EDITOR'S NOTE: This version corrects the name of the winner Lane "The Pain" Staal.
Wauseon's Masedonio "Nune" Molina had his sights on winning his first professional boxing championship on Saturday night.
But Detroit's Lane "The Pain" Staal stood in his way and boldly went toe-to-toe with Molina to score a split-decision victory and claim the Ohio super middleweight championship before approximately one thousand on hand at the Best Western Grand Plaza hotel.
"He [Molina] was a hell of a puncher and I'm glad to get the victory," Staal said.
Two of the three judges voted in favor of Staal (10-0), who appeared to win the fight during the middle rounds with a steady dose of effective jabs that kept Molina (6-1, 6 KOs) at bay and never in position to grab the knockout blow. One judge ruled Staal won 80-73 and another 79-73. A third judge favored Molina 77-75.
Staal was eligible to fight for the Ohio 168-pound championship based upon fighters in neighboring states of Ohio being allowed by the Ohio Athletic State Commission to compete for Buckeye state titles.
The title fight, which drew plenty of boos after the decision was announced from the Molina-partisan crowd, was one of seven bouts to take place.
Lima's Carlos Suarez, who was a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team, opened his pro career in memorable fashion.
The 115-pounder put a halt to the boxing card's opening bout by knocking out Toledoan Joseph Bush in the second round of the fight. Suarez connected with a couple of combination blows that sent Bush to the canvas at 2 minutes, 35 seconds of the second round. It was the fourth time Bush had hit the deck, but the three previous came as a result of shoves while the fighters were locked up in clinch positions.
Bush didn't get up off the canvas before the referee completed a 10-count to end the fight.
"It was a good experience," Suarez said. "I just tried to pace myself before I got the knockout."
Suarez, who said he chose to take his time to turn pro after competing in the Olympics, is scheduled to fight his second fight next month in Houston.
"We didn't want to rush into anything," Suarez said. "Now I'm ready for more."
Toledoan Wesley Tucker remained undefeated in his pro career after dominating Michael Picket in a 154-pound matchup.
Tucker (2-0) muscled Picket (1-2) around the ring before the referee halted the bout at the 2:20 mark of the second round. Tucker landed a left hook that staggered Picket before cornering him with a flurry of body blows that led to the referee stopping the fight.
"It was good work," Tucker said. "I got him with the body shots. It's time to move up in the rankings."
Tucker, who appeared in peak shape, stepped into the ring and appeared to have a signficant size advantage over his opponent even though they came in weighing the same on the scale. The local boxer, who is trained by Ray Vargas, entered the ring quite confident about remaining undefeated as a pro.
"I didn't know anything about [Picket], but I usally don't know anything about my opponents," Tucker said. "I like to go in the ring and figure them out as I go."
Toledoan Paul "Pay-Per-View" Parker (4-0) and James Shorter (4-2) slugged it out for four rounds before Parker was ruled the winner by a majority decision.
Yet, the two 187-pounders exchanged plenty of punches during the match that caused the other to stagger. Neither went to the deck, which allowed the bout to be left in the hands of the judges,
Shorter, of Elkart, Ind., believed he'd done enough to win the fight.
Parker, who debuted as a pro last July in Hollywood admitted his fight before his hometown crowd was more challenging than he anticipated.
"I made it too close," Parker said. "I could've fought smarter. I thought I won three of the four rounds. I'll give him the third round."
Monroe's Andrew Morais earned a majority decision victory over Indianapolis' Desmond Jackson in a four-round 168-pound fight.
Morais, who was a four-time Michigan amateur MMA champion, came out the aggressor early and made it his mission to initiate the action against Jackson (0-1).
"I got the win but I was not very happy with how I fought," said Morais, who is 1-1 as a pro boxer. "It's a good learning experience and I'm having fun."
Heavyweight Thad Berkhousen scored a unanimous decision over Steve Cotterman.
Berkhousen (2-0) tagged Cotterman (0-1) with a right hook during the third round that sent Cotterman crashing to the canvas. However, Cotterman recovered and survived the round and ultimately went the distance.
Antonio Urista, of Lansing, also made good on his pro debut by earning a unanimous decision over Toledo's Anthony Kelly (0-6-2) in a 154-pound bout.