MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (Sept. 26th, 2018) –– CES Boxing returns to Foxwoods Resort Casino next month for the second time this year with a loaded fight card expected to produce yet another dramatic finish at the historic Fox Theater.
New Haven, Conn., fan-favorite Jimmy Williams (15-1-1, 5 KOs) headlines in an eight-round battle for welterweight supremacy against dangerous Bronx, N.Y., veteran Enver Halili (10-1, 3 KOs) while New Haven’s Edwin Soto(13-2-2, 5 KOs) returns in the eight-round co-feature against super welterweight Anthony Lenk (15-5, 7 KOs) of Niagara Falls, N.Y.
The event features both amateur and professional boxing, starting with the second installment of Jimmy Burchfield’s acclaimed USA Amateur Boxing Tournament on the preliminary card beginning at 6 p.m. ET followed by the loaded, nine-fight main card at 7.
Williams returns to Foxwoods for the sixth time in his career and headlines for the first time since August of 2017. Following his first career loss in Nevada in April, Williams rebounded with a win over Colorado’s Christian Aguirre in June, dominating the fight from start to finish en route to a 60-53 unanimous decision win on all three scorecards.
“I’m very excited to be back headlining at Foxwoods,” Williams said. “I’m ready to put on a great performance for my fans and family. I know Halili comes to fight and this will be a fight my fans don’t want to miss.”
On Oct. 20th, he faces a tall task against the slick, elusive Halili, who returns to the ring for the first time in 11 months. Halili scored his biggest win in June of 2017 when he outclassed previously unbeaten welterweight Wesley Tucker over the course of eight rounds to score the unanimous decision victory, and recently competed for the WBC FECARBOX title against Raymond Serrano in November.
“This is going to be an action-packed fight,” Halili said. “I’m very excited, and I know on Oct. 20th I’ll be walking out of there with a victory.”
Also no stranger to the grand stage at Foxwoods, Soto continues his resurgence Oct. 20th in a long-awaited showdown against Lenk, who makes his New England fresh off a tryout with the recently-relaunched The Contender reality television series.
Soto also fought on the June 2nd event in the main event against New York’s Salim Larbi, which ended with Soto earning a split decision win, 75-74, 76-74, 74-76, after picking himself up from the canvas in the opening round and scoring a knockdown of his own in the sixth to turn the fight in his favor.
Since returning to the ring in October of 2017 following a two-year layoff, Soto has won his last three fights, including a knockout win over regional rival Ray Oliveira Jr. in February.
“I feel well-prepared for this fight,” Soto said. “My team and I have been training hard, like always. I feel ready, strong, confident and anxious to give my fans the great fight they want to see. I want to thank my fans for supporting me, because they know I am a warrior. They have seen me get in the ring and fight great battles. In Jesus’ name, we’ll come out victorious. Don’t miss this boxing. It’s going to be a great night.”
Lenk boasts a loaded resume featuring bouts against the region’s top 154-pounders, among them Mark DeLuca, Steven Martinez, Hector Vazquez and Ricardo Williams Jr., who have a combined record of 84-9. Promoted by Evander Holyfield’s Real Deal Boxing, the 30-year-old Lenk was born in California and fought primarily out west at the beginning of his career, earning wins over contenders Boyd Henry, Fernando Rodriguez and Alberto Herrera during an impressive, three-fight win streak between 2011 and 2012.
“Edwin Soto is the next chapter in my boxing book,” Lenk said. “He is a strong, sturdy fighter who stands in my way. It’s going to be hard going on his home turf for people to see a close decision go to me, so I’ll have to make it known. I have 23 years’ worth of chapters just like this in my boxing book.
“I have had ups and downs in my career. This fight, I plan to make a statement that I’m here and I’ve always been here. Just like my first fight at the age of 7, I will finish this chapter the same way, with an exclamation point!”
In addition to the highly-competitive main event and co-feature, the Oct. 20th card features several hotly-contested regional rivalries, starting with what could be the showstopper in the welterweight division between unbeaten Derrick Whitley Jr. (4-0) of Springfield, Mass., and rising prospect Sharad Collier (1-0) of Hartford, Conn., who won his professional debut in June. The two put their unbeaten records on the line in a special six-round showcase as Whitley aims for his fifth win in 18 months while Collier steps up to face the 27-year-old right-hander in just his second pro fight.
Also in the welterweight division, Marqus Bates (4-2, 3 KOs) of Taunton, Mass., makes his Foxwoods debut in six-round bout against Carlos Hernandez (3-2-1, 2 KOs) of Bridgeport, Conn. Bates recently pieced together his most complete performance to date, punishing Springfield’s Mohammad Allam en route to a third-round knockout in May, and has now won back-to-back bouts. Hernandez steps into the ring for the first time in six years, but has won three of his last four, with the lone blemish a draw against veteran Josh Beeman in 2012.
Fan-favorite Marcia Agripino (2-1-1) of nearby Ledyard is back for the second time since June and will fight her first six-round fight against the dangerous Stephanie Essensa (3-1-1) of Alberta, Canada. Agripino earned her first win since 2013 back in June when she defeated Kay Hansen of California via majority decision in a back-and-forth slugfest. Essensa, who also boasts a 2-1 record in mixed martial arts, has won two of her last three in boxing, including a big win over Mexican challenger Jacqueline Coutino earlier this month.
Providence, R.I., lightweight Nicky DeQuattro (3-1, 1 KO) makes his second Foxwoods appearance in a four-round bout against Muay Thai pro Geoffrey Then of Danbury, who steps inside the boxing ring for the first time, and Springfield lightweight Calixto Cruz makes his professional debut in a four-round bout against Providence’s Joseph Santana.
Fighting in separate undercard bouts, New Haven’s Elvis Figueroa (5-0, 2 KOs) returns to Foxwoods fresh off his win in June in a six-round bout expected to be announced later this week, and decorated Bridgeport amateur Jacob Marrero makes his professional debut in a four-round bout. The amateur preliminary card will be announced at a later date.