his Azariy lost a split decision, but the event was a success and it is possible more boxing may occur in the city.
Azariy started boxing to stop attempts at bullying. He has now become quite good at boxing and won matches.
Ashtabula residents found their way into the ring on Saturday, some planned and others as last minute replacements.
Moreno said four or five boxers from Indiana were not able to attend so the Bula Boxing Club stepped in with contestants.
Charlton Williams did not win his fight, but enjoyed his second boxing match and plans to come back for more.
He lost to Troy Stitt, also of Ashtabula,
"It was fun," Stitt said. "It was a good time."
P.J. Hall, of Ashtabula, also competed.
"I started [training] when I was 13, but I stopped in high school for other sports," he said.
Hall, now 27, said he was excited to begin training again and has always enjoyed fighting.
"Why not fight in a ring and not get in trouble?" he said.
He said the 165-pound match was stopped in the second round, but he wants to fight again.
Hall said he has only been only training again for two months and his opponent had been boxing for six years.
He added boxing is a good way to work out aggression and frustration.
Moreno said Hall got off to a great start, but ended up getting winded.
"A lot of people had fun ... at lot of people asked when we are doing the next one," Moreno said of the event.
Mount Carmel Center was set up with large tables so people good watch the fights, and grab a bite to eat. There were also rows of chairs for those who wanted to be a bit closer to the action.