Methuen boxer Luke Iannuccilli takes third win – Lowell Sun

BRIDGEWATER – Luke Iannuccilli remained calm, cool and ultimately undefeated, Saturday night in Bridgewater.

The Methuen boxer earned his third professional win with a unanimous decision over Rynell Griffin, at the Bridgewater Veterans Club. The judges scored the undercard bout 40-35, 40-36 and 40-36.

“It feels good,” said Iannuccilli, 27. “When you work hard, and you come out on top it feels worth it.”

The 5-foot-9, 154-pound junior middleweight pounced on his opponent from the opening bell, hemming him into his own corner with a series of quick combinations to the body. He continued to pepper the Las Vegas southpaw for the better part of four rounds.

“I didn’t even know he was a lefty until we got into the ring,” said Iannuccilli. “But that’s what you train for. Once I saw he was lefty, it was just about going the opposite way avoiding the left hand.”

Griffin managed to withstand plenty of abuse, while effectively shielding his midsection with his arms. The ring veteran was limited to firing off just a few short flurries at the end of each round, while mostly hanging back in a defensive stance.

“It’s tricky fighting a lefty because you’re stepping on each other’s toes,” said Iannuccilli. “You get tripped up a lot, but it’s just about keeping your distance and knowing which direction you need to go. I knew he wasn’t that quick, so I just had to stay calm, and just react.”

According to Iannuccilli’s coach Edward Candelaro, the fight was reminiscent of the 2010 showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey.

“Offensively the other guy wasn’t throwing too much,” said Candelaro. “It’s kind of hard to get guys out when they’re not really offensively looking for anything, but (Luke) stayed behind the jab. He was focused and worked the body. It was exactly what we wanted to do, and we got the win. That’s all that matters.”

A grizzled veteran, Griffin entered the ring sporting an 8-53-2 record, but showed what has kept him in the fight game for so long. His stamina and staying power are traits Iannuccilli admires.

“It’s all experience,” said Iannuccili. “This guy is a veteran. He’s had over 50 fights, so he knows how to deal with the crowd, knows how to deal with adversity. I was hitting him with everything I had, and he was a tough dude. Experience gets you through all these things. He knew what he was doing, knew how to stay patient, and I take nothing away from him. He’s here for a reason.”

Holding any preconceived notions about a boxer based strictly on their win-loss record can also get you in a lot of trouble in this business.

“I don’t underestimate anyone,” said Iannuccili. “Whether you’re 0-10 or 10-0, every fight is different. If someone has a losing streak, this could be the one fight where they’re sick of losing and trains harder than ever before. You can’t take anyone lightly. I go in there with the same attitude every time.”

Born and raised in Methuen, Iannuccilli has been boxing for the last 14 years. He shone in his pro debut with a third-round knockout of Stacey Anderson, Feb. 19 at Memorial Hall in Melrose. The right-hander also scored a first round TKO of Robert Bricks, June 25 at the Framingham Sheridan.

He’s anxiously awaiting his next challenger.

“For now, I’m going to keep working in the gym and stay consistent,” he said. “I like to say ‘we don’t get ready, we stay ready.’ You never know when the next fight is going to happen, but when it does you’ve got to be ready for it, no matter who it is.”

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