ATLANTIC CITY - Middle Township light-heavyweight Chuck Mussachio hit Billy Bailey so hard and so often Saturday night that his knuckles were turning purple just minutes after co-trainer Bill Johnson unfurled the tape from his hands.
"My hands aren't broken, but they're sore," Mussachio said. "He had a head like a brick."
The pain in his hands didn't slow him down, however. Mussachio (18-2-2, 5 KOs) turned in one of his most impressive performances, battering the durable Bailey (11-15, 4 KOs) for most of their eight-round bout en route to a unanimous decision.
Judges Julie Lederman (79-72), John McKaie (78-73) and Ron McNair (78-73) all gave Mussachio a decisive victory, as did The Press (79-72).
The verdict produced loud cheers and chants of "Chuckie, Chuckie" from more than 100 fans who made the trek from Mussachio's hometown of Wildwood Crest. Mussachio, 32, dedicated the fight to the memory of his longtime friend, Wildwood native Adam Frantz, who died unexpectedly on May 16, 2011. A moment of silence was held in Frantz's honor before the bout.
"I'd really like to thank the fans for doing that for Adam and for cheering for me during the fight," Mussachio said. "Whenever I start to feel tired during a fight, I hear those cheers and that keeps me going."