Marsella Jr. hikes pro boxing record to 9-0 with split decision victory

Marsella Jr. hikes pro boxing record to 9-0 with split decision victory

Smithfield super lightweight produces 5th-round knockdown to win match

LINCOLN – It’s highly unusual to hear boos from a crowd after a local boxer gets his arm raised in victory after winning a hard-fought match, but Smithfield’s Anthony Marsella Jr. heard a few in the crowd at last Friday night’s Classic Entertainment & Sports show at the Twin River Event Center after posting the closest victory of his career, a split decision win over Ricardo Maldonado of Arlington, Wash.

The super lightweight fighter and 2013 graduate of Smithfield High improved his record to 9-0 (4 KOs), thanks to a knockdown of Maldonado (8-8-1) in the fifth round. Judge Don Trella scored the fight in favor of Maldonado, 58-55, while the other two judges, Martha Tremblay (58-55) and Eddie Scunzio (57-56), gave the decision to Marsella.

“I heard some boos in the crowd,” Marsella told the audience after the decision was read. “I’m not happy with my performance either. I had a tough training camp, and this was a learning experience for me.”

Of the nine fights on Friday’s card, this one was one of the most entertaining and action packed, with both fighters battling from start to finish and doing everything they could to pull out the victory. Maldonado impressed in the first two rounds, but Marsella came back strong in the third round and was the better fighter the rest of the way.

Midway through the fight, Marsella took an accidental headbutt above his left eye, but that didn’t stop him from sending Maldonado to the canvas with a hard right to his face. Blood continued to trickle down Marsella’s face during the final two rounds, but he kept his composure as he stood toe to toe with his opponent.