Sarachelli wins big in Bronx

New Rochelle’s Paulie “Thunder” Sarachelli gets his hands taped up before his June 30 fight at Gaelic Park.

New Rochelle’s Paulie “Thunder” Sarachelli gets his hands taped up before his June 30 fight at Gaelic Park.

By MIKE SMITH
On June 28, local fighter Paul Sarachelli ended a lengthy layoff and returned to the ring in impressive fashion, earning a first-round TKO at the Tri-State Battle of the Bronx event held at Gaelic Park in the Bronx.

boxing2

Paul Sarachelli gets his hand raised following a first-round TKO in his return bout on June 30. Contributed photos

Though the New Rochellean known by his fans as “Thunder” hadn’t fought in roughly a year, he showed little ring rust as he quickly dismantled his opposition at 132 pounds and proved why he’s been one of the biggest amateur draws in the area in recent years. The fight card was hosted by World Class Boxing Gym and was an officially sanctioned USA Boxing amateur event.

“He hasn’t fought for a year,” Sarachelli’s trainer, Albert Santiago, said. “So he’s been very hungry.”

Though he hadn’t taken any fights, the 18-year-old did stay active over the past 12 months, according to Santiago, stopping by the gym to train several times a week.

In preparation for his comeback, he added a wrinkle to his already exciting style.

“We’ve been working on a lot of things with him, and the biggest was body punching,” Santiago said. “Paulie’s always been kind of a head hunter, but he’s such a strong kid that once he goes to the body and takes that away, he can slow guys down and stop them, which is what happened in his last fight.”

Santiago said Sarachelli was eager to get back in the ring and try out his new style.

“The thing about most fighters at whatever level is that they get nervous before fights,” Santiago said. “With Paulie, there’s never any butterflies; he doesn’t get nervous about stepping in the ring.”

In fact, the only thing that worried Santiago heading into his charge’s fight wasn’t Sarachelli’s performance between the ropes, it was his fighter’s ability to make weight. Sarachelli, who fights at 132 pounds, generally walks around closer to 150, according to his trainer.

The Tri-State Battle in the Bronx event was held at Gaelic Park in the Bronx. Photo/Mike Smith

The Tri-State Battle in the Bronx event was held at Gaelic Park in the Bronx. Photo/Mike Smith

“I didn’t think he was going to make it,” Santiago said. “But the crazy thing is that you give him the target and he always ends up making weight.”

Given Sarachelli’s weight-drop–and the fact that he looked so good in the ring in his return, Santiago said he would give his fighter a week’s respite from the gym before getting back to work.

“He had to lose 12 pounds, so I’m giving him a break,” Santiago said. “But then he’s going to come back, we’re going to work and, hopefully, look for his next fight in about two months.”

CONTACT: sports@hometwn.com

Two fighters tangle in an undercard bout on June 30. Photo/Mike Smith

Two fighters tangle in an undercard bout on June 30. Photo/Mike Smith

 

 
This entry was posted in Sports on by .

About Mike Smith

Mike Smith has been with Hometown Media Group since 2007, serving as the company’s Sports Editor. Mike has been commended for his work by the New York Press Association, winning awards in 2008 for “Best Sports Feature” and again in 2009 as part of a team that put together “The Game,” a breakdown of the Harrison-Rye football rivalry, which won for “Best Special Section.” His weekly column, “Live Mike,” offers his unique insights into a broad range of topics in the sports world. He resides in Eastchester, N.Y. and spends most of his free time serving as the player-manager for a competitive men’s baseball team in New York City. Reach Mike at 914-653-1000 x22 or sports@hometwn.com; follow him on Twitter @LiveMike_Sports.