CANNONSBURG Travis Hanshaw landed an uppercut so ferocious, he was certain the blow left his foe with a broken nose.
Twenty-four fight minutes later, Aaron Quattrocchi was still upright.
Hanshaw endured 12 grueling rounds to upend Quattrocchi and, as a result, capture the World Boxing Federation Super Middleweight world title. He won by unanimous decision (120-107, 119-109, 119-109) in front of a packed Boyd County Community Center.
“World champion now, made history,” Hanshaw said between pictures sure to be plastered on social media by fans and family. “We did it.”
If the current trajectory reaches fruition, Hanshaw’s next fight will occur in Germany in November.
“I just have to convince the German promoter, which I’m 90% confident in doing,” said WBF President Howard Goldberg, who flew into Ashland from Cape Town, South Africa, for a third time. “It’s an opportunity for him to go where the big promoters are and he’s gotta look like a million dollars there.”
Aside from a few marks on his flesh, Hanshaw refrained from irreparable damage. However, Hanshaw said Quattrocchi sank his teeth into his back.
“He bit me,” said “Rattlesnake.” “That’s twice I’ve been bitten in two fights!”
Hanshaw patiently boxed throughout the first two-plus rounds. By the end of Round 3, the 27-year-old unleashed a few combinations that had Quattrocchi rocking. The energetic home spectators ignited the quick-handed Hanshaw’s fire several times.
“After I hurt him, that’s when I heard the crowd, and that’s when I wanted to stop him,” Hanshaw said. “… You see his face? His face was broken. His eye’s swelled, his head — I guarantee you he’s got concussions. His face was bad.”
Father/trainer/promoter Tom Hanshaw Sr. said Quattrocchi is “as tough as a pine knot. He’s a journeyman. A journeyman is hard to beat unless you stay on top of him and make him make mistakes.”
Quattrocchi clocked Hanshaw cleanly only a handful of times. On each occasion, Hanshaw responded with a wide smile.
“He didn’t hit hard at all,” Hanshaw said. “I was trying to make sure he wasn’t saving something for the end.”
Hanshaw depended upon the consistent usage of his left-handed jab in the eighth round. Quattrocchi’s best hook occurred in the 10th.
Hanshaw Sr. expected a more violent attack, which is why his son sparred with Demetrius Banks and Willie Nelson in preparation for Saturday’s bout.
“Travis was boxing him because the guy was too slow for Travis,” Hanshaw said. “He realized that, so he didn’t put any pressure on him. He could fight like he wanted to. I was hoping this was the guy to put pressure on him so Travis had to fight. He didn’t have to fight. He boxed.”
Hanshaw Sr. sensed that after the fight reached Round 6, it would go the distance, he said.
Each of Saturday’s five fights spanned the entirety of the possibility. Of 30 potential rounds, the event fulfilled all 30. That means the judges were busy.
Jermaine Walker, of Saint Albans, West Virginia, beat Lamar Harris by unanimous decision.
Portland Pringle (Lexington) trumped Greenup’s Melvin Russell and Tom Hanshaw Jr. outdueled Jermaine King (Brooklyn, New York) by unanimous decision.
Bill Yates, of Grayson, prevailed after a taxing six-rounder against Larry Knight (Birmingham, Alabama). At 205 pounds, Yates weighed in at 54 lighter than King. He won by split decision (56-58, 60-55, 60-55).
Hanshaw improved to 15-1-1 as a professional. Quattrocchi is now 11-3-1.
Hanshaw lost 15 pounds since his last fight, dropping him from light heavyweight into the super middleweight class.
“I think he owes that to me, actually. I’ll take the credit, because I said to him that he’s not a light heavy. The big light heavy’s will hurt him,” Goldberg said. “He’s got much longer arms. He’s hard to hit. He moves well. He’s deceptive. At super middle, it’s a good weight for him.”
Goldberg flew from South Africa to Ashland for a third time. The time zones are separated by six hours.
“I’m going to apply for citizenship,” Goldberg joked.
Hanshaw publicly dedicated Saturday’s win to his mother, Mindy. They shared an embrace after he declared the dedication over the microphone during a brief interview with red-coated announcer Walter Waites.
“That was a memory I’ve been waiting for my whole life,” Travis Hanshaw said. “She did everything in her power to keep me going. When I was gonna quit, she kept saying, you’re going to be a world champion; just keep going, keep going. Sometimes I didn’t want to do it no more — when I wanted to eat and get fat, she just kept believing in me. She made all the phone calls for me to make sure it happened.”
Hanshaw celebrated with his wife, Shelby, and son, Titus, as well.
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