Author: Daxx Khan

Sparrow vs. Serrano X-Cite Fight Night main event March 9th

Bensalem, PA—Avery Sparrow, one of the fastest-rising prospects in the Philadelphia area, will take on seasoned veteran Jesus Serrano, of Nogales, Mexico in the main event of Xcite Fight Nightat Parx Casino® on Friday, March 9The eight-fight card begins at 7:30 p.m.

Sparrow, 9-1, 3 K0s, is unbeaten in his last five fights, including four wins in 2017 that earned him a top-15 ranking as a junior lightweight with the World Boxing Organization (WBO).

Sparrow started the year in his own backyard by defeating fellow Philadelphian Anthony Burgin, followed by a short-notice victory over then-undefeated Isaelin Florian of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  He closed the year just as strongly, beating Canadian standout Joey Laviolette in September and then scoring a major upset win on 11-days’ notice over WBO world-ranked Jose Lopez, of Carolina, Puerto Rico.

“I’m happy to be back in the ring,” Sparrow said. “2017 was a very good year in boxing for me. I showed the fans and the world I’m here and I’m one of the best boxers coming from Philadelphia. I’m honored to be fighting at Parx Casino so my hometown fans can watch me in another exciting fight and I’m thrilled to be the first fighter to bring world-class boxing to Parx Casino, and to give the fans what they came out to see – a knockout.”

“It is an exciting time for us to be opening the Xcite Center venue at Parx Casino,” promoter Joe Hand Sr. said. “To headline our first show with a world-rated fighter in Avery Sparrow, a fighter who I have known since the amateurs and watched grow over the years, makes it even more special.”

Serrano (top right), turned pro in 2012 and has a record of 17-5-2, 12 K0s. He also fought four times in 2017, ending the year at 3-1. He is coming off of a tough loss to undefeated Hector Tanajara of San Antonio, Texas last November.

Serrano is a pressure fighter who comes to fight. His style makes for compelling matchups, so expect fireworks when he stands across from the always-willing Sparrow.

Russian Heavyweight Apti Davtaev Remains Undefeated on Shields vs. Nelson Undercard at the Turning Stone Resort Casino

Several entertaining fights highlighted the untelevised undercard for two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields defense of her WBC and IBF titles against mandatory challenger Tori Nelson at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York tonight.

In the main supporting bout, Detroit via Kurchaloi, Russia, heavyweight Apti Davtaev had a successful United States fighting debut by scoring a six-round unanimous decision over Philadelphia’s Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson.

Wilson didn’t make it easy. Fighting out of a crouch, the heavily muscled, but much shorter Wilson came up with enough wild haymakers to make the entire fight very interesting. Davtaev appears to have a heavy right hand, which he dropped onto the hard head of Wilson often enough to earn the close, but deserved nod. Davtaev warrants credit for going to war whenever one of Wilson’s looping swings connected.

Davtaev (now 14-0-1, 13 KOs) loses his perfect KO percentage, but walks away with a hard-fought victory over a foe who came to win. Wilson is now (18-14-1, 9 KOs).

The scores were 58-56 from all three judges.

An accidental headbutt brought an abbreviated end to the six-round super lightweight return of Aktjubinsk, Kazakhstan’s Bakhtiyar Eyubov.

In against Lynchburg, Virginia’s Maurice Chalmers (14-13-1, 8 KOs), the exciting slugger Eyubov (13-0, 11 KOs) was advancing behind active head movement and a tight shell when his head collided with the retreating Chalmers’. The cut that resulted was ruled too severe and the fight was ruled a No Decision at 1:59 of the opening round.

In a wild women’s light heavyweight brawl featuring fists flying from every direction, wrestling holds and several MMA-style takedowns, Franchon “The Heavy Hitting Diva” Crews-Dezurn won a unanimous six-round decision over Tiffany “The Terminator” Woodard.

Crews-Dezurn, now 3-1, 1 KO, of Baltimore, Maryland, had too many weapons for Wilson, North Carolina’s Woodard (now 4-10-3, 3 KOs), so Woodard tried and succeeded to make things ugly. What followed was a wild punch-out featuring elbows and headlocks and takedowns that left both on the canvas more than once.

Woodard took a lot of hard leather and deserves credit for her toughness. Crews-Dezurn showed class in not taking the bait for most of the fight. She did lose a point in the sixth for a sneaky revenge takedown.

The scores were 59-53, 59-54 and 59-54.

Detroit via Magnitogorsk, Russia’s Alexey Zubov outworked a determined Lamont “Too Smooth” Capers of Hawley, Pennsylvania, on his way to a six-round majority decision.

An entertaining fight between hard-nosed cruiserweights, Zubov was cut over the right eye and took some good punches, but simply outworked the more selective Capers. Zubov showed his often-superior conditioning and worked behind an educated jab, while Capers was content to lay on the ropes and land hard pot shots often enough to keep it interesting.

A score of 57-57 draw was over-ruled by scores 59-56 and 58-56 for the tough Russian. With the victory, Zubov moves his record to 17-1, 9 KOs. Capers falls to 8-11-3.

SECOND-ROUND RESULTS: 72nd annual Lowell Sun Charities Golden Gloves Championships

SECOND-ROUND RESULTS
 
72nd annual Lowell Sun Charities
Golden Gloves Championship
Central N.E. quarterfinals round action  
this Friday night at Lowell Auditorium

Marlboro, MA light welterweight Nelson Perez after his win last night
Pictures courtesy of Edward Boches / bochesphotogrphery.com

LOWELL, Mass. (January 13, 2018) – The Central New England (Greater Lowell) second-round of the 72nd annual Lowell Sun Charities Golden Gloves Championships concluded last night at historic Lowell Memorial Auditorium with that featured 13 exciting men’s and women’s novice class matches.

The quarterfinals are on tap next Friday night (Jan. 19) at Lowell Memorial Auditorium with novice and open class matches. See the complete 2018 schedule of events below as well as last night’s complete results.

“The first bout (Rodriguez vs. Picariello) of the night was awesome, one of the best I’ve seen in years,” Tournament Executive Director Bobby Russo said. “It was a lesson to be learned for fans: don’t come late! One of the great things about amateur boxing is you never know what the fight of the night will be and last night it was the first.  Rodriguez showed a good skill level, especially for a novice, and Picariello had tremendous determination. He kept coming and they both threw a lot of punches. It was a great way to start the show.”

Proceeds from the Lowell Sun Charities Golden Gloves Championship go towards sending the New England Golden Gloves champions to the National Golden Gloves Championship (starting May 14, 2018 in Omaha, Nebraska), in addition to supporting local athletes and area gyms, the Boys & Girls Club, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, cancer funds, scholarships and many other great charitable causes.

Manchester, NH welterweight Apostolus Lolos was a winner last night
 
OFFICIAL RESULTS
 
NOVICE
(Feb. 12, 2018)
LIGHTWEIGHTS (132 lbs.)
Kevin Rodriguez, Lawrence, MA / Intenze 978
WDEC (5-0)
Giovanni Picariello, Medford, MA / Nonantun Boxing Club
Emmanuel Adumbire, Dorchester, MA / Grealish Boxing
WDEC (3-2)
Shane Jordan, Brockton, MA / Everybody Fights
FEMALE LIGHT WELTERWEIGHTS (141 lbs.)
Stephanie Khan, Brighton, MA / The Ring
WDEC (5-0)
Marine Krizisch, Cambrige, MA / Nonantum Boxing
LIGHT WELTERWEIGHTS (141 lbs.)
Steve Rao, Lowell, MA / West End Gym
WDEC (3-2)
Miguel Rivera, Lawrence, MA / Intenze 978
Robert Tomczyk, Sterling, MA / Palladin Martial Arts
WDEC (5-0)
Scott Nardella, Lowell, MA / West End Gym
Nelson Perez, Marlboro, MA / Upperkuts
WDEC (3-2)
James Quealy, Dorchester, MA / Grealish Boxing
FEMALE WELTERWEIGHTS (152 lbs.)
Emily Jones, Woburn, MA / Everybody Fights
WDEC (5-0)
Samatha Kreitman, Boston, MA / Sweatbox
WELTERWEIGHTS (152 LBS.)
Alexander Lynch, Quincy, MA / Grealish Boxing
WDEC (5-0)
Doug Maguire, Hudson, MA / Hudson Boxing Club
Apostolus Lolos, Manchester, NH / Manchester PAL
WDEC (4-1)
Daniel Richard, Malden, MA / Somerville Boxing Club
MIDDLEWEIGHTS (165 lbs.)
Jordy Artica, Chelsea, MA / Grealish Boxing
WDEC (5-0)
Steve Baez, Lowell, MA / West End Gym
Mohammed Ibrahim, Boston, MA / unattached
WDEC (5-0)
Ethan Marshall, Haverhill, MA / Haverhill Downtown Boxing
HEAVYWEIGHTS (201 lbs.)
Andrew Perez, Methuen, MA / Intenze 978
WDEC (4-1)
Jordan Faulkner, Haverhill, MA / Haverhill Downtown Boxing
SUPER HEAVYWEIGHTS (201+ lbs.)
Jean Fleurissaint, Mattapan, Ma / Boston Boxing
WDEC5
Brandys Nunez, Peabody, Ma / Dullea’s
72nd annual Lowell Sun Charities Golden Gloves Championship Schedule
(Lowell Memorial Auditorium – 6:30 p.m. doors open, 7:30 p.m. first bout)
Central New England (Greater Lowell)
Quarterfinals – Friday, Jan. 19
Semifinals: – Thursday, Jan. 25
Championship Finals – Thursday, Feb. 1
New England Tournament of Champions
Novice Class Semifinals – Thursday, Feb. 8
Novice Class Championship Finals – Thursday, Feb. 15
Open Class Semifinals – Wednesday, Feb. 21
Open Class Championship Finals – Thursday, Feb. 22
INFORMATION:
Tournament Executive Director: Bobby Russo
Director of Contestants: Art Ramalho
Chief of Officials: Lauri Purcell
Ring Announcer: John Vena
Venue: Lowell Memorial Auditorium, 50 Merrimack St., Lowell, MA
Twitter: @LowellGloves
ABOUT LOWELL SUN CHARITIES: Established in 1947, Lowell Sun Charities is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enrich the quality of life for children, families, and the community, offering programs that promote respect and dignity. Rooted in a tradition of care and compassion, Lowell Sun Charities was originally founded to respond to the ever-increasing challenges of the community. 2018 marks the 72nd year the Golden Gloves have been held in the great city of Lowell, Massachusetts.
Lowell Sun Charities is a community program that not only makes champions in the ring but also makes champions in life. Every year these young athletes devote themselves to a sport which teaches discipline, respect, and clean lifestyle for a chance to win a prestigious Golden Gloves Championship.

Smith-Braehmer Ali Trophy semi-final set for Nuremberg February 24th

The Ali Trophy semi-final clash in the super middleweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series between Callum Smith (23-0, 17 KOs) and Juergen Braehmer (49-3, 35 KOs) takes place at the Arena Nürnberger Versicherung, Germany on February 24.

“We are very much looking forward to bring the Ali Trophy experience to Nuremberg on February 24,” said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer

“Smith vs. Braehmer – England vs. Germany – it’s a classic anyway, but this one pits youth vs. experience. Smith is eager to show the world he is the best while Braehmer is entering the last chance saloon. The outcome is unpredictable, it’s going to be a thrilling night in Germany and a fitting event for the last of our semi-final fixtures.“

Both 27-year-old Smith and 39-year-old Braehmer appeared as serious contenders to win the Muhammad Trophy with their quarter-final performances last year.

Britain’s Smith claimed a 116-112, 117-110, 117-111 victory on the judges’ cards and advanced to the semi-final after a thrilling match against Sweden’s Erik Skoglund at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

Germany’s Braehmer proved age is just a number when he beat American hope Rob Brant in dominant fashion at the Kongresshalle in Schwerin with the judges scoring it 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112 in favour of the former light heavyweight world titleholder.

“I believe I will beat Jurgen Braehmer anywhere in the world and it is a nice away trip for my fans,” said 27-year-old Callum Smith before adding: “I am the better man, the younger, fresher man, and I believe I will do what needs to be done to get to the final.”

“I am looking forward to the fight,” said 39-year-old Juergen Braehmer.

“Callum is a good fighter, but I feel confident that I will win this fight. I am in this tournament because I strongly believe I have the ability to win it. Next step towards my goal is a victory in Nuremberg.”

Unbeaten Top Middleweight Contender Sergey Derevyanchenko Highlights, Spence Peterson Undercard January 20th

BROOKLYN (January 12, 2018) – Unbeaten middleweight contender and IBF No. 1 challenger Sergey Derevyanchenko (11-0, 9 KOs, WSB: 23-1, 7 KOs) will enter the ring for an eight-round bout as part of an exciting undercard on Saturday, January 20 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®.

The Premier Boxing Champions event is headlined by welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr. taking on two-division champion Lamont Peterson live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). Lightweight world champion Robert Easter squares up against two-division champion Javier Fortuna. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP telecast will be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).

Additional action inside of the arena will see the brother of Lamont Peterson, once-beaten Anthony Peterson (37-1, 24 KOs), facing Luis Florez (23-7, 19 KOs) in a 10-round super lightweight matchup plus once-beaten welterweight Ivan Golub (13-1, 11 KOs) in an eight-round fight against Colombia’s Fidel Monterrosa (38-14-1, 30 KOs).

 Undercard fights continue with undefeated 2016 Haitian Olympian Richardson Hitchins (3-0, 1 KO) entering the ring for a four-round welterweight fight against Preston Wilson (4-2-1, 3 KOs), Philadelphia’s Dylan Price (4-0, 4 KOs) competing in a four-round super flyweight bout against Nestor Ramos (7-7, 3 KOs) and welterweight prospect Keeshawn Williams (1-0, 1 KO) taking on Denis Okoth (1-0, 1 KO) in a four-round matchup.

Rounding out the night is a four-round showdown between unbeaten Desmond Jarmon and Dallas-native Charles Clark plus New Jersey’s Matthew Gonzalez in a six round middleweight fight against Alexander Serna.

A highly decorated amateur who represented his native Ukraine in the 2008 Olympics, Derevyanchenko now lives and trains in Brooklyn and most recently earned the top spot in the IBF rankings with an impressive 12th round stoppage over Tureano Johnson. The 32-year-old also defeated previously unbeaten Kemahl Russell in 2017 after his 2016 saw him earn a TKO victory over Mike Guy in March before stopping former champion Sam Soliman in the second round of a world title eliminator in July. The unbeaten fighter defeated a slew of experienced contenders in 2015 with wins over Elvin Ayala, Alan Campa, Vladine Biosse and a third-round stoppage of Jessie Nicklow.

Derevyanchenko and Golub make it a pair of Ukrainian sluggers fighting out of Brooklyn who will compete on the undercard looking to put on impressive performances in their adopted hometown.

Perez Shines at Battle at the Boat 114

TACOMA, Wash. – Manuel Perez overcame a second-round knockdown to defeat John Jackson by unanimous decision in the main event of Battle at the Boat 114 Friday at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash.

Perez appeared as the overwhelming 99-92, 97-92, 96-93 winner on the scorecards in the 10-round welterweight bout to improve his record to 29-12-1 with 7 KOs. Jackson fell to 17-4-2 with the loss.

Walter Wright was victorious in his comeback fight, defeating Rafael Valencia by unanimous decision in a 6-round middleweight bout. Wright, who appeared on ESPN’s “The Contender Season 2,” was the 60-54 winner on all three judge’s scorecards to up his record to 15-4.

It was the first fight in five years for Wright, a former U.S. Championship finalist as an amateur.

Anthony Zender provided the biggest upset on the undercard, handing previously undefeated Jorge Linares his first career setback. Zender, making his professional debut, sent Linares (2-1-0) to the canvas midway through the opening round before going on to win by unanimous decision (38-36, 38-36, 38-36).

Fatlum Zhuta improved his record to 5-0-1 by making short work of Eddie Hunter (10-14-2) in their 168-pound bout, winning the contest with a KO just 39 seconds into the first round.

Eduardo Torres (2-1-1) followed up Zhuta’s win in similar fashion, needing just 42 seconds to knockout a debuting Chris Varner in a clash of 154 pounders.

Carlos Villanueva (3-3) opened up the card with a split decision victory (39-37, 37-39, 39-37) over Alex Cazac (0-2).

Battle at the Boat 114 results

10 Round Main Event – Welterweights

Manuel Perez (29-12-1, 7 KOs) d. John Jackson (17-4-2, 13 KOs), UD (99-92, 97-92, 96-93)

6 Round Semi-Main Event

167 pounds: Walter Wright (15-4-0, 7 KOs) d. Rafael Valencia (3-9-0, 2 KOs), UD (60-54, 60-54, 60-54)

4 Round Undercard Bouts

172 pounds: Fatlum Zhuta (5-0-1, 4 KOs) d. Eddie Hunter (10-14-2, 3 KOs), KO (first round, :39)

140 pounds: Anthony Zender (1-0) d. Jorge Linares (2-1-0, 2 KOs), UD (38-36, 38-36, 38-36)

185 pounds: Carlos Villanueva (3-3-0) d. Alex Cazac (0-2-0), split decision (39-37, 37-39, 39-37)

145 pounds: Eduardo Torres (2-1-1, KO) d. Chris Varner (0-1), KO (first round, :42)

Prestigious WBAN Belt to Be Awarded to Winner of Shields-Nelson Showdown for World Super Middleweight Championship

The WBAN, one of the most highly-respected organizations in female boxing, has announced that their World Super Middleweight Championship belt will be on the line this Friday, January 12, when two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields (4-0, 2 KOs) defends her WBC and IBF titles against undefeated mandatory challenger Tori Nelson (17-0-3, 2 KOs) live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.

The Women’s Boxing Archive Network, founded in 1998 by former #1-rated fighter Sue “TL” Fox, has become the world’s leading authority for resource and information on female boxing.  The WBAN belt is awarded selectively and only in recognition of championship fights featuring best-in-class matchups in a division.  Shields and Nelson are ranked #1 and #2 at super middleweight by the WBAN.

Over the ensuing years, a veritable “who’s who” of female fighters have held WBAN Championships, including Holly Holm, Anne Sophie Mathis, Myriam Lamare, Frida Walberg, Amanda Serrano, Mary Jo Sanders, Ann Marie Saccurato, Lindsay Garbatt, Melissa Hernandez, Diane Prazak and Yazmin Rivas.

“Through the WBAN, the ‘best of the best’ have the opportunity to fight for an elite, independent belt,” said Sue Fox. “This is a tremendous fight between the two best female super middleweights in the world and the WBAN is happy to add our sanction.”

 
“I want to thank Sue Fox and the WBAN for their recognition of the marquis quality of the Shields vs Nelson matchup as well as the accomplishments of both WBC/IBF World Super Middleweight Champion Claressa Shields and her undefeated veteran challenger Tori Nelson,” said Shields co-manager Mark Taffet. “We are proud that these women are being recognized for taking on the biggest and best challenges and contributing to the continued growth and prominence of women’s boxing.”
 
“This belt adds another dimension to this terrific fight,” said Dmitriy Salita, Shields’ promoter. “The WBAN has been a respected body in women’s boxing for many years. If Sue Fox says you’re the champion, you are the champion. Claressa is very proud to be fighting for their belt.”

In the February 2012 commemorative issue of The Ring Magazine, Fox was named one of the Top-Ten Most Influential female boxers of all time. In 2008, USA Boxing recognized Fox for her contributions in developing the sport. Fox also created the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame (IWBHF) in 2014.

Also featured on the January 12 telecast, Uzbekistan power-puncher Shohjahon Ergashev (11-0, 11 KOs) will face fellow undefeated and top-10 ranked Sonny Fredrickson (18-0, 12 KOs) of Toledo, Ohio. In the co-feature, Jesse Hernandez (10-1, 7 KOs) will take on Ernesto Garza (9-2, 5 KOs; 1-3 WSB) in a 10-round super bantamweight bout. 

DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT AND GREG COHEN PROMOTIONS TO CO-PROMOTE UNDEFEATED SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT CONTENDER LENNOX ALLEN

New York City (January 9, 2018) DIBELLA ENTERTAINMENT (DBE) announced today that it has renewed promotional efforts for undefeated super middleweight contender LENNOX “2 Sharpe” ALLEN (20-0-1, 13 KOs), of New York City by way of Guyana, signing a co-promotional deal with GREG COHEN PROMOTIONS (GCP).

“I’m thrilled to welcome Lennox Allen back into the fold with my company and to bring Greg Cohen Promotions onboard as co-promoter,” said LOU DIBELLA, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Although he’s been off for a couple years, when I met with Lennox and his manager, it was clear that he had a reignited fire to jumpstart his career and get right back in the mix of the division.

“The super middleweight division is currently wide open and there are a number of great matchups to be made for Lennox as we continue to work toward his dream of becoming a world champion.”

“We are excited to be co-promoting Lennox Allen with DiBella Entertainment,” said GREG COHEN, CEO of Greg Cohen Promotions. “Lennox is a world-class fighter, who will undoubtedly contend for a super middleweight world title. Allen’s manager, Steven Heid, has been terrific to work with and the combination of Steven, Lennox, DBE and GCP will share great success together. I’m truly looking forward to this venture and it’s especially nice to be partnering with Steven and Lou, who I have known for well over 20 years.”

“I have a great team around me,” said Lennox Allen. “This is my year. Line them up and watch me take them out. I’m coming for greatness.”

“This will be Allen’s breakout year,” said Allen’s manager STEVEN HEID. “He has taken care of everybody we have put in front of him. At 20-0, he is now knocking on the door and looking to take over the stacked super middleweight division.”

Currently riding an eight-bout winning streak, Allen has rededicated himself toward boxing and will be active in 2018. Details of Allen’s ring return will be announced shortly.

Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera strong to finish because he eats his spinach – undefeated Hartford light heavyweight prospect headlines vs. Kevin Cobbs

WORCESTER, Mass. (January 8, 2018) – One of the most popular New England boxing prospects, undefeated Hartford (CT) light heavyweight Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera (5-0, 4 KOs), will headline his third show Saturday night, February 10, at The Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts.

In the fifth installment of the “New England’s Future” series, presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), the 27-year-old Rivera meets Kevin “KRAY 2 UNKL” Cobbs (10-2, 4 KOs), fighting out of Burlington (VT), for the vacant Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) New England title in the eight-round main event.

Rivera, who was a 2016 Rocky Marciano Tournament champion, is coming off a sensational second-round knockout of 146-fight veteran Roberto Valenzuela this past December 9 in Hampton, New Hampshire.

“I am excited to have Richie boxing for the UBF New England title so early in his pro career,”” said promoter Jose Antonio Rivera, the retired 3-time, 2-division world champion. “This is the third time we’ve had the privilege of him fighting on one of our cards. He fought in the main event of our last show (Oct.) at the DCU Center. Rivera looks better and sharper every time I watch him fight. I see big things coming for him. He has the tools and discipline a trainer looks for and a boxer needs to become world champion. The sky is the limit for Richard and, for now, we’re grateful to play a small part to help develop his professional career.”

Rivera has successfully marketed his Popeye persona during his young pro boxing career, wearing a sailor’s cap into the ring with a traditional Popeye-like pipe dangling in his mouth. “There are several reasons for my nickname, ‘Popeye’, but when I was very young,” Rivera explained, “I had abnormally large forearms. It just stuck with me through the years, when people referred to me in the gym, so I’ve run with it. I’m bringing life back to Hartford with patience, all over New England, with patience, perseverance and style. I live in the moment.”

Although he didn’t win many major awards or tournaments as an amateur boxer, Rivera gained invaluable experience boxing many of the best amateurs in New England and in national events, as well as sparring with the likes of former world champions Peter “Kid Chocolate” QuillinChad Dawson and Joe Smith, Jr. He also learned from time spent in the ring with former title challengers Israel “Pito” Cardona and John Scully.

“I took my time turning pro because I didn’t have a support system to get me to the next level,” Rivera noted. “I was insecure. The positive feedback I received from fighters I sparred fed into my confidence. Now, in only my sixth pro fight, I will be headlining for the third time, and fighting for my first title. I can’t thank the Riveras (Jose and his son, A.J.) enough for what they’ve done for me. They’ve believed in me.”

At first, Rivera was somewhat reluctant to fight the more experienced Cobb but, after doing some research, he accepted the challenge. “I was a little nervous at first,” he admitted. “Some were questioning if I was ready to step up to fight him. I did some research: he didn’t have a bigger amateur career, or fought more six or eight rounds fights than me. And I was the sparring partner for the first pro to beat him, Tyron Burris (TKO2 in 2012). I’m ready! I’m 27 and need a fight like this.”

Worcester’s two-time national amateur champion Bobby “BH3” Harris, III meets Brazilian middleweight Saul Almeida (0-8-1) in the four-round co-featured event.

Fighting on the undercard, all in four-round bouts, are rising New Haven (CT) super middleweight prospect Elvis Figueroa (3-0, 1 KO), a three-time USA Boxing Nationals Championship gold medalist, vs. TBA, Worcester featherweight Ranse Andino (1-0) vs. Alex Montes (1-2-1), of Lawrence (MA), Danbury (CT) welterweight Omar Bordoy, Jr. (2-0) vs. Puerto Rican invader Alexander “El Bravo” Picot (2-4-1), Southbridge (MA) welterweight Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan (3-0, 1 KO) vs. pro-debuting Nick Peralta, of Lawrence, undefeated Springfield (MA) light heavyweight Ray “Bazooka” Graceski (5-0, 3 KOs). vs. Hartford’s pro-debuting Paul Bansiak,Hartford junior middleweight Jose “Rated R” Rivera (4-1, 3 KOs) vs. Troy “Omar KO Artist” Artis (4-7-1 (3 KOs), Springfield welterweight Derrick “Double Impact” Whitley (2-0) vs. Roger Blankenship (1-2), undefeated Puerto Rican middleweight Jelame Garcia (6-0, 6 KOs) vs. Brazilian Rodrigo Almeida 1-7), Meriden (CT) bantamweight James Aquino (6-0, 6 KOs), 2016 New England Golden Gloves champion, vs. Luis Rivera (3-3) and Hartford’s pro-debuting welterweight Joseph Goss vs. Seth Basler (0-3).

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