Dan Barry: YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Numbered balls of chance rattle and rise two nights a week down at the cavernous community hall of Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church. It’s called a good bingo when your number comes up.
But that last Saturday before Christmas offered no good bingos. The night was reserved for a boxing event billed as Season’s Beatings, which had prompted a newspaper deliveryman named Anthony Taylor to pull up in his clattering Dodge Caravan. Twenty-four years old, 5 feet tall, 115 pounds, about to turn pro.
A fist of nerves, he walked down the glazed-tile stairwell to the finished basement, a space used for church dances and wedding banquets, but now an open locker room. Chandeliers glittered above the fighters trying to warm up and calm down, while the crowds upstairs cheered on the amateurs, including a sleepy-eyed 11-year-old who would knock out his grade-school opponent.