Vinny Scarantino has a name to try to live up to when he steps into the boxing ring.
“I was named after Vinny Pazienza,” said Scarantino, a 17-year-old who will enter his senior year at Pittston Area in the fall. “He was a really, really tough fighter – a five-time world champ. He’s kind of who I base things off of.
“I try to be like him and always be exciting in every fight.”
Scarantino has made contact with the Italian-American fighter from Rhode Island and keeps in touch with him through the mail.
“I mostly fight like an Italian fighter,” Scarantino said. “I come in for a hard fight every single time – rushing in, just coming in to fight always.”
Scarantino made his amateur debut in Scranton, but has spent most of his nine sanctioned fights going against opponents in their hometowns. He is looking forward to concluding the Novice portion of his amateur career back in Scranton Friday night at the Hilton Convention Center at 7.
Summer Thunder, a pro-am card produced by Northeast Boxing, will include six fighters who train in Pittston.
Vinny Scarantino first started learning about boxing through his father Jim when he was 4 years old. Vinny then moved into the sport competitively as a 12-year old.
Jim Scarantino trains boxers at Gym of Jim’s in the basement of the Perspective Church in Pittston. Jim Scarantino and Pastor Samuel Washington will be in Vinny’s corner on fight night.
Chase Wood, Dawry Aquino, Jose Castillo, Will Feliciano and Rocky Marzan also train at the gym and are scheduled to have amateur bouts on the Summer Thunder card.
The fight will serve as a transition for Vinny Scarantino. It is his last bout in the Novice Class and he has already made tentative arrangements to make his Open Class debut against the same opponent Aug. 17 in Reading.
Reading’s Christian Oliveneia and Scarantino each have nine Novice fights already. They are scheduled to meet each other, then move to Open Class and fight again.
Scarantino normally fights at 119 pounds and Oliveneia at 130, but they are set to meet at 125.
The move up to a higher level of amateur competition is part of Scarantino’s plan for “going pro around 2016.”
Scarantino’s training includes sparring with Jerome Rodriguez, an Allentown light welterweight who is off to a 4-0-1 start in his professional career.