Tommy Rainone wanted his name under the bright lights, and he got it in a big way at Yankee Stadium last night.
But the Plainview resident couldn't make history for himself as he succumbed to the relentless body attack of Terry Baterbaugh and suffered a unanimous-decision defeat. The judges scored the welterweight bout 60-54 and 59-55 (twice).
In an interview Thursday, Rainone said he was looking forward to fighting in front of a lively crowd at one of the country's most famous stadiums. The loss won't diminish that experience.
When Rainone first learned of the bout, he said he was told it would be at Madison Square Garden. Rainone defeated Gerardo Cesar Prieto at the Theater in the Garden last January and said it was a great atmosphere.
But he said fighting in what he described as the "Big Room" at the Garden would trump anything he did in the Theater.
None of that, however, comes close to fighting in front of a raucous crowd at Yankee Stadium. "I fought at the Theater and it was a big crowd," Rainone said. "Moving to the bigger stage was the next step. But fighting at Yankee Stadium is something people only dream about."
In fact, Rainone said boxing has done an "injustice" to itself by getting away from outdoor cards.
"I'm a fight fan first. And for years I've been saying boxing has been shooting itself in the foot by not having fights at the big stadiums," Rainone said.
Rainone wasted no time getting his family and friends to see him fight. He said they purchased at least $23,000 worth of tickets.
As for the fight, it was tough going for Rainone (12-4, three KOs), who had trouble connecting with his overhand right most of the bout. He made a little go of it in the third round as he landed several quality body shots, but it wasn't enough to hurt Baterbaugh (6-3-1, three KOs).