CHESTER, W. Va. - Jake Giuriceo will have plenty of important people watching his fight Saturday night at The Harv at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort.
Roy Jones Jr. for one. Probably Ray Mancini for another.
But no one in the crowd is more important to "The Bull" than Jaclyn Mazias.
Giuriceo is set to marry Mazias May 20, so his fight is cutting things just a little bit close to the pair's wedding.
"I gotta stay safe or she's gonna beat me up," Giuriceo joked.
Giuriceo (15-0-1, 3 KO) will face Denver, Colo. native Juan Santiago (13-8-1, 8KO) in one of the night's feature attractions. Santiago has lost four straight fights but is durable in the ring, as illustrated by one bout where he took Vernon Paris (26-1, 15 KO) the distance losing a split decision.
"He'll stand there and trade punches with you," Giuriceo said. "He's a tough kid. He's definitely a stepping stone for us."
Giuriceo has been trying to incorporate more of his old style of fighting that earned him the nickname "The Bull." This time around, Giuriceo didn't train in California but stayed in Youngstown working with long-time trainer Keith Burnside of Burnside Boxing.
"Really we're just trying to get back to that aggressive style," Giuriceo said. "We want to mix it in with everything I learned from Frankie. I just want to keep coming forward. It's that style that people can't handle. It tends to take away a guy's will."
Giuriceo hopes a good showing will attract more opportunities in the future.
"I'm exited we've got a fight that's close to home," he said. "We can bring lots of fans from the area. Roy Jones Jr. and TNT Promotions will be watching and they'll be looking at me. Lord willing I can come away with a victory and stay safe."
He better. Or he'll have his fiance to answer to.
"She's excited," Giuriceo said. "Thankfully it's like 20 days apart so I have time to heal up if anything happens."
"Live Championship Boxing" at The Harv is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. with at least six scheduled professional fights. Tickets can be purchased at Mountaineer Casino's Players Club, in person, or by calling 1-800-804-0468 ext. 8297. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.moreatmountaineer.com.
E-mail B.J. Lisko at firstname.lastname@example.org