Mashantucket, CT (10/29/17) – On Saturday night, DiBella Entertainment returned to the Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino, in Mashantucket, CT, with another action-packed installment of its popular Broadway Boxing series, presented by Nissan of Queens, Azad Watches, OPTYX, and Christos Steak House.
Former UFC heavyweight title challenger
Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga
Victorious in pro boxing debut
“NEW ENGLAND’S FUTURE 4” RESULTS
Gabriel Gonzaga (R) won his pro boxing debut
WORCESTER, Mass. (October 29, 2017) – Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga has a successful pro boxing debut last night (Saturday, Oct. 28) in the co-featured event on the “New England’s Future 4” card, presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), at DCU Center, Exhibition Hall, in Worcester.
The 6′ 2″, 280-pound Brazilian, now fighting out of Worcester (MA), fought another pro-debut boxer with limited MMA experience, Alejandro Esquilin Santiago, of Tampa (FL). Gonzaga stalked the southpaw Santiago, landing some hard shots in the opening round. The heavy-handed Gonzaga picked up the pace in the third and his upset-minded opponent responded in a positive fashion. Both fighters exchanged freely in the fourth and final round, neither was hurt during the contest, and Gonzaga was awarded a win by four-round majority decision.
“I thought I’d be more relaxed in the ring like I had been in the gym,” Gonzaga said. “I did my best and came away with a victory. I was too safe in the third round. My punches were much strong and a lot of his punches I blocked with my gloves. This was really great! tonight”
“I felt good and gave it my all,” Santiago remarked. “He hit me with some shots and gave ’em back. Not only does he have a big nose (“Napao”), he has a strong, big head, too.”
In the main event, popular Hartford (CT) light heavyweight Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera remained undefeated, improving his record to 4-0 (3 KOs), with a first-round knockout of an over-matched Hansen Castillo (0-3)
Rivera, not relations to the promoter, first dropped Castillo with a beautifully placed left uppercut and finished the show moments later with a left hook that sent Castillo flying to canvas. Referee Kevin Hope didn’t bother to count.
“My coaches were telling me to be calm because it was a six-round bout,” Rivera explained. “I saw that he had his left down and caught him with an uppercut. I’m strong to the finish because I eat my spinach.”
New Haven junior middleweight Edwin Sosa (11-2-2, 4 KOs) overcame at 15-pound disadvantage, at the very least, en route to a dominant six-round unanimous decision over Anthony “The Animal” Everett (1-7), of Rowley (MA).
Danbury (CT) junior welterweight Omar Bordoy, Jr. (3-0, 1 KO) stopped New York veteran Bryan “The Brick” Abraham (6-31, 6 KOs) in the fourth and final round. Abraham was decked twice and after counting to 10 after Abraham’s second time on the canvas, referee Paul Casey waved off the action.
Three-time national amateur champion Elvis “Chi Chi” Figueroa (3-0, 1 KO), fighting out of New Haven, pitched a complete shutout over a game, pro-debuting Rene Nazare (0-1), of Brazil, for a convincing win by way of a four-round unanimous decision.
Southbridge (MA) welterweight Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan (3-0, 1 KO) pinned Patrick Leal (0-4), of Woburn, on the ropes early, dropping him three times until referee Casey halted the fight midway through the opening round.
MAIN EVENT – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS
Richard Rivera (4-0, 3 KOs), Hartford, CT
Hansen Castillo (0-3), Orlando, FL
Gabriel Gonzaga (1-0), Worcester, MA
40-36, 40-36, 38-38)
Alejandro Esquilin Santiago (pro debut), Tampa, FL.
Elvis Figueroa (3-0, 1 KO), New Haven, CT
WDEC4 (40-36, 40-36, 40-36)
Rene Nazare (0-1), Brazil
Edwin Soto (10-2-2, 4 KOs), New Haven, CT
WDEC6 (60-54, 60-54, 58-56)
Anthony Everett (1-6), Rawley, MA
Wilfredo Pagan (3-0, 1 KO), Southbridge, MA
Patrick Leal (0-4), Woburn, MA
Omar Bordoy, Jr. (3-0, 1 KO), Danbury, CT
Bryan “The Brick” Abraham (6-31, 6 KOs), Schenectady, NY
There’s a certain buzz, a feeling of excitement, that takes over any fan, combatant or promoter during fight week. That feeling of anticipation, knowing you’re only a few days, hours, minutes and seconds away from combat sports in its purest form is difficult to describe, but you know it when you feel it and all of us at CES MMA are in full fight mode tonight as we prepare for yet another exciting event.
“CES MMA 46” is here. The buildup is over and that first bell will ring just a few hours from now as the sport’s top up-and-comers put it all on the line for our loyal fans. While others are preparing to wrap up their 2017, we’re still in the midst of the excitement.
Three weeks from now, we bring you “CES MMA 47” to cap the holiday season and put the finishing touches on what has been another exciting season for the northeast’s No. 1 promotion.
Not to be outdone, our boxing division continues its year-long 25th anniversary celebration with one final event for 2017, scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 7th at Twin River Casino. This will be our official 25th anniversary special and holiday party all rolled into one, so expect not only the best talent in the ring, but some of the best entertainment you’ll find anywhere in New England during this holiday season.
Tonight is a special night in so many ways. This card is stacked from top to bottom, featuring fan-favorites returning to beautiful Twin River Casino for the first time in years, and others joining us for the first time, no doubt the start of a tremendous relationship with the New England MMA and its intuitive fans.
John “Doomsday” Howard, one of many fighters who utilized the CES MMA platform to segue to the UFC, returns for the first time since his reign as our first world champion, plus we welcome the return of longtime fan-favorite Dinis Paiva Jr., a key part of everything we’ve done in mixed martial arts since our inception in 2010.
There’s also budding star Gary Balletto Jr., who continues to get better with each fight, plus the long-awaited debut of John Gotti III, a rising star looking to carve his own legacy in the world’s fastest-growing sport, and the return of Providence, R.I., native Marquis Brewster, an exciting, undefeated prospect who will make you an immediate fan once you see him in action.
The young, up-and-comers like Balletto Jr., Brewster and Gotti III can learn a lot from veterans like Howard and Paiva, both of whom have endured up and downs along the way in pursuit of their dreams. Howard, who grew up in Dorchester, one of the toughest neighborhoods in Massachusetts, has been to the top of the mountain, gotten knocked down and then climbed his way back to the summit again, a genuine tale of perseverance and know-how.
Last year, Howard discovered he was born with clinical autism, which shed new light on his childhood and put him at ease as he continues to chase his dream of winning a world championship. Like any true champion would, Howard keeps on pressing, undeterred by life’s challenges outside of the cage. Instead, the speed bumps motivate him to continue fighting, not only for himself, but his family. His legacy is unmatched and we’re proud to support him on his continued journey to the top.
Paiva, fighting out of East Providence, R.I., is one of CES MMA’s founding fathers, a CES MMA lifer making his 16th appearance with our promotion as a pro and one of the sport’s true gentlemen. Paiva has seen and done it all. He’s suffered through losing streaks and enjoyed the ride during rewarding stretches of unprecedented success, yet he’s never quit despite the ups and downs.
Paiva fought for us an amateur and even boxed for us long before he became a household name. He began his career with us and he’ll be with us for life, win or lose. This remarkable fighter, husband and family man is an inspiration to anyone who dares to chase his or her dreams in combat sports.
Every fighter has a story, and some are still writing theirs. Tonight can be that next chapter for everyone who steps through that cage door. The sacrifices, trials and tribulations are worth it once that bell rings and your hand is raised in victory.
We want you to sit back, relax and enjoy tonight’s show, and remember: “CES MMA 47” and our boxing season finale are both just weeks away, so the excitement continues right through the holiday season. Don’t miss out!
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (October 26, 2017) -Some potential future champions will be showcased Saturday night, November 11, on the “Battle for the Brave” professional boxing card, presented by Legacy Boxing Promotions, at Lujan Center, Expo NM, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
(L-R) – Promoter Tyler Buxton, Josh O’Reilly, and Hall of Fame referee Steve Smoger
(pictures by Mette Nielsen)
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Canada (October 26, 2017) – Fresh off his International Boxing Association (IBA) Inter-Continental title-winning performance, undefeated Canadian lightweight sensation Josh “Dubs” O’Reilly is ready to step up in class in terms of facing world-class opponents.
The 26-year-old O’Reilly (10-0, 4 KOs), who fights with the fury of his Irish heritage, knocked out his Mexican opponent, Oscar “Elegante” Arjona (13-7, 5 KOs) in the fifth round of their October 21st fight at Hersey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, for the vacant IBA Inter-Continental championship.
Hall of Fame referee Steve Smoger is shown waving off the fight in favor of the celebrating O’Reilly over the fallen Arjona.
The highly entertaining O’Reilly, fighting out of Hamilton, Ontario, has a potential list of quality lightweight opponents at home in Canada, or his promoter, Tyler Buxton (United Boxing Promotions), could choose a fight outside of Canada for the first time as a pro, whether in the United States or Europe.
“Josh is a very versatile inside-outside, boxer-puncher who will give any fighter problems moving forward,” Buxton said. He is looking forward to an opportunity to position himself for an IBA World title fight.”
Super welterweight contender Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook (18-1, 11 KOs) returns to action December 16, headlining the United Boxing Promotions-presented “The Return” card, against an opponent to soon be announced at Hersey Centre.
Cook, the North American Boxing Association (NABA) champion, will be rebounding from his last fight, September 9 in Kazakhstan, in which he (WBA #5) suffered his first loss as a pro against hometown favorite (WBA #2) Kanat Islam (25-0) in their highly competitive and extremely entertaining fight for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) North American and North American Boxing Organization (NABO) super welterweight titles.
Last January, Cook registered the most notable victory of his young pro career, knocking out Canadian rival and previously unbeaten Steven Butler (18-0-1) at Montreal’s famed Bell Centre.