PROVIDENCE, R.I. (June 1st, 2017) — While the main event championship showdown between reigning title-holder Greg Vendetti and challenger Khiary Gray next week at Twin River Casino promises to deliver fireworks in the junior middleweight division, the undercard of CES Boxing’s Friday, June 9th, 2017Pay Per View showcase could steal the spotlight.
Next Friday’s 10-fight card, promoted in association with Boston-based promotion Murphys Boxing, features three of the region’s busiest, most successful fighters facing their toughest test to date in front of an expected worldwide PPV audience on FITE TV.
Among the most noteworthy preliminary bouts is a six-round junior middleweight rematch between battle-tested New Bedford, Mass., vet Ray Oliveira Jr. (7-1, 1 KO) and the dangerous Jose Rivera (3-1, 3 KOs) of Hartford, Conn., who face one another for the second time just four months following their epic duel in February.
Oliveira, then 6-0, won by majority decision with judges Glenn Feldman and Don Trella scoring the bout in favor of Oliveira. Clark Sammartino had it a draw, 57-57.
The hard-hitting Rivera, who dabbled in mixed martial arts as an amateur before making the full-time switch to boxing, credit Oliveira for his durability, but felt he should’ve gotten the nod the first time around.
“I was the one landing all the punches,” Rivera said. “I felt like I outboxed him, I connected the most punches and most of the punches I landed were big, clean punches.
“He just managed to take the power.”
While Oliveira lost his last bout, another majority decision, this time to Maine’s Casey Kramlich, Rivera enters next Friday fresh off an exciting knockout win over New Yorker Marcus Beckford, courtesy of a thunderous, right uppercut in the fourth round that caught Beckford square on the chin and sent the 12-fight vet crashing to the canvas.
Next week’s rematch with Oliveira, like most of Oliveira’s fights, promises toe-to-toe action with both sides likely grabbing the momentum from one another at various points throughout the night.
“I made him miss a lot the first time and the punches he hit me with were mostly to my arms as I blocked 80 percent of them,” Rivera said. “Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good, aggressive fighter and he sure as hell comes to fight just like I do. At the end of the day, it was an awesome fight and I learned a lot from it. The rematch will be a must-watch fight.”
Staying true to his word, Oliveira continues to move forward, even on the heels of a tough loss in April. The son of New Bedford legend “Sucra” Ray Oliveira, the 26-year-old junior middleweight prospect has carved his own path as one of the tougher challengers in his weight class; next Friday will be his fifth fight in the last 11 months against opponents with a combined record of 16-2-1. He expects more of the same June 9th.
“As I’ve told people before, I’m not a big fan of rematches. It isn’t in my best interest to fight the same people over and over, but, once again, he called me out,” Oliveira said. “He wanted the first fight and now he wants the rematch.
“He feels the decision was unjust, but I completely won that fight. Last time, I was a little impatient. I really wanted the knockout. I was a little mad I got called out by someone with a lesser record, so I wanted to knock him out and prove a point. It didn’t happen. I was going for it too much. That’s why it didn’t come.
“This time, I’ll relax more and take my time. If I’m a little more patient and put my punched together, I can probably get the knockout. I like Jose. We talked afer the first fight. He’s a hard-working kid, but this is business. Next Friday, I’m going to take care of business. This is nothing I haven’t seen before.”
Perhaps the only fighter in New England busier than Oliveira, middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (6-0-2, 5 KOs) of Worcester, Mass., returns next Friday for the third time in 2017 and the ninth time since turning pro 13 months ago in a six-round showdown against fellow undefeated middleweight and Bloomfield, N.J., policeman Godson Noel (6-0-1, 4 KOs).
Eight weeks ago, Ball earned his second consecutive win and fifth career knockout when he stopped the game Zachary Christy, a decorated U.S. Air Force vet and Rhode Island native, in the fifth round of a scheduled six-round fight.
Despite Ball’s eight-inch height advantage, the fight was still up for grabs down the stretch; the shorter Christy closed the gap by fighting effectively on the inside and led on one scorecard entering the fifth, but Ball — a notorious slow starter — turned up the intensity following a pep talk from his father, Kendrick Ball, between rounds and finished Christy with a trio of left hooks upstairs, scoring the knockout at the 1:19 mark.
The 24-year-old Ball faces an undefeated opponent for the fourth time next week with Noel looking to rebound from the only blemish on his record, a draw against 43-fight vet Antonio Fernandes in May of 2016.
Also making his climb as one of New England’s most watched fighters of 2017, Providence, R.I., lightweight Anthony Marsella Jr. (4-0, 2 KOs) returns to action next Friday in the first six-round fight of his promising career when he faces Dallas vet Abraham Torres (3-1, 1 KO).
Marsella fights for the first time since February when he scored a dominant, unanimous decision win over 16-fight vet Francisco Medel. The resilient Torres has rebounded nicely from a loss in his pro debut with three consecutive wins, including victories over the unbeaten Antonio Castillo in February of 2016. He returned a year later, battling to a draw with undefeated Edward Vasquez in Dallas, a fight he nearly ended in the opening round courtesy of a staggering right hand, but the outcome was later changed to a no contest, keeping Torres’ win streak alive.
“Stepping into my first six-round fight,” Marsella said, “my opponent is on a win streak that I’m putting to an end June 9th.”
Torres’ team remains confident; the popular, 28-year-old lightweight has a strong following in his hometown and a reputation as a hard-working, come-forward fighter. Torres’ trainer and manager, Julio DeLeon, warned the Marsella camp, “They picked the wrong fight.”
Stacking the deck even further, CES Boxing and Murphys Boxing teamed to bring Twin River fight fans a dynamic main event and co-feature for next Friday’s PPV extravaganza. Gray (14-2, 11 KOs), promoted by CES, and Vendetti (14-2-1, 10 KOs), promoted by Murphys founder Ken Casey, the founder of Celtic punk band the Dropkick Murphys, have been on one another’s radar for the past year and a half, a rivalry that intensified when Vendetti captured the vacant New England Junior Middleweight Title in May of 2016.
Eleven months later, the two 154-pound contenders face one another in next week’s eight-round main event with both Vendetti’s title and 10-fight win streak on the line.
Rounding out the June 9th doubleheader, Murphys prospect Mark DeLuca (18-0, 12 KOs) of Whitman, Mass., puts his unbeaten record on the line against the dangerous Chris Chatman (14-6-1, 5 KOs) of Chicago in the eight-round co-feature. Chatman has become a New England fan-favorite in recent years with wins over regional standouts Thomas Falowo and Vladine Biosse and makes his ninth Twin River Casino appearance next Friday and fifth in a row since April of 2015.
In another hotly-contested regional showdown, New London, Conn., junior welterweight Cristobal Marrero (4-0, 2 KOs) faces fellow unbeaten Miguel Ortiz (2-0, 2 KOs) of Springfield, Mass., in a four-round bout. Both fought in April with Marrero edging Sidney Maccow by majority decision and Ortiz upending previously unbeaten prospect Jonathan Figueroa on the scorecards by unanimous decision.
The June 9th card also features the Rhode Island and Twin River debut of CES’ newest protégé, 6-foot-5 Italian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (10-1, 8 KOs) of Norfolk, Va. The 29-year-old Cusumano will face Wilmington, Del., native Dan Biddle (9-6, 5 KOs) in a six-round bout. Providence, R.I., super featherweight Michael Valentin makes his professional debut in a separate four-round bout against Kevin De Freitas of Somerville, Mass., who also makes his debut.
Salem, Mass., junior welterweight Matt Doherty (6-3-1, 4 KOs), fresh off a big knockout win over Julio Perez in February, faces Providence’s Cido Hoff (1-1-1) in a four-round bout, and Pawtucket, R.I, featherweight Ricky Delossantos (1-0) battles Orange, N.J., native Malcolm Simms (0-0-1), also in a four-round bout.
LEADING super-middleweight contenders Darryl Williams and Mark Heffron have begun training under British boxing legend Ricky Hatton at his gym in Hyde, Greater Manchester.
The unbeaten pair both have fights on the horizon and believe The Hitman is the right trainer to take them to the next level.
Londoner Williams, 15-0 (6 KOs), is preparing to defend his English title in a rematch with Jahmaine Smyle at the Copper Box Arena on July 8, while Heffron, 15-0 (13 KOs) will square off with Bartlomiej Grafka at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse three weeks earlier on June 17.
“I’m over the moon that two of the best super-middles have chosen to join my gym and I think it says a lot about the work myself, Mike Jackson and Blain Younis have been doing with our lads over the past couple of years,” Hatton said.
“Darryl is a really exciting boxer and his first fight with Smyle is probably the British fight of the year so far. Everyone knows how much I liked a tear up during my career, but I’ll be aiming to add a few more subtleties to his game.
“As for Mark, what more do you need to say about him than ‘pure power’. He’s had a bit of a stop-start career, but he’s really on it now and anyone who can put away 13 of 15 opponents has to set pulses racing.
“I also train Jake Haigh and Chris Blaney so the gym is brimming with talent at middleweight and super-middleweight and I think the sparring sessions alone are going to be something else.”
The undercard for the highly anticipated fight between Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin and “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis on Thursday, June 15th, at the Paramount in Huntington, NY has been announced. The fights will feature a bevy of Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing® young prospects.
Highlighted bouts include the undefeated Tyrone “Pretty Boy” James (4-0 2KO’S Elmont, NY) taking on William Hill (2-2 Detroit, MI) in a 6 round Welterweight match.
Tyrone James will be making his 4th straight appearance at the Paramount and is developing a large fan base due to the exciting fights he has made there. The undefeated boxer-puncher is coming off a decision win at the Paramount on March 24th over the very tough Quincy Brown. This will be James’ first 6 round fight and he has accepted a very ambitious opponent from Detroit, William Hill. Hill has won 2 of his last 4 bouts and has faced an undefeated opponent in each of his fights, James will be his 5th undefeated opponent he will be up against.
Terrell Bostic (3-0 1KO Wyandanch, NY) facing off against Alexander Picot ( 2-3-1 Hartford, CT) in a 6 round Jr. Welterweight fight.
Bostic will also be making his 4th appearance at the Paramount and is also coming off a thrilling victory on March 24th against Grashino Yancy. Bostic is facing a very dangerous opponent, Alexander Picot. Picot has faced top prospects Richard Wiggins and Irving Torres, and has a reputation for always coming to fight hard. This will be another stern test for Bostic, a highly regarding prospect.
The always exciting Vincenzo D’Angelo (2-0 Queens, NY) will battle with undefeated Duquan Burgos (1-0 Bronx, NY) in a 4 round Super Middleweight fight. D’Angelo has had both his fights at the Paramount and has a huge following of enthusiastic fans who will be cheering for the new Italian Stallion. Burgos, a Bronx Bomber, is also looking to remain undefeated in this fight where ‘an O must go’.
Dan Cion (0-1 Farmingdale, NY) will be stepping in against pro debuter Abner Guadalupe of the Bronx, NY. Cion went to war with Vincenzo D’Angelo in his pro debut and the Boxer/MMA fighter gave it his all although being defeated. Guadalupe is managed by the former NY State Commissioner and current commentator, Randy Gordon, and promises to make his pro debut a successful one.
Promoter Joe DeGuardia had these comments about the undercard, “We have again stacked our undercard with exciting, competitive bouts between hungry young pugilists. Unfortunately, due to the new insurance and medicals rules in place in New York which are very cost prohibitive to all of us in New York, we can only put on 5 fights but each and every one of them will have you on your feet cheering, as that has become the tradition here at the Paramount”.
The main event is a fantastic one where Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin (19-0 16 KO’s Long Island, NY) takes on former world title challenger “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis (26-10-2 13 KO’s Atlantic City, NJ) in what shapes up to be the most experienced and dangerous opponent the “Hebrew Hammer” has ever faced. The show will be the 27th edition of Joe DeGuardia’s acclaimed “Rockin’ Fights” series.
Oxnard, CA: Yesterday at Boxing Laboratory in Oxnard, California, former WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) opened his training session to the media in advance of his upcoming showdown with Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs). Below are quotes from this event. Ward vs. Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” takes place Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Shane McGuigan says he believes George Groves (25-3, 18 KOs) is the best super middleweight on the planet and that the ‘Saint’ is ready to prove it starting on Saturday at Bramall Lane in Sheffield when he challenges Fedor Chudinov (14-1, 10 KOs) for the vacant WBA World title, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Groves will be making his fourth World title attempt following two epic clashes with domestic rival Carl Froch and a split decision loss to Badou Jack, and McGuigan feels it is these fights that have helped shape the man he will be leading into battle, and who he says is the number one fighter in the division.
‘’You either win or you learn, as they say, and George has learnt his lessons. He’s been in there with some great fighters, and even when he hasn’t won, he’s always held himself in good stead, and now, I believe it’s his time,’’ said McGuigan, who has led Groves to victories over Andrea Di Luisa, David Brophy, Martin Murray and Eduard Gutknecht since taking charge of his corner eighteen months ago.
‘’Chudinov is a well-schooled fighter. He’s obviously had a good amateur background, and he’s a former World Champion, but I don’t think he’s on the same level as George. He hasn’t mixed with the same class.
‘’His greatest attribute is his footwork, and if we take that away from him, it will be interesting to see how he adapts because George has got a fantastic jab, a great punch selection, great leverage on his shots and fantastic timing too.
‘’He’s definitely a good fighter. He’s small, he’s compact, and can punch with both hands, but I think George is going to come out there and put on a great show.
‘’It may seem brash or bold for me to say this about someone who’s had three failed attempts, but I honestly believe I’m working with the best super middleweight in the world, and now, we’ve just got to go out there and prove it.
‘’I think within the next one or two fights, George will be recognised as the best super middleweight out there. He is going to be the guy to beat!
‘’He’s already beaten James DeGale who has been touted as number one in the division. He lost a very close decision to Badou Jack when things weren’t right for George going in to that fight. He wasn’t at his best, and Jack was a very underrated fighter as we saw when he fought DeGale. I thought Jack won that fight, and I feel DeGale struggled a lot more against Jack than George did.
‘’There’s also young guys like Ramirez, who’s a very tough fighter, and Benavidez, who are hungry for the belts, but I would say at the moment it’s between George and DeGale for the number one spot, and a rematch will prove who is the best super middleweight out there.
‘’People tried to write George off after the Froch fight, but he’s regained himself. He’s back in the gym, and he’s back in love with boxing. You can see that in his performances. If he wins this World title, I feel he’s got the beating of James DeGale. He knows him from the amateurs, and that’s a fight we would be very confident of winning.’’
Groves’ clash with Chudinov is part of a huge night of action in Sheffield as Kell Brook defends his IBF World Welterweight title against unbeaten mandatory challenger Errol Spence.
Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz wishes to congratulate undefeated featherweight, Jorge “Pilon” Lara of Mexico, for his sensational stoppage of Mario Briones last Saturday night.
Fighting in the nationally televised semi-final bout in support of David Benavidez’s eighth-round KO over Rogelio “Porky” Medina at the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas, Lara (29-0-2, 21 KOs) returned in impressive fashion from a 13-month layoff to TKO his countryman Briones (28-6-2, 21 KOs) in the third round.
Fast, powerful and relentless, Lara, a 26-year-old southpaw from Guadalajara, dropped Briones twice in round two and then finished the job at 2:03.
The performance was particularly remarkable, considering Lara was coming off an extended layoff due to a hand injury suffered in his previous fight, a career-changing KO over multiple-time world champion Fernando Montiel, as well as a gunshot wound suffered in a botched robbery attempt in Mexico.
Lewkowicz says Lara will now be chasing the big game in his weight class, especially WBC Featherweight Champion Gary Russell Jr.
“Russell Jr. has talked about moving up in weight,” said Lewkowicz, “Pilon Lara would love to get him in the ring first and send him on his way. He is too strong and powerful for anyone at the weight. This was the most-watched broadcast of PBC on FSN and the world now knows he is a star on the rise.”
According to Lewkowicz, Lara was shaking off some ring rust while dominating the respectable Briones.
WORCESTER, Mass. (May 24, 2017) – New England’s top prospect with 10 pro fights of less, undefeated hometown favorite Irvin Gonzalez, is on a fast track going into his June 10th headline fight in the third installment of the “New England’s Future” series, at the DCU Center (Exhibition Hall) in Worcester, Massachusetts.