NORTH PROVIDENCE – Victoria D’Errico faced the toughest fight of her amateur career two weekends ago, and that wasn’t just because the North Providence lightweight boxer was fighting outside New England for the first time.
Fighting for the women’s championship in the main event of Barstool Sports’ Rough ‘N’ Rowdy 20, D’Errico stepped into the ring with one of the promotion’s most successful boxers in Karisa “Cherry Bomb” Lambert, who boasted a 6-0 record as a Rough ‘N’ Rowdy fighter and multiple championships on her resume.
Lambert was also nearly a decade older than the 22-year-old D’Errico, fought in a heavier weight class, and had twice as much experience in the ring. And she had the luxury of fighting in front of her hometown fans at the Charlestown Coliseum & Convention Center in Charlestown, W.V., which is a hour-and-a-half drive from her home in Glenville, W.V.
Needing to win convincingly in front of the judges and not let a “hometown decision” possibly deny her of a close victory, the 2018 graduate of North Providence High simply took matters into her own hands and captured the must-see three-round bout via unanimous decision.
“We watched clips of her, and we knew she was an aggressive fighter who was going to come out and throw bombs,” said D’Errico, who weighed in at 132 pounds, four pounds lighter than Lambert, who had to drop weight for the fight. “My game plan was to go straight down the middle, catch her with cleaner shots, and get out of the way of some of her wider shots.”
But when the bell rang for the opening round, “she ran right at me and hugged me,” D’Errico said. “Once I created some space and hit her down the middle, I think she got stunned. She hugged me for most of the first round, but in the next two, I was hitting her with shots, and her shots were either missing me or slapping me.”
D’Errico said that her best round might have been the third “because I came out swinging more, but in the second round, I would get in a really good combo and then roll under one of her wide shots, cut angle, and slip another shot,” she added. “It just made her look really bad.”
But how bad? Remember, D’Errico was fighting in Lambert’s home state and in front of some hostile fans “who flipped me off and booed me right in my face while I was going to the ring.” Did she do more than enough in the judges’ eyes to win the fight?
“And I was honestly surprised,” she said. “When it came to the decision, I thought I probably was not going to get it. I knew I won because she barely touched me, but I was still like, ‘I don’t know.’”
The championship was the fourth in D’Errico’s excellent career – she had won the Southern New England Golden Gloves’ Sub-Novice Division’s 132-pound championship in 2020 and Novice Division’s 125-pound title last year – and it was her second on the Rough ‘N’ Rowdy circuit.
Her first title came in her boxing debut when she defeated Leanna “Bumblebee” Cruz of Allendale, Pa. via split decision at Rough ‘N’ Rowdy 10 on Nov. 20, 2019 at the Rhode Island Convention Center. And both Rough ‘N’ Rowdy title fights had two things in common: They were main events, and D’Errico got into a tussle with her opponent at both weigh-ins.
In her last fight, D’Errico wore a white cowboy hat to the weigh-in, because Lambert’s “whole thing is that she’s this country girl, so I was kind of trolling her with my hat,” D’Errico noted. “She was talking trash, and Barstool loves a good show, so that was my opportunity to stir something up there.”
“She was starting to tell me that she was going to knock me out, and I was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to do something funny here,’” she continued. “When she put her cowboy hat down and turned away from me, I was like, ‘This is my chance,’ so I put my hat on her head and kind of assumed that she was going to push me.”
And Lambert did just that, but D’Errico countered with a left jab as everyone quickily rushed in to break up the melee, “and when I hit her with that jab, I think she felt my power,” said D’Errico.
D’Errico’s fight with Lambert was her second Rough ‘N’ Rowdy bout in three months. Last Dec. 9, when the Amica Mutual Pavilion was the site for Rough ‘N’ Rowdy 19, D’Errico posted a hard-fought split-decision victory over Heather “One Shot” McDonald, who hailed from Cumberland, Md., was undefeated at 3-0, and like Lambert, had won multiple championships at West Virginia’s popular Toughman Contest.
Handing two formidable opponents their first losses certainly opened up a few doors for D’Errico, “which is why this (victory) was so important,” she noted. “For now, I think I’m going to just ride with this Rough ‘N’ Rowdy thing. They’re having another show in May in West Virginia, but not in Charlestown. I don’t think I’ll be in that one, but they have been having a lot more (shows) than before.”
“After that, my only options are either to go pro (in boxing) or maybe take an amateur mixed martial arts fight,” added D’Errico, who has been training in jiu-jitsu and Muay Lao, in addition to her regular boxing workouts and her job as a personal trainer at Team Rockstar Sports in Warwick. “I’m trying to slowly put the pieces together, but my passion is definitely boxing.”
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