WEIRTON - After just eight amateur fights, heavyweight boxer Angelo Magnone is making the jump to the professional ranks.
The former Steubenville Big Red and Bowling Green State University football standout will make his pro debut on April 20 when Made Men Promotions presents a night of boxing inside Weirton's Serbian American Cultural Center.
Magnone, the founder of Made Men and the promoter for the event, said seven bouts are on tap, the first set to start at 7:30 p.m. Six of the seven will be in the heavyweight division.
The main event will see the return to the ring of Ronell Green after a three-year layoff. The Wheeling native sports a 5-0 record. He will go against Micah Branch of Cincinnati.
Green, a Wheeling Park graduate, earned three West Virginia wrestling championships along with two OVA titles as a Patriot. He entered the school's Hall of Fame in February.
Green has a mixed martial arts background with two professional cage matches. He has recorded three knockouts as a featherweight.
Magnone, who went 8-0 as an amateur, will test Brandon Winner of Liberty Township in a four-round bout. Winner has entered the ring as a pro 11 times.
"I'm definitely ready for the switch," Magnone said. "The pace of a professional bout is slower compared to amateur boxing. However, the rounds are longer and I'll be fighting more rounds than I have before."
Rounds in a professional fight are three minutes long compared to two in amateur boxing. Also, Magnone will be donning 10 ounce gloves for the first time (amateur gloves are two ounces heavier) and he'll go without a headgear.
Magnone admitted he "enjoys boxing," adding it is a "great way to stay in shape." His fighting, however, takes a backseat to his job as a fight promoter.
"Boxing does allow me to build relationships with other gyms," he stated. "I've been able to meet some other boxers and now I can talk to them about being on our cards going forward."
Nelson Best, a Knoxville native and Edison graduate, also will be making his professional debut. He competed at the amateur level and also engaged in several mixed martial arts battles.
He will tangle with Rodelle Bolar of Akron in a four-round contest.
Josh Stansbury, who hails from East Liverpool, will battle Kevin Franklin of Charleston, W.Va. in another four-round event. Stansbury made his pro debut in January, registering a second round KO.
Two Pittsburgh heavyweights (Ed Latimore, 2-0 with two KOs and Fred Latham, also 2-0) will be featured in the other pair of four round bouts. Chuckie Brown of Akron will provide the opposition for Latimore and Latham will test Keon Graham, also of Akron.
Heavyweight prospect Daniel Martz of Clarksburg, W.Va., who stands 6-7 and goes 260, will be featured in a six round contest. He has compiled a 7-0-1 record, six of the wins coming via knockouts. His opponent will be Mark Brown, fighting out of Salem, N.J. Brown sports a 15-5 record with seven KOs.
Tickets for the event, sponsored by Coors Light of Wine Merchants in Weirton, are available at Smokey's in Steubenville and Belmonte's Pizza in Weirton. General admission seats are priced at $20. Ringside tables of eight are available for as low as $250.
The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. For information, call (304) 670-9406 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.