West New York boxer earns ‘Fight of the Night’ in victory over decorated amateur champ


West New York amateur boxer Jean Pierre Valencia earned “Fight of the Night” honors in a victory over a decorated champion on Saturday.

Jean Pierre Valencia with his Fight of the Night trophy in Boonton. Photo courtesy of Ryan Songalia.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The 23-year-old defeated Isaiah Mack by decision on Saturday at Aces Boxing Club in Boonton, staking his claim among the elites of New Jersey boxing.

Mack, a Paterson native was the reigning 156-pound open class N.J. Golden Gloves and Diamond Gloves champion, and had also represented the state last year at the National Golden Gloves in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Furthermore, he had also been honored last month by the N.J. Amateur Boxing Hall of Fame with an Athlete High Achievers award.

Valencia, a native of Esmeraldas, Ecuador, was the aggressor from the opening bell, hammering Mack with hard right hands and left hooks early and often.

He scored a standing eight count in the second round when an uppercut knocked Mack’s head straight up, with his eyes staring at the lights above.

The more experienced Mack switched stances between orthodox and southpaw but couldn’t find the answer to hold off his opponent’s relentless pressure.

“I feel like a champion after defeating a top fighter. I could tell that the pressure that I put on him was breaking him down, but this is just the beginning. We will continue working,” said Valencia, who won the 165-pound novice N.J. Diamond Gloves title last year.

Valencia now improves to 14-1 in his amateur career.

Head trainer Ryan Songalia says he put this blueprint together when they first began working together last year, with the goal of building popular support around Valencia as a fan favorite.

“Jean Pierre is the people’s champion because he fights everyone and everywhere. He wants to test himself against the best boxers because we believe in the work that we do. Whoever they say is the best, that is who we want to fight,” said Songalia, who has led Valencia to eight consecutive victories.

The victory caps off a busy month for Valencia, who started February by defeating Delaware’s Deron Elias on February 4th  in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania and then beat Abedallah Elaiwah for the second time on February 10th in Kenilworth.

Next up for Valencia is the N.J. Golden Gloves, which begin on March 10th and run through April 15th. He is matched with Christopher Campbell in the semi-final round of the 165-pound open class competition.

Should he win the tournament, Valencia will then represent the Garden State at the National Golden Gloves, which take place May 8-13 at Harrah’s Casino in Chester, Pennsylvania.

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