WILDWOOD - Chuck Mussachio is going back to fighting guys his own size Saturday.

The Wildwood Crest native and Middle Township resident returns to the light-heavyweight division in an eight-round bout against Billy Bailey, of Bakersfield, Calif., at Bally's Atlantic City.

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Mussachio (17-2-2, 5 KOs) briefly jumped to cruiswerweight six months ago in order to challenge USBA champion Garrett Wilson. Mussachio was ahead on two of the three judges' scorecards through 11 rounds of the Nov. 19, 2011 fight, but was knocked out for the first time in his career in the 12th.

"I'm still not over it," Mussachio said Thursday during an interview at the Wildwood Boxing Club. "I'm still mad because of the way I lost. If I had gotten beat up and then knocked out, I would be OK with it. But I was executing my game plan and winning the fight after 11 rounds. But title fights are 12 rounds and he did what he had to do to win it.

"I know those guys at cruiserweight are too big for me, but I had to take the shot. If I had beaten Wilson, I was supposed to get a world title fight in Germany and make $250,000. Now I'm back to light-heavyweight to stay, unless of course someone else offers me $250,000 again to fight at cruiserweight."

Mussachio's main goal now is to go after the USBA title at light-heavyweight. A victory over Bailey (11-14, 4 KOs) could lead to a bout against current champ Yusef Mack or another contender should Mack opt to vacate the title.

USBA champs earn at least a top-15 ranking in the IBF's world ratings. (Mack is No. 7 in the IBF). Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs) is the IBF's light-heavyweight champion.


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