PROVIDENCE, R.I. (June 9th, 2017) – Nicknamed “The Villian,” hard-nosed Stoneham, Mass., junior middleweight Greg Vendetti made a lasting impression in his first career bout at Twin River Casino on Friday, defeating Khiary Gray by majority decision to retain his New England Championship in a scintillating main event.
Vendetti (15-2-1) out-worked Gray (14-3) over eight rounds, bulldozing his way to the inside and landing looping, overhand rights while also working the body effectively for the majority of the fight. Gray, who found himself circling the ring most of the night, landed sporadically in exchanges, but could not match Vendetti’s workload on the inside; “The Villian,” fighting in front of a heavy crowd of hometown fans from Stoneham, earned a 76-76, 77-75, 78-74 decision over the Worcester, Mass., native Gray, his 11th consecutive win since signing with Boston-based promotion Murphys Boxing.
Gray has now lost three of his last four bouts, including a back-and-forth eight-round battle with Brooklyn’s Courtney Pennington in February. In a fight both sides have yearned for over the past year and a half, Gray and Vendetti delivered, fighting aggressively for eight hard rounds, even taunting each other at times with following close exchanges at the bell.
Friday’s event, promoted by CES Boxing in association with Murphys Boxing, featured eight exciting bouts live on FITE TV Pay Per View, including a back-and-forth co-feature war between Whitman, Mass., junior middleweight Mark DeLuca (19-0) and Chicago’s Chris Chatman (14-7-1) with DeLuca earning a 78-73 decision on all three scorecards. Chatman hit the canvas in the sixth and still earned a split of the final two rounds on two of the scorecards, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap against DeLuca, who was the busier of the two fighters in the early rounds and built a sizeable lead heading into the stretch run.
Returning to Twin River for the first time since April, Providence, R.I., lightweight and fan favorite Anthony Marsella Jr. (5-0) faced adversity in his scheduled six-round bout against Texas native Abraham Torres (3-2), rising from the canvas in the fourth round courtesy of a flash knockdown and turning on the pressure in the fifth and six to earn a 58-55, 58-55, 57-56 unanimous decision win to keep his perfect record intact.
The knockdown occurred as the two exchanged a close furry in the center of the ring, with Torres getting the edge with a short right upstairs. Marsella continued to mix it up with his opponent in the fifth and sixth, but also boxed more effectively on angles, dodging Torres’ punches and scoring from a distance to keep Torres off balance.
Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (11-1, 9 KOs), making his Twin River and CES debut, impressed his first-time viewers with a devastating knockout win over Delaware’s Dan Biddle (9-6), sending Biddle to the canvas three times with body blows in the second round, forcing referee Eddie Claudio to stop the bout at the 2:36 mark.
Facing the toughest test of his career – and facing am undefeated opponent for the third time since turning pro – Worcester, Mass., middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (7-0-2) earned a hard-fought unanimous decision win over Bloomfield, N.J., vet Godson Noel (6-1-1), 58-56, 58-56, 59-55. Ball was the aggressor for the entire fight, boxing effectively off the ropes, utilizing his angles while doubling up with quick uppercuts on the inside and short hooks. Noel landed in short bunches, but Ball was busier throughout and landed the cleaner, more impactful blows.
Making his professional debut, Providence, R.I., super featherweight Michael Valentin (1-0, 1 KO) dazzled the crowd with an impressive, 55-second knockout win over debut challenger Kevin De Freitas (0-1) of Somerville, Mass. Valentin, debuting at the age of 18, took his time to feel out his opponent in the opening seconds, then unloaded with a flurry along the ropes that sent De Freitas down and out.
Also on the undercard, Salem, Mass., junior welterweight Matt Doherty (7-3-1) narrowly defeated Providence’s Cido Hoff (1-2-1) by majority decision, 39-37, 39-37, 38-38. Judges Steve Weisfeld and Martha Tremblay scored it in favor of Doherty while Ken Ezzo had it even at 38 apiece. Doherty has now won three in a row, including a big knockout win over Julio Perez in February.
Fighting for the second time since making his debut in April, Providence featherweight Ricky Delossantos ran his record to 2-0 with an impressive 39-36, 38-37, 38-37 unanimous decision win over tough New Jersey native Malcolm Simms (0-1-1). Fresh off a win over Phil Davis two months ago, Delossantos sent Simms crashing to the canvas with an overhand right in the second round and controlled the final two rounds to earn his second win in as many fights.
“KO Night Boxing: WAR In WinnaVegas” WinnaVegas Events Center in Sloan, Iowa
June 10 live on CBS Sports Network 10:00 p.m. ET.
Main Event – Vacant USBA Featherweight Championship — (10) – CBSSN
(L) Daniel “Twitch” Franco (15-1-3, 10 KOs), Rancho Cucamonga, California 125 ½ lbs.
(R) Jose “Pepito” Haro (13-1-1, 7 KOs), West Jordan, Utah 125 lbs.
Co-Feature — Lightweights (10) — CBSSN
(L) Zhimin Wang (8-1, 3 KOs), Wuhan, China 136 lbs.
(R) Manuel Rey “The Punisher” Rojas (14-3, 4 KOs), Dallas, 134 TX lbs.
Super Featherwights (6) — CBSSN
Giovanni Mioletti (7-0, 1 KO), Chicago, IL 130 lbs.
Sal Lopez (4-1, 0 KOs), Las Vegas, NV 130 lbs.
At the Turning stone Casino in Verona NY, Friday night during the “International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend” DiBella Entertainment hosted an edition of “SHOBOX the Next Generation”. On the card were hot upcoming prospects, veteran journeymen and unknown opponents, all gave an equally enthusiastic effort to entertain not only fans in attendance but watching on TV. In the main event, two of the sports most talked about prospects Joel Diaz Jr and Regis Prograis faced off in a 140lb contest for Prograis NABF super lightweight title.
When the two fighters, entered the ring they had a combined record of 42-0 with 35 of those coming by stoppage. On paper this looked like an even fight, both possessed similar records, KO percentage and were almost identical in size, once the bell rang the bout was far from even, Prograis utterly dominated Diaz Jr two rounds. While Diaz Jr landed some solid blows in the opening round, the moment Prograis let his hands go, Diaz had no answers for the assault.
In round two continuous pressure and Prograis right hands dropped Diaz Jr four times. The final knockdown coming moments before the bell sounded, forcing referee Mark Nelson called a halt to the contest. With the win Regis Prograis improved to 20-0 (17), Joel Diaz Jr in his first loss dropped to 23-1 (19). In his post fight interview Prograis began humble, giving Diaz Jr credit calling him a “Tough Opponent”. When Steve Farhood stated “I don’t think anyone will want to fight you after seeing this” Prograis started screaming into the camera “Terence Crawford I’m coming for you”. While I can understand his enthusiasm, facing Crawford is not the same as facing Joel Diaz Jr, something established more experienced fighters such as Viktor Postol, Yuriorkis Gamboa and most recently Felix Diaz found out the hard way.
In an Super Middleweight contest, power punching Demond Nicholson out of Laurel, Maryland, took on former Canadian amatuer standout Steve Rolls. After scoring a knockdown in the first, Rolls outboxed Nicholson in the second and third rounds. In round four Nicholson turned momentum in his favor, forcing Rolls backwards with power punching winning the fourth through sixth on my card. In round seven after back and forth momentum, Rolls edged it with accuracy. In the eighth and final round, Nicholson would outland Rolls almost 3-1 a late rally from Rolls just before the bell excited fans but was not enough to win him the round.
On My unofficial card, due to the knockdown I had Steve Rolls winning 76-75. The official scores read 77-75 in favor of Nicholson and 77-74 twice in favor of Rolls. With the win Steve Rolls improved to 16-0 (9), Demond Nicholson now stands at 17-2-1 (16).
The televised broadcast started with undefeated lightweight prospect, Jon Fernandez taking on Juan Reyes. It would not take long for Fernandez, who is managed by former undisputed middleweight champion Sergio Martinez to impress the crowd. He dominated the first round with accurate volume punching and at 2:36 of round two stopped Reyes cold. With his win Jon Fernandez improved to 13-0 (11), Juan Reyes now stands at 14-4-3 (2).
In Undercard action–
Super Welterweight- Kerman Lejarraga 22-0 (18) def. Jose Antonio Abreu 13-2 (8) via TKO 2.
Light Heavyweight- Francy Ntetu 17-1 (4) def. Brian Holstein 12-7-1 (7) via TKO 4.
Super Middleweight- Nick Brinson 19-4-2 (9) def. Jaime Barboza 19-12 (9) via TKO 6.
Super Welterweight- Charles Conwell 3-0 (3) def. Jeffrey Wright 4-7-1 (4) via TKO 2.
Cruiserweight- Lawrence Gabriel 1-1-1 and Damian Lewis 0-4-1 fought to a four round Majority Draw.
“Kalvin is a promising fighter with tremendous popularity in his area,” said Warriors President, Leon Margules. “We believe he has the tools and ability to become champion. I’m happy he decided to sign with us and look forward to helping him reach his goals.”
VERONA, N.Y. (June 7, 2017) – Former unified world champion and current boxing promoter and mentor Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, along with his protégé Jon “JonFer” Fernandez, an undefeated prospect at 130 pounds, discuss future plans ahead of Fernandez’s second appearance on ShoBox: The New Generation this Friday, June 9, live on SHOWTIME (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on West Coast) from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.
Martinez, known for his extensive career and impact inside the ring and now at the helm of Maravillabox Promotions, has worked with Fernandez since his pro debut at only 19 years old. Fernandez (12-0, 10 KOs), who is co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and MaravillaBox Promotions, has remained undefeated and undeterred, climbing up the prospect ranks with five fights in 2015, another five in 2016 and now getting ready for his third fight this year.
In addition to June 9’s ShoBox being Fernandez’s third fight this year, it will also be his third time fighting on American soil as he opens the SHOWTIME telecast facing tough opposition in Juan Reyes (14-3-3, 2 KOs) for what could be an important fight in his development as he tries to turn from prospect to contender.
The card, which takes place during the 2017 Hall of Fame Weekend where longtime ShoBox analysts Barry Tompkins and Steve Farhood will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, features undefeated super lightweights Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (19-0, 16 KOs) and Joel Diaz Jr. (23-0, 19 KOs) in the 10-round main event. The co-feature will pit Steve Rolls (15-0, 9 KOs) against Demond Nicholson (17-1-1, 16 KOs) in an eight-round super middleweight bout.
SERGIO “MARAVILLA” MARTINEZ:
How would you describe Jon Fernandez’s style?
“I believe that JonFer is a very well-rounded, complete fighter. He can take advantage of his great wingspan and reach but has no problem fighting in close distance. Furthermore, he’s hitting really hard. I believe we’ll see him fighting with big names in the division soon.
“JonFer has a classic boxing style-a classic, orthodox style. He’s effective when he’s attacking as well as defending. He poses a vision and a combat insight that is truly amazing. Not only does he have speed and precision, but he also has potential in his fists. But, the best characteristic that JonFer possesses is his great professionalism in the sport and in his personal life.”
What would you say is different in Jon compared to other boxers in the division?
“His head, he is very mature for his age. In that sense, he reminds me of myself. He is very serious when he’s working and always looking to improve.
“He has a stupendous perception of the errors his rivals make. He knows how to read the battle and knows when and how to define a fight. I believe that the more fights and time go by, JonFer will establish himself at the top level alongside the top boxers in the world.”
As Jon develops, what plans do you have for him?
“To continue with the hard work like we have to this date. I respect every step in his career. I’d like for JonFer to continue training and preparing himself for what can be a bright and stupendous future.”
Who do you want him to fight – Jesus Cuellar, Orlando Salido, Gervonta Davis, Jose Pedraza, Carl Frampton?
“All of the names mentioned are already great champions. They are all owed their due respect and it would be an honor, not only for Jonfer but for Maravilabox to have the possibility of making fight with any of them.
“Jose Pedraza would be a great test. We’d really like to make that fight happen. JonFer has sparred with Frampton before his rematch with Santa Cruz and we know he was up to the challenge. And of course, we would love to go for the world title against Gervonta Davis and think it would be a great fight. A clash of styles.”
What belts do you want him to go for first?
“First, we’d like him to set a good base. The best for us is to continue building his career step by step and for him to continue learning and adapting himself bit by bit to the top level. As we continue making fights happen, there will be more opportunities for international and world titles. The goal is to get JonFer to become a WBC champion, the most important entity.
“We would be really excited to be able to win the European championship, but we’re ready to fight anyone. All of the belts are important and provide experience.”
What would you see as the ideal next step for JonFer in the next few years?
“Ideally we want to keep him at a weight in which he feels the most comfortable. As fights and time go by, if he needs to go up in weight, he’d do so without a problem. It’s possible for him to end up fighting in superior divisions, but for now we are focused on 130 and I think he can still battle at this weight for several years.”
Can you name who you think are the top five active boxers today?
“I really like Errol Spence Jr., he has a great style that I feel is like mine was. Canelo [Alvarez] and [Gennady] Golovkin are two of my favorites as well, they’ll put on a great fight. Andre Ward, Jorge Linares… There is a lot of talent in the sport at the moment.
What memories of Steve Farhood and Barry Tompkins stand out to you?
“Yes, of course, I have some great moments of my years in the United States and I remember Steve always in front of the SHOWTIME cameras. He is a great professional.
“He is one of the highest-regarded boxing writers in the world. He is a man with a young mentality who knows how to appreciate good boxing.
“Barry Tompkins is a prestigious commentator and what I remember the most about him is seeing him commentate on fights in the era of Tyson and J.C. Chavez. To be a commentator of that stature then, he had to be an excellent professional.”
What would you say is the best (and worst) part about being a promoter?
“To be a promoter is thrilling. I believe that taking the career of the boxers in your hands must be treated like it’s your own life. It’s a true adventure. I can’t find a negative thing to say about being a promoter.”
Do you miss being a boxer?
“To this day I can say that I do not have any desire to return to the ring. My last fights were torturous and I still have problems with my knee to the date as I try to go about my daily life. I continue to train an hour each day and continue to love boxing, but now I prefer watching the youngsters like Jon and help them with my experience.”
JON “JONFER” FERNANDEZ:
Can you tell us what it is like for you to work with someone like Sergio Martinez?
“It’s great, Sergio is always very attentive and a mirror to watch yourself in. Like an athlete, he was one of the greats, but as a person he is even better. Maravillabox Promotions is composed of thorough professionals and the way they treat me is excellent.”
How is your training going? Is your camp any different for this fight?
“I haven’t had too much time since my last fight, just about five weeks. It has been tough, but we were coming off of a much more difficult preparation in fighting for Spain’s world title. I think this will make for a great fight and the fans will have a lot of fun.”
What are your plans for the future? In your career, life, boxing, in the next five years…
“I just got married in April and it was a great experience, the happiest day of my life. I would love to have kids soon. As far as boxing goes, of course I’d like to be a world champion. But first I’d like to go for the European title. I’d like to fight against the best prospects in the division and continuing to make great fights. I will be a world champion one day, I know I can get there.”
Who would you say is your all-time favorite boxer?
“I can’t just say one, I have several. Sergio Martinez, obviously. I also really like Terrance Crawford and Juan Manuel Marquez. Out of the boxing legends, I’ll stick to Alexis Arguello.”
Rivera promotions presents “New England’s Future 3”, to take place Saturday June 10th the DCU Center, Exhibition Hall, Worcester, Mass. The series, is fast becoming a staple for the New England boxing scene, mixed with upcoming prospects, veteran journeyman and established world champions.
VACANT UBF HEAVYWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (8)
Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis (10-2-2 (1 KO), New York, NY by way of Greece
Laura “Lady Ram” Ramsey (10-7 (5 KOs), Winter Haven, FL.
VACANT UBF ALL-AMERICAN SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (8)
Irvin Gonzalez (6-0, 6 KOs), Worcester, MA
Raul Lopez (10-2-1, 5 KOs), Bronx, NY
SPECIAL CRUISWEWEIGHT ATTRACTION (8)
Vinnie “American Nightmare” Carita (16-1-1 (15 KOs), Pembroke, MA
Marcelo Leandro “Queizada” Da Silva (22-4, 17 KOs), Osasco, Sao Paulo, Brazil
CATCHWEIGHT 205 lbs. (4)
Bryan Daniels (4-0, 2 KOs), Worcester, MA
Christopher “The Archbishop” Boykins (1-8, 0 KOs), Orlando, FL
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS (4)
Richie “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera (1-0, 1 KO), Hartford, CT
Nathan Schulte (0-2), Catrina, Brazil
SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS (4)
Bobby Harris III ((pro debut), Worcester, MA
Rodrigo Almeida (1-6, 0 KOs), Woburn, MA
Neal Sullivan (pro debut), Worcester, MA
Saul Almeida (0-8), Framingham, MA
Andy Gonzalez (6-1, 5 KOs), Worcester, MA
Antonio Chaves Fernandez (7-32-4, 2 KOs), Brockton, MA
Derrick “Double Impact” Whitley (1-0, 0 KOs), Springfield, MA
Shaka Moore (12-22-3, 2 KOs), Norwalk, CT
Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan (1-0, 0 KOs), Worcester, MA
Anthony Everett (1-5, 0 KOs), Lawrence, MA
JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHTS (6)
Adrian Sosa (2-0, 2 KOs), Lawrence, MA
Zach Johnson (0-1), New York, NY