Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 11-26-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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14 SPORTS & RECREATION NOVEMBER 26-DECEMBER 3, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION If there were tensions between the two fighters, they clearly escalated at Thursday afternoon's weigh-in at the Convention Center to the point when, after they checked in on the scale and posed for a staredown, Cruz pushed D'Errico's face and D'Errico responded with a left hook that would have probably hit Cruz had they not been quickly separated. "My whole approach was to remain humble, let her think," said D'Errico. "But I overpowered her by so much that I think I made her nervous for the first time. When she pushed me back, my automatic reaction was to swing at her. And then it got broken up, but it was definitely crazy." What happened the following night was beyond crazy. Because their dust-up at the weigh-in received so much attention, D'Errico's bout with Cruz, which was one of the four title fights on the card, got catapulted to the main event. And while most of the men in the other fights resorted to throwing wild haymakers that fired up the crowd, D'Errico and Cruz brought the fans some true boxing. "I want to go into some more real boxing after this, so I wanted to show a little bit of skill," D'Errico admitted. "And she's also a boxer; she's been training and she definitely has some skills, so I said, 'Let's show them what we got,' and everyone came up to us after and said, 'Wow, that was the best fight of the night.'" D'Errico admitted that she had her share of nerves at the start of the fight, to the point where "I couldn't feel my legs. I was in front of 4,000 people. I was boxing, but not the best. But I put her in her place at the beginning (of the fight). I went 1-2 and followed with an uppercut, and I think for the first time, she thought, 'Hey this girl's a lot tougher than I thought she was.'" "It was a super close fight," D'Errico continued. "I think what gave her a little bit of leverage was that in the last few seconds, she really started swinging, and I don't know how many punches she landed, but I just looked bad. That could have weighed a lot in the judges' heads." But in the end, D'Errico was awarded the split decision, and she emphatically pumped her fist and let out a victory yell before heading to her corner to embrace her trainer, former light heavyweight boxer Jarrod Tillinghast. "I'm still kind of soaking it in," she said. "I don't think it completely (sunk in). I did lose my voice." D'Errico, whose senior project at North Providence High was a work- shop on self-defense, began kickbox- ing at Christina Rondeau's kickbox- ing school in Johnston, and "she took me to one of my first fights and introduced me to Charlie Sampalis, who has a gym in West Warwick," D'Errico said. "He took me to some kickboxing fights and we won our first one together with him. It was funny. I would have cheerleading practice and then I would run over to West Warwick where Charlie's gym was and I would take kickboxing. "And then I switched over to box- ing with Jarrod, and I've improved so much," she added, "especially with my footwork, because boxing is a lot different – you have to move your feet." D'Errico, who is currently a fitness kickboxing instructor at Christina Rondeau's studio on Thursday nights and teaches a program for students at Ricci Middle School, will be back in the ring on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Rocky Marciano Tournament of Champions at the Bridgewater Vets Club. Unlike her fight last Friday, this will be a sanctioned amateur bout, but like her fight, this one will be a championship match. And after that fight, what does the future hold for D'Errico? Is a pro career in the cards? "When I started in kickboxing, people would say that to me and I said, 'No, I'm just doing this for fun,'" added D'Errico, who also trains with Joe Reverdes at A & D Fitness in Johnston. "But recently, I don't know, I love this sport so much. When they called my name (last Friday) when I won, I just felt like my hard work really paid off. I put a lot of time into it. I don't know, anything's possible, I might do it. You never know." D'ERRICO From Page 13 VICTORIA D'ERRICO, left, receives advice from trainer JARROD TILLINGHAST between rounds of last Friday's New England women's cham- npionship fight. D'Errico posted a split decision victory. do you know? You're holding 1 newspaper, but we fill 5 every week! They're all at valleybreeze.com We want your Holiday Drawings! Send or drop off entries to: HOLIDAY DRAWINGS c/o The Valley Breeze Newspapers, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite #204, Lincoln, RI 02865. fill our pages with your drawings this holiday season. Please draw your best Christmas Holiday season picture and send it to us. We'll select drawings to be published in our newspapers between now and Christmas. Thousands of local people will get to see your beautiful work – with the little artist's name included, of course! Any young artist, age 4 through 12, may enter. Send us a clean drawing on a sheet of 8.5"X11" plain white paper. Make it colorful! It may be religious or non-religious. All drawings are welcome. Please include your age, name, and complete address with telephone number on the back of your drawing. PLEASE HURRY! You must send us your drawing (or drop it off to our office) by Friday, December 6, 2019 at 5 p.m. All drawings become the property of The Valley Breeze Newspapers and entry grants us permission to use in our newspapers. Children from the towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, North Smithfield, Woonsocket, Blackstone, Smithfield, Scituate, Foster, Glocester, North Providence and Pawtucket are eligible to enter. THANK YOU! Hey Kids...please help

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