(August 21st) With less than a week to go before the most talked-about boxing match in years takes center stage in Nevada, longtime promotion CES Boxing is set to deliver its own memorable night of boxing with some familiar faces and a few newcomers looking to build their legacies in the footsteps of some of New England's brightest stars.
CES Boxing's live event begins 6 p.m. ET Saturday, Aug. 26th, 2017 at Foxwoods Resort Casino's The Premier Ballroom, just hours before pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather and MMA icon Conor McGregor go toe-to-toe in Vegas in the most publicized crossover bout in combat sports history.
The live event, featuring seven action-packed bouts, is available to stream for free on Facebook via FIGHTNIGHT LIVE. All fans who purchase a ticket to the event receive free entry next door at the Grand Theater for the exclusive Pay Per View showing of Mayweather-McGregor.
Tickets are priced at $55, $90, $155 and $325 and can be purchased online at www.cesboxing.com, www.foxwoods.com, or www.ticketmaster.com, or by phone at 401-724-2253 or 800-200-2882. As an added bonus, all CES ticket holders receive a free, reserved seat to the exclusive Pay Per View showing of Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor in Foxwoods' Grand Theater.
Tickets for the closed-circuit event only can be purchased online at www.foxwoods.com, by phone at 800-200-2882 or through any Ticketmaster location.
The 10-round main event speaks for itself: New Haven, Conn., vet Jimmy Williams (13-0-1, 5 KOs), the reigning World Boxing Council U.S. Boxing Council (WBC USNBC) welterweight champion, making his first title defense in his home state against 22-fight vet Issouf Kinda (18-4, 7 KOs) of the Bronx, easily the toughest test of his career.
Williams, 30, is a full-time truancy officer for the West Haven school department. Born in New Jersey, he played college football at Southern Connecticut State and was invited to try out for several NFL teams, but a groin injury derailed his dreams of playing professionally. While attending school, his mother was found strangled to death behind an abandoned building. Her murder remains a mystery to this day.
The death of his mother has always been a source of motivation for Williams. On Saturday, he also fights in honor of the late Ben Callahan, a 10-year-old boy from nearby Branford who drowned a month ago while swimming with his two brothers in the Branford River. Williams had a strong bond with Ben, whose father is a trainer at the gym where Williams works on his strength and conditioning.
On Saturday, CES Boxing will honor Ben with a moment of silence. All fans who purchased tickets from Williams will wear a lighted lanyard that will help illuminate The Premier Ballroom as Williams makes his way to the ring alongside Ben's surviving brothers.
The fight itself will be a war. Kinda, now 29, is taking a major leap moving up from the 140-pound weight class to the welterweight division to challenge for the prestigious WBC USNBC title. Since capturing the belt in April, Williams has jumped up to No. 12 in the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) rankings, so the reality is the winner of this fight puts himself in line for a major title shot down the road.
Born in West Africa, Kinda dreamed of competing in the 2008 Olympics, but when that plan fell through, he decided boxing professionally was the fastest route to success, so he immigrated to New York in 2007 without a dollar in his pocket, unable to speak a word of English.
He eventually taught himself the language, found a gym where he could hone his skills and turned pro in 2009, winning his first 15 fights. Even as a professional boxer, he worked full-time at a soul food restaurant in Harlem, making just enough to support himself and his family back home in Africa. Kinda defines the American dream. Both fighters have a lot at stake Saturday night.
Since this night is all about boxing versus mixed martial arts, CES Boxing decided to provide fans with its own slice of Mayweather-McGregor with a cruiserweight bout between Hartford native Richard Rivera (2-0, 2 KOs) and 27-fight MMA veteran Leandro Silva of Sao Paolo, Brazil, who makes his professional boxing debut.
Rivera is off to a fast start as a pro with knockout wins in each of his first two bouts. Nicknamed "Popeye The Sailorman," Rivera enjoyed a stellar amateur career, competing in the U.S. Olympic trials and boasting wins over some of the top amateurs in the country. Saturday is a unique challenge as he faces the versatile Silva, who boasts a 20-6-1 record in MMA, including eight fights with the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC). Silva recently starred on UFC Fight Night 93 in Germany and has also fought in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, England and the United States.
This is an intriguing fight that pits boxing versus MMA and could perhaps serve as a preview for what's to come later in the night in Nevada.
Also on Saturday, New Bedford, Mass., standout amateur Jarel Pemberton will make his professional debut on the undercard. That name should sound familiar; Jarel Pemberton is the son of former regional icon "Sandman" Scott Pemberton, a veteran of many noteworthy fights at Foxwoods during the last quarter century.
Those who've followed boxing through the years remember Pemberton's two epic battles at Foxwoods against Omar Sheika in 2003 and 2004, both of which were named ESPN's Fight of the Year. Pemberton won the first bout by split decision, then knocked out Sheika in the 10th round of their rematch a year later to retain his IBU and NABF super middleweight titles.
The younger Pemberton, now 25, naturally gravitated toward boxing while growing up under his father's guidance, but before he ever stepped foot in the ring as an amateur, he served two tours in Afghanistan as a lance corporal in the U.S. Marines. He was a machine gunner in the infantry and was also a three-sport athlete at Dartmouth High.
With his father having fought so many memorable bouts at Foxwoods, it's only fitting the next generation of the Pemberton fighting family makes his professional debut at Foxwoods during its 25th anniversary. Pemberton faces Nate Schulte (0-2) of Woburn, Mass., in a four-round super middleweight bout.
One of the more intriguing bouts on the undercard is a six-round battle between regional unbeaten junior welterweights Cristobal Marrero (4-0, 2 KOs) of New London, Conn., and Miguel Ortiz (2-0, 1 KO) of Springfield, Mass. This is a rare battle between two young fighters willing to put their unbeaten records on the line against one another at such an early stage in their careers.
Marrero, who fought as an amateur in Puerto Rico and Worcester, Mass., enters at 4-0, having stepped up the level of competition in each of his fights. He's coming off a hard-fought win over New York veteran Sidney Maccow in April, his toughest test to date.
Ortiz is as tough as they come; just two fights into his career, he's already challenging the best in his weight class in New England. He almost didn't make it this far as he was forced to pick himself up off the canvas in his pro debut last September against Marqus Bates, only to score the knockout moments later in the opening round. The fearless Ortiz then took on 2-0 Jonathan Figueroa in April, sent him to the canvas midway through the bout and earned the win on the scorecards.
There is no love lost between these two; this fight was originally scheduled for June, but Ortiz sustained an injury in camp. Now Foxwoods will provide the backdrop for what should be one of the top fights of the year in the New England circuit.
The Foxwoods debut of Juiseppe Angelo Cusumano (11-1, 9 KOs), a.k.a. "Rocky," of Carini, Sicily, is another interesting storyline. With the Klitschkos no longer commandeering all the world titles, the heavyweight division is up for grabs.
Cusumano is coming into his own at the perfect time. The 29-year-old slugger boasts an 11-1 record with nine knockouts and fights on Saturday night for the second time since June as he continues to make a rapid rise to the top of the weight class.
Cusumano idolized the great Rocky Marciano growing up and has adopted the nickname as a pro, big shoes to fill, but nothing the 6-foot-4 Sicilian heavyweight can't handle. Cusumano faces 28-fight vet Robert Dunton (11-16-1, 6 KOs) of Columbia, S.C., in a six-round bout.
One of the top New England amateurs of this generation, Worcester's Jamaine Ortiz (4-0, 3 KOs) will also be featured on this card. Ortiz defeated everyone in his path as an amateur and competed in the Olympic Trials in Reno in 2016. He's now 4-0 as a pro with impressive wins over unbeaten foes Glenn Mitchell and Canton Miller. Ortiz is also a member of the Carpenter's Local 107 union in Worcester.
Also from Hartford, junior middleweight Jose Rivera (3-1, 3 KOs) returns to action in a four-round bout against Corwin Farmer (1-1) of Tarboro, N.C. The impressive Rivera has won each of his bouts by knockout while Farmer is coming off his professional win in January, an upset over previously unbeaten seven-fight vet Paul Holley in Georgia.
(August 16th) Since setting his sights on becoming a world champion boxer nearly three and a half years ago, Jimmy Williams has never had to look far for motivation.
As a college student in 2008, Williams learned of the tragic passing of his mother, Belinda, found strangled to death behind an abandoned building. The case remains unsolved to this day, but Williams, the reigning, undefeated World Boxing Council U.S. Boxing Council Welterweight Champion out of New Haven, Conn., continues to fight in her memory, hoping one day to find the closure he's sought for nearly a decade.
Williams' mother would've been proud; the 30-year-old welterweight, a full-time truancy officer in West Haven whose wife is expecting twins in October, boasts a 13-0-1 record as he prepares to defend his title for the first time Saturday, Aug. 26th, 2017 at Foxwoods Resort Casino against Bronx, N.Y., vet Issouf Kinda (18-4, 7 KOs) in the 10-round main event, presented by Williams' long-time promoter, CES Boxing.
One week from Saturday, he'll have a second angel on his shoulder when he climbs through the ropes. Williams is dedicating this upcoming fight to the memory of the late Ben Callahan, a 10-year-old boy from nearby Branford who drowned in a drainage pipe one month ago while swimming with his two brothers in the Brandford River.
Williams is close with the family; the father, Dave Callahan, is a personal trainer at Shoreline Athletics CrossFit in Branford, where Williams works on his strength and conditioning. Through the years, Williams formed a strong bond with Ben. They often worked out together when Williams was in town.
"Great kid," Williams said. "You see the faith of his family. I'm ready to go out here and be a warrior for myself and show that I'll fight for anybody that's lost somebody."
As Williams prepares for the inevitable challenges of fatherhood, it's impossible to not feel empathy for a family that suffered such a tragic loss. Confident as ever, Williams knows he's in for the challenge of a lifetime against the 22-fight vet Kinda, but promises to retain his title, even as his challenger threatens to "bring the belt back to the Bronx."
"I'll die in that ring before I give up the title," Williams said. "I train real hard. I know I'm a champion and I know everybody wants to take what's mine and what I've worked hard for.
"I know where I came from. Nobody's going to take this. I'm going to show on the 26th why I'm undefeated and why I've got the belt."
The Aug. 26th extravaganza is a rare double-feature; the live boxing event, which features eight bouts, begins at 6 p.m. ET at The Premier Ballroom, and all fans who purchase a ticket receive free entry next door at the Grand Theater for the live Pay Per View showing of the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight in Nevada later that night.
"This is the only place in the world you can see both live boxing and the most talked-about fight in years in one place for just one price," CES Boxing president Jimmy Burchfield Sr. said.
As an added bonus, the entire eight-fight card at The Premier Ballroom, presented by CES Boxing, will stream live on Facebook, free of charge, as part of the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Facebook Series.
Williams' title defense against the dangerous Kinda comes four months after the New Haven welterweight captured the WBC USNBC title with a resounding win over Nick DeLomba in Rhode Island. Williams has won nine consecutive bouts since his lone blemish, a draw against New Jersey's Greg Jackson in 2013.
Kinda, a former North American Boxing Organization (NABO) lightweight and WBC Continental Americas super lightweight title contender, handed New England prospect Zach Ramsey his first career loss in May of 2016 and has tangled with the best in the light welterweight division, among them unbeaten Jose Carlos Ramirez, Ismael Barroso and Mike Arnaoutis, whom be defeated by unanimous decision in 2012.
USNBC title-holders have enjoyed great success in their careers. Nine current or former title-holders have gone on to win world titles and 28 others have fought for a major world championship. Since capturing the title in April, Williams has risen to No. 12 among welterweights in the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) rankings.
"He's a warrior, just like myself," Williams said of Kinda. "He didn't come to lose. He came to take whatever's mine. He knows if he beats me, it puts him back on a roll. He'll be in grea shape. I'm just ready to go ahead and make the right adjustments and go out and win this fight, somehow, some way.
"It won't be a walk in the park, but at this level where I'm at now, no fight will be a walk in the park."
Also on Aug. 26th, both Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Angelo Cusumano (11-1, 9 KOs), a.k.a. "Rocky," and standout Worcester lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (4-0, 3 KOs), who competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials in Reno in 2015, make their Foxwoods' debuts in separate bouts.
The Foxwoods undercard also includes a six-round junior welterweight showdown between unbeatens Cristobal Marrero (4-0, 3 KOs) of New London, Conn., and Springfield, Mass., native Miguel Ortiz (2-0, 1 KO), plus a cruiserweight showdown between Richard Rivera (2-0, 2 KOs) of Hartford, Conn., and eight-time Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) vet Leandro Silva of Sao Paolo, Brazil, an intriguing, four-round crossover bout following in the footsteps of Mayweather-McGregor.
Aug. 26th also features a four-round middleweight bout between Hartford's Jose Rivera (3-1, 3 KOs) and North Carolina vet Corwin Farmer (1-1), plus the professional debut of super middleweight Jarel Pemberton of Boston, the son of former world-title challenger "Sandman" Scott Pemberton, in a four-round bout against Nathan Schulte (0-2) of Woburn, Mass. Hartford welterweight Jeff Gonzalez, a two-time Western New England Golden Gloves champion, will make his professional debut in a separate four-round bout.
(August 15th) Fight fans who want to whet their appetite prior to Mayweather-McGregor will be able to do so on Saturday, Aug. 26, thanks to a new partnership between veteran promoter Jimmy Burchfield Sr. and the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Facebook series. CES Boxing and the tech-forward, fan-friendly Facebook broadcast platform are set to deliver once again - this time from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut - from 6-9 p.m. ET on that Saturday before action heats up in the desert later that night.
Highlighting the CES Boxing card at Foxwoods' Premier Ballroom is New London, Conn., native Jimmy Williams (13-0-1, 5 KOs), as he defends his WBC-USNBC Welterweight Title against veteran Bronx N.Y. pugilist Issouf Kinda (18-4, 7 KOs). Also appearing on the card: New London's Cristobal Marrero (4-0, 3 KOs), Hartford's Richard Rivera (2-0, 2 KOs) and Jose Rivera (3-1, 3 KOs), Miguel Ortiz (2-0, 1 KO) of Springfield, Mass., and others.
"CES Boxing starts the fireworks with a live, action-packed card at Foxwoods Resort Casino leading up to the Mayweather-MacGregor PPV," proudly states CES President Burchfield Sr. "We are extremely excited to be partnering with Linacre Media to broadcast this event worldwide on the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Facebook page."
"We're happy to be involved in what will be a great night for fight fans all over the globe," said Mark Fratto, Principal of Linacre Media. "In addition to the great crowd that Jimmy Burchfield Sr. and Team CES is sure to deliver with a packed, local card and the May-Mac PPV following on the big screen at Foxwoods, we're thrilled to deliver all of the action from coast-to-coast and around the world through our Facebook FIGHTNIGHT LIVE channel. We hope a lot of boxing and MMA fans having fight parties will enjoy our free New England Facebook show on any device before turning their attention toward the desert and Showtime."
The numbers on the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series have showed promise and potential for the new platform. The July Roy Jones Jr. "Desert Showdown" from Phoenix, the May "Slugfest at the Sun" from Mohegan Sun and the June "Rosemont Rumble" from Chicago drew audiences of 65,000, 44,000 and 31,000, respectively, with more than 6,000 of hours of LIVE video consumed by Facebook users. In addition to the raw viewership numbers, the fully-interactive, fan-friendly productions have seen more than 27,000 collective live post engagements, including more than 15,500 "likes" or "loves," more than 9,000 comments and 1,600-plus shares.
Facebook FIGHTNIGHT LIVE has been delivered to fans absolutely free since its May 2017 launch courtesy of corporate partners like Barbour One 9, Talent Management and Entertainment Production (www.barbourone9.com) and Northeastern Fine Jewelry (www.nefj.com).
On Saturday night, August 26, live from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Conn., fans can expect a high-impact, multi-camera streaming experience complete with graphics, animations, replays, interviews and an announce team anchored by blow-by-blow announcer Michael Woods of the TalkBox Podcast, NYFights.com and The Ring and analyst Xavier Porter of BrooklynFights.com and Notorious Boxing. To provide spectators with a fully-interactive ringside experience, commentators will ask and respond to questions from the Facebook audience throughout the broadcast.
Created and produced by Linacre Media out of New York City, the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series features multiple camera angles, graphics, replays and behind-the-scenes access and interviews. The streamed shows are available globally wherever Facebook is available. The initiative not only enables fans from around the world to tune in, but also gives up-and-coming fighters a global platform to showcase their abilities, gives promoters an accessible "broadcast" solution and gives sponsors the ability to reach a mass audience via branded content.
To go to FIGHTNIGHT LIVE (click here)
(August 14th) With two major-league events scheduled over the next five weeks, the region's leading combat sports promotion, CES Boxing, kicks off a three-city press tour Monday to launch the final countdown to its summer of 2017 extravaganza.
The tour begins Monday, Aug. 14th in Connecticut at Filomena's Café at 262 Boston Post Road in Waterford, the first of two press conferences / pep rallies to promote CES Boxing's upcoming Saturday, Aug. 26th, 2017live boxing event at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
CES Boxing returns to Connecticut on Tuesday, Aug. 15th with its second press event at The Powerhouse Gym at 31 Bernhard Road in North Haven, followed by a stop in Worcester, Mass., on Wednesday, Aug. 16th at Lock 50 at 50 Water Street to formally announce CES Boxing's highly-anticipated Saturday, Sept. 16th, 2017fight card at Twin River Casino.
All three press conferences / pep rallies are open to the public and begin approximately at 6 p.m. ET.
The Aug. 26th live event at Foxwoods' The Premier Ballroom is unique in that all fans purchasing a ticket receive free entry next door at the Grand Theater to view the long-awaited Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor Pay Per View showdown in Nevada on closed-circuit television.
The live event features a 10-round main event between reigning World Boxing Council U.S. National Boxing Council (WBC USNBC) Welterweight Champion Jimmy Williams (13-0-1, 5 KOs) of New Haven, Conn., and Bronx, N.Y., vet Issouf Kinda (18-4, 7 KOs).
Tickets are priced at $55, $90, $155 and $325 and can be purchased online at www.cesboxing.com, www.foxwoods.com, or www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 401-724-2253 or 800-200-2882 or at the Grand Theater Box Office. All $55, $90 and $155 tickets offer buyers a reserved ticket to the Mayweather-McGregor PPV. A $325 ticket purchase includes preferred seating. All bouts are subject to change.
The full eight-fight card begins at 6 ET. Fans purchasing PPV-only tickets can do so online at www.foxwoods.com, by phone at 800-282-2882 or through any Ticketmaster location.
The Sept. 16th event at Twin River Casino features the return of Worcester's Khiary Gray (14-3, 11 KOs), who makes his welterweight debut live on FITE Pay Per View against dangerous Union City, N.J., vet Juan Rodriguez Jr. (13-4, 5 KOs) in the eight-round main event.
Tickets for the 12-fight Twin River card are priced at $47.00, $102.00, $127.00 (VIP) and $152.00 (VIP) and can be purchased online at www.cesboxing.com, www.twinriver.com or www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 401-724-2253/2254 or at the Twin River Casino Players Club. All fights and fighters are subject to change. The entire event also airs live in its entirety on FITE TV Pay Per View for $14.99 beginning at 7 ET / 4 PT.
CES Boxing's upcoming events are a continuation of the promotion's year-long 25th anniversary celebration.
On Aug. 26th, both Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (11-1, 9 KOs) and standout Worcester lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (4-0, 3 KOs) make their Foxwoods' debuts in separate bouts.
The Foxwoods undercard also includes a six-round junior welterweight showdown between unbeatens Cristobal Marrero (4-0, 3 KOs) of New London, Conn., and Springfield, Mass., native Miguel Ortiz (2-0, 1 KO), plus a cruiserweight showdown between Richard Rivera (2-0, 2 KOs) of Hartford, Conn., and eight-time Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) vet Leandro Silva of Sao Paolo, Brazil, an intriguing, four-round crossover bout following in the footsteps of Mayweather-McGregor.
Aug. 26th also features a four-round middleweight bout between Hartford's Jose Rivera (3-1, 3 KOs) and North Carolina vet Corwin Farmer (1-1), a four-round welterweight bout between Hartford newcomer Jeff Gonzalez and Boston's Daniel Amaro (1-3), plus the professional debut of super middleweight Jarel Pemberton of Boston, the son of former world-title challenger "Sandman" Scott Pemberton, in a four-round bout against Nathan Schulte (0-2) of Woburn, Mass.
Fighting on Sept. 16th, New Bedford, Mass., vet Ray Oliveira Jr. (7-1, 1 KO) faces Meriden, Conn., native David Wilson (5-1-1, 1 KO), plus undefeated Providence, R.I., lightweight Anthony Marsella Jr. (5-0, 2 KOs) makes his highly-anticipated return to Twin River along with Worcester's Ortiz, both in separate bouts.
Cusumano also returns three weeks later to Twin River in a six-round bout against Oceanside, Calif., heavyweight Matt McKinney (5-2-2, 2 KOs).
Unbeaten Worcester middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (7-0-2, 5 KOs) battles Durham, N.C., vet Pablo Velez Jr. (7-1-1, 5 KOs) in a six-round bout, featherweight Jonathan Perez (2-1-2, 2 KOs) of Lawrence, Mass., faces Providence, R.I., native Ricky Delossantos (2-0) in a four-round bout and Stoughton, Mass., welterweight Travis Demko (4-1, 1 KO) locks horns with Marqus Bates (2-1, 2 KOs) of nearbyTaunton.
Super featherweight Michael Valentin (1-0, 1 KO) of Providence, who debuted with a sensational first-round knockout win in June, returns to face newcomer Henry Garcia of New Bedford in a four-round bout and Providence featherweight Phil Dudley (1-0) locks horns with Worcester's Philip Davis (0-1), also in a four-round bout. In the cruiserweight division, Worcester's Jake Paradise makes his professional debut against fellow newcomer Rafiel Nyakoko, also of Worcester, in a four-round showcase bout.
Also on the undercard, Groton, Conn., bantamweight Marcia Agripino (1-0-1) ends a four-year layoff she faces New York vet Federica Bianco (2-1, 1 KO), a full time astrophysicist and research scientist at New York University. Agripino last fought in Rhode Island in 2013, defeating Vanessa Greco in her pro debut.
Fight fans can stream the event live on their television by downloading the FITE app free from iTunes or Google Play and using the instant stream-to-TV function for full-screen viewing, or watch online from any device at www.fite.tv. The FITE app also works with any Wi-Fi connected TV, iOS and Android devices, as well as streaming devices such as Roku, Chromecast and more. Replays will be available for those unable to watch live.
(photo courtesy of Will Paul)
(August 3rd) Two titans of the combat sports industry over the last quarter century, CES Boxing and Foxwoods Resort Casino, team up to bring fight fans an epic night of live championship boxing combined with one of the most highly-anticipated events in the sport's history.
CES Boxing returns to Foxwoods' The Premier Ballroom on Saturday, Aug. 26th, 2017 as New London, Conn., native Jimmy Williams (13-0-1, 5 KOs) defends his World Boxing Council U.S. National Boxing Council (WBC USNBC) Welterweight Title against Bronx, N.Y., vet Issouf Kinda (18-4, 7 KOs) just hours before the live showing of the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor bout in Nevada at Foxwoods' Grand Theater.
All fight fans who purchase a ticket to Williams-Kinda receive free entry into the exclusive Pay Per View showing of Mayweather-McGregor beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
Tickets for the closed circuit event only can be purchased online at www.foxwoods.com, by phone at 800-200-2882 or through any TicketMaster location.
The live card at The Premier Ballroom also airs live in its entirety on FITE TV Pay Per View for just $14.99 beginning at 6 ET / 3 PT. This landmark event continues the year-long 25th anniversary celebrations for CES Boxing and Foxwoods, which both began operations in 1992; fittingly, both CES and Foxwoods featured the legendary "Sucra" Ray Oliveira of New Bedford, Mass., a member of the CES Ring of Honor, in its inaugural events, the beginning of a long, successful partnership between the two entities.
The tradition continues Aug. 26th as CES brings its brand of competitive, evenly-matched fights to the region's preeminent combat sports destination while offering true fight fans a once-in-a-lifetime experience featuring the pageantry and splendor of professional boxing on all levels.
"No promoter has brought more events to Foxwoods Resort Casino than CES Boxing," CES president Jimmy Burchfield Sr. said, "so it's only fitting we return as we both celebrate our 25th anniversaries.
"Where else on Aug. 26th can you witness live boxing along with one of the most talked-about Pay Per View events in combat sports history in the same venue for just one price?"
"Jimmy Burchfield has been a legend in boxing throughout New England for 25 years, so it's only fitting he deliver yet another unforgettable boxing card to Foxwoods Resort Casino as we celebrate our 25th anniversary," said Monique Sebastian, Foxwoods' vice president of entertainment and entertainment marketing. "We are proud to have had Jimmy as a partner since day one and to have hosted many of his marquee events right here at the 'Fight capital of the Northeast.'"
The Williams vs Kinda 10-round headliner promises fireworks in the welterweight division as the unbeaten Williams faces his toughest test to date against the 29-year-old Kinda, a veteran of 22 professional fights and a former North American Boxing Organization (NABO) lightweight and WBC Continental Americas super lightweight title contender who boasts wins over Philadelphia vet Mike Arnaoutis and previously-unbeaten Zack Rasmey.
Williams is coming off his most impressive win to date, a dominant, 10-round unanimous decision victory over Rhode Island's Nick DeLomba in April to capture the then-vacant WBC USNBC crown. The 30-year-old Williams, a full-time truancy officer for the West Haven school department, returns to his home base at Foxwoods - where he owns a 3-0 lifetime record - for the first time since July of 2016.
The preliminary card features several Connecticut standouts, among them New London junior welterweight Cristobal Marrero (4-0, 3 KOs), and cruiserweight Richard Rivera (2-0, 2 KOs), junior middleweight Jose Rivera (3-1, 3 KOs) and junior welterweight Jonathan Figueroa (2-1, 1 KO) of Hartford.
Marrero battles Springfield, Mass., native Miguel Ortiz (2-0, 1 KO) in a six-round battle of unbeatens, a bout originally scheduled for June before Ortiz suffered a shoulder injury in training camp, while Rivera faces his toughest test to date against Auburn, Maine, vet Cristiano Pedro (1-1).
The Aug. 26th preliminary card also features the Foxwoods debut of 6-foot-4 Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (11-1, 9 KOs), who recently returned from an eight-month layoff in June with a devastating second-round knockout win over veteran Dan Biddle, his ninth consecutive victory.
The relationship between CES and Foxwoods over the past 25 years includes some of the region's greatest fights and fight cards, a total of 30 events spanning a quarter century.
The highlights include Oliveira's thrilling majority-decision win over Vince Phillips on ESPN in 2000; Oliveira's record-setting ESPN showdown with Ben Tackie in 2001, which included 2,729 total punches, the third most punches thrown in a fight; a classic back-and-forth war between "Sandman" Scott Pemberton and Omar Sheika on ESPN in 2003; plus the WBC World Super Middleweight Championship between Eric Lucas and Rhode Island's Vinny Paz in 2002, followed two years later by Paz's historic 50th win over Tocker Pudwill.
In 2007, junior welterweight sensation Jaime Clampitt defeated female boxing pioneer Jane Couch for the vacant International Women's Boxing Federation (IWBF) world title, a card headlined by a thrilling super middleweight bout between Rhode Island icon Peter Manfredo Jr. and David Banks, also on ESPN. Three years later, CES Boxing ushered in a new decade of excellence at Foxwoods with a sold-out crowd at The Fox Theater to witness the highly-anticipated rematch between Connecticut fan-favorite Tony Grano and New Jersey heavyweight "Oak Tree" Mark Brown. Foxwoods was also the home of eight of the first 15 career bouts for former light heavyweight world champion and New Haven native Chad Dawson, who rose to prominence in the early 2000s under the guidance of Burchfield and CES Boxing.
Fight fans can stream the entire Aug. 26th event live on their television by downloading the FITE app free from iTunes or Google Play and using the instant stream-to-TV function for full-screen viewing, or watch online from any device at www.fite.tv. The FITE app also works with any Wi-Fi connected TV, iOS and Android devices, as well as streaming devices such as Roku, Chromecast and more. Replays will be available for those unable to watch live.
Foxwoods Resort Casino is the premier resort destination in the northeast. As the largest resort casino in North America, Foxwoods offers a vast array of gaming in seven casinos; AAA Four-Diamond hotels, restaurants from gourmet to quick service, world-renowned spas, award-winning gold, state-of-the-art theaters, and exclusive retailers. Perfect for both recreation and business, Foxwoods provides modern and versatile convention and meeting space to infuse life into any meeting or event. Foxwoods Resort Casino is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.
FITE TV (www.fite.tv) is a combat sports network that brings premium live and on-demand combat sports events and programming to MMA, pro wrestling and boxing fans around the world. Combat sports fans can watch on any device including iOS and Android devices, connected TVs, streaming devices such as Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV and directly on the FITE TV website. In a short time, FITE has become the online destination for combat sports fans to stay connected to their favorite sports by providing new live free and Pay Per View programming on a weekly basis. In December of 2016 FITE CEO Kosta Jordanov announced new additions to the FITE executive team including industry veterans from the pro wrestling (Michael Weber), MMA (Keith Evans) and boxing (Roy Langbord) worlds. FITE was launched on Feb. 9th, 2016 as a product of Flipps Media Inc., a digital entertainment company which allows users to cast to connected TVs with its patented tap-to-stream functionality. Flipps Media Inc., is funded by EarlyBird Venture Capital, Tim Draper and LAUNCHub.
(June 9th) 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.
Williams Captures WBC Title Over DeLomba;
Kramlich Stays Unbeaten with Comeback Win Over Oliveira!
(April 7th) In an era where highly publicized fights don’t always live up to the hype, Friday’s World Boxing Council USNBC Welterweight Championship between Jimmy Williams and Nick DeLomba delivered as promised.
Williams (13-0-1) kept his perfect record intact in a thrilling, back-and-forth romp with DeLomba (11-2), defeating the Cranston, R.I., by unanimous decision, 98-91, 97-92, 97-92 at Twin River Casino to take home the coveted green belt, handing DeLomba only the second loss of his career.
The New Haven, Conn., native Williams, fighting at Twin River for just the second time in his career, came out firing, sending DeLomba crashing to the canvas in the closing seconds of the opening round with a vicious overhand right.
Williams, the aggressor from the opening bell, continued to press the pace in the second and third, preventing DeLomba from using his patented angles and circling the ring as he’s accustomed to doing. As the pace slowed a bit in the middle rounds, DeLomba found his second wind, but Williams fought back with a strong sixth and again had DeLomba on the ropes late in the fight before a spirited back-and-forth in the 10th brought the crowd to his feet.
The co-feature delivered an equal crowd-pleaser as Portland, Maine junior middleweight Casey Kramlich (7-0-1) also remained unbeaten, handing New Bedford, Mass., vet Ray Oliveira Jr. (7-1) his first career loss via majority decision, 56-56, 57-56, 57-56.
The durable Kramlich survived a second round knockdown courtesy of a left hook by Oliveira and won the final three rounds on two of three scorecards and scored a 10-8 round in the sixth on the other card after a dominating final three minutes that earned him the win.
In a stunning finish, Springfield, Mass., lightweight Zach Ramsey (8-0, 2 KOs) captured the vacant New England Lightweight Championship with a fourth-round knockout win over the previously unbeaten Divante Jones (9-1) of Augusta, Ga., just the second knockout of Ramsey’s career.
The two circled one another for three rounds until Ramsey unleashed in the fourth, cracked Jones with a pair of right hands that sent both fighters tumbling to the canvas, with Ramsey correctly rewarded for the knockdown. Once Jones made it to his feet, the new-look Ramsey continued to apply the pressure, catching Jones defenseless with two overhand rights followed by a left uppercut that forced Joey Lupino to stop the fight at the 58-second mark.
Taunton, Mass., welterweight Marqus Bates (2-1, 2 KOs) again looked impressive in his third fight at Twin River, stopping Arturo Lopes (1-1) of nearby Marshfield at 2:03 of the opening round for his second consecutive first round knock win since February.
Lopes, who hadn’t fought since making his pro debut in Plymouth in 2009, looked rusty at the beginning and hit the canvas early courtesy of an overhand right. Lopes shook it off and fought back, even driving Bates into the ropes on two occasions, but the Taunton vet weathered the onslaught and eventually connected with a pair of left hooks flush to the jaw, forcing referee Danny Schiavone to step in and stop the bout.
Fighting on the same card as her stepson for the first time in both of their careers, Marshfield’s Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes (17-4-2) outworked Mexican challenger Paty Ramirez (11-4) over eight rounds to earn a 80-72, 80-72, 79-73 unanimous decision win. Lopes was the aggressor from the opening bell and stayed out of harm’s way for most of the bout, working on the inside and using angles effectively to frustrate Ramirez.
In what might’ve been the most entertaining preliminary fight of the night, Worcester, Mass., middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (6-0-2, 5 KOs) earned his fifth career knockout win and second in two months, stopping the game Zachary Christy (1-1-1) of Warwick, R.I., at the 1:19 mark of the fifth round in a thrilling back-and-forth bout.
The 32-year-old Christy overcame a six-inch height disadvantage and boxed effectively on the inside over the first four rounds, willing to eat a few jabs from the 6-foot-2 Ball in order to land to the body. Christy began softening the body in the third, which led to a series of hard, looping overhand rights from Christy that backed Ball into a corner. Ball survived and began using his height to his advantage to keep Christy on the outside and eventually ended the bout with three hard left hooks that sent Christy tumbling to the canvas. Christy climbed to his feet, but looked wobbly, prompting Schiavone to wave it off.
Worcester lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (4-0, 3 KOs) continued to impress, stopping the previously unbeaten Glenn Mitchell (2-1) of Steubenville, Ohio at 1:13 of the third round. Ortiz took some time to close the gap against the taller Mitchell and eventually unloaded in the third, sending his opponent to the canvas twice before Schiavone mercifully ended the fight.
Facing the toughest test of his career, New London, Conn., junior welterweight Cristobal Marrero (4-0) survived a hard fought battle against New York’s Sidney Maccow (4-5), earning a 39-37, 39-37, 38-38 majority decision win. Also on the undercard, junior welterweight Miguel Ortiz (2-0) of Springfield, Mass., kept his perfect record intact, edging Hartford, Conn., vet Jonathan Figueroa (2-1) by unanimous decision, 39-36, 38-37, 39-38. Ortiz sent Figueroa to the canvas in the second round and continued to apply the pressure, handing the durable Figueroa his first career loss.
Junior welterweight Khiry Todd (3-0, 3 KOs) of Lynn, Mass., also remained unbeaten, stopping Adriano Moreas (0-1) of Coconut Creek, Fla., at the 1:47 mark of the third round courtesy of a short left hook to the chin. Filling in for Vincent Floyd on three days’ notice, Moreas looked up to the challenge for the first two rounds as Todd took his time adjusting to the change of pace, but as Moreas attempted to pressure his opponent midway through the third, he got caught on the way in with the knockout blow, improving Todd’s record to 3-0 with three knockouts.
The opening bout brought the crowd to its feet as pro debuts Ricky Delossantos (1-0) of Providence and Philip Davis (0-1) of Worcester fought tooth and nail for four entertaining rounds. Delossantos scored a knockdown in the second round, but Davis stood his ground and actually closed the round with a flurry to swing the momentum in his favor. Delossantos stayed poised and outworked his opponent over the final six minutes to earn a 39-36, 39-37, 39-36 unanimous decision win.
Pennington Dethrones Champion Gray
To Capture Jr Middleweight Titles!
(February 4th) Brooklyn’s Courtney Pennington again fought on enemy turf Saturday and this time left with the hometown favorite’s championship belts.
Pennington (10-4-1) defeated Worcester, Mass., junior middleweight Khiary Gray (14-2) by unanimous decision, 77-74, 76-75, 78-73, at Twin River Casino in the main event of CES Boxing’s 2017 debut to capture Gray’s Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) International and Northeast Titles.
The Brooklyn native, promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, out-boxed Gray by utilizing his lead right hand early and often and frustrated Gray boxing effectively on the inside. The challenger also scored a disputed knockdown in the fourth round to widen the gap and continued to land effectively down the stretch.
Gray was clearly frustrated, twice pushed to the canvas and at one point falling through the ropes after his feet got tangled with Pennington’s during a few close exchanges on the inside. Glenn Feldman scored it 77-74, Don Trella had it 76-75 and Clark Sammartino scored it 78-73. Pennington won the final five rounds on two of the cards (Feldman and Sammartino) and four out of the last five on the remaining card to secure the win.
Gray bounced back from his first career defeat in July with a knockout win over Chris Chatman in October, but has now lost two of his last three while Pennington has won two in a row after beating 15-1 Boyd Melson by knockout in November.
In a fight that lived up to expectations, New Bedford, Mass., junior middleweight Ray Oliveira Jr. (7-0, 1 KO) continued his impressive run with his toughest victory to date, defeated rising Hartford, Conn., prospect Jose Rivera (2-1) by majority decision, 59-55, 58-56, 57-57.
Rivera came out strong, using his footwork and timing to catch Oliveira cleanly as his more aggressive opponent tried to dictate the pace by stalking him down in the early rounds. Once Oliveira began to close the gap, he started working the body and closed the fight a strong performance over the final three rounds to secure the win.
Feldman scored it 59-55, awarding the final five rounds to Oliveira, while Sammartino scored it 57-57, giving two of the final three rounds to Rivera. Oliveira won four of the final five rounds on Trella’s scorecard for a 58-56 verdict.
Facing his toughest test to date, Worcester, Mass., lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (3-0) earned a majority decision win over decorated amateur and Jacksonville, Fla., native Canton Miller, 40-36, 40-36, 38-38. Trella and Wayne Lima scored it a shutout in favor of Ortiz while Feldman scored it a draw.
Ortiz, who scored knockouts in his first two pro bouts, pressed the action and kept Miller against the ropes, but Miller continued to fight, landing uppercuts on the inside to keep Ortiz at bay. Ortiz turned it on in the third and fourth to punctuate the victory, his third as a pro and his first since last July.
Also stepping up in competition, Providence, R.I., junior welterweight Anthony Marsella Jr. (4-0) earned his most impressive win, 40-36 on all three scorecards, against 16-fight vet Francisco Medel (10-7).
After scoring first-round knockouts in each of his first two bouts at Twin River in 2016, Marsella faced a much tougher test against the hard-nosed Medel, who closed the gap often and fought well on the inside to frustrate the taller, faster Marsella. The pace ultimately proved to be too much for Medel and Marsella won unanimously to improve to 4-0.
In one of the most highly anticipated bouts of the evening, Salem, Mass., junior welterweight Matt Doherty (6-3-1, 4 KOs) continued his turnaround with a third-round knockout win over Framingham, Mass., vet Julio Perez (4-2), who has now lost his last two. Doherty won the first two rounds and continued his surge in the third. Perez did not answer the bell for the fourth and Doherty scored his fourth career knockout win and his second in a row after losing his previous two bouts.
Three fighters scored first-round knockouts on the preliminary portion of Saturday’s card. Returning to the ring for the first time since suffering a loss in his professional debut in September, Taunton, Mass., welterweight Marqus Bates (1-1, 1 KO) earned his first win, stopping pro debut Aaron Muniz (0-1) of Warwick, R.I., at 2:59 of the opening round.
Bates tried to outbox Muniz on the outside, circling the ring and landing quick jabs to set the pace, but once Bates found his footing and began to cut the ring off, he started to unload on Muniz, dropping him with a body shot in the closing seconds of the round. Muniz was slow to get to his feet, prompting Lupino to stop the bout.
Worcester, Mass., middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (5-0-2, 4 KOs) kept his unbeaten record intact, rebounding from a majority draw against Nathan Millier in December with a 29-second knockout win over last-minute replacement Patrick Leal (0-2). Ball Jr., who has now fought seven times in a nine-month stretch since turning pro in May, was originally supposed to face Minnesota’s Kenneth Glenn, but Glenn suffered a knee injury the week of the event.
Lynn, Mass., junior welterweight Khiry Todd (2-0, 2 KOs) also remained unbeaten in his second pro fight, dropping the game Bruno Dias (0-3) of Woburn, Mass., with a body shot at 1:23 of the opening round. Dias tried to exchange on the inside, but took a right hook to the ribs and dropped to a knee before Smoger waved it off.