This Saturday night's "Fight Night at The Zone", presented by Granite Chin Promotions, has been strengthened by the late addition of hot prospect Irvin Gonzalez to a card already showcasing some of the best young, professional boxers in New England.
Granite Chin Promotions is on a mission to establish a fan-base in the Granite State, providing a fan friendly, full entertainment experience at The Sports Zone in Derry, New Hampshire.
Gonzalez (8-0, 7 KOs), fighting out of Worcester, MA, was a 2015 New England Golden Gloves champion, who qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials. The 21-year-old featherweight prospect will face Mexican Francisco "El Mono" Medal (12-12, 8 KOs) in a six-round bout.
Gonzalez, who hasn't fought since December 1 1 (sensational third-round knockout of previously undefeated 13-0 Marlon Olea in Providence), was supposed to fight St. Patrick's Day in Boston, but he was informed the day of the weigh in that his opponent hadn't cleared medicals.
I'm always in the gym working hard because I like to stay busy and be ready," Gonzalez said. "No layoffs for me. I've been sparring 3-4 times a week to polish my craft. I'm always prepared. I was disappointed a few weeks ago, but I'm fighting on this card, and back on the right track.
"I only focus on my next fight, April 7th, against a tough, experienced opponent. He's a veteran boxer from Mexico. After this Saturday night, I'll concentrate on my next fight, May 5th at Foxwoods."
The addition of Gonzalez with a card featuring some of tomorrow's stars such as Hartford, CT light heavyweight champion Richard "Popeye The Sailor Man" Rivera (6-0, 5 KOs) means two of the top three prospects in New England will be in action this Saturday in Derry. And several other promising boxers will also be in action. Rivera faces Randy "The Rattler" Campbell, of Ohio, in the six-round co-featured event.
"We are happy to have Irvin on our show," co-promoter Chuck Shearns said. "His last fight fell out and we are always happy to help local fighters, especially someone of Irvin's caliber. We have five undefeated fighters on this show. They're legitimate prospects with a lot of upside. Irvin, Richie and Omar are starting to get national attention and New Hampshire fans are getting an early look at them. The veteran fighters on this show have a lot to fight for as well. "
Dorchester, MA lightweight Gabriel Duluc (11-3, 2 KOs) headlines in the eight-round main event against Dallas veteran Larry "Slomoshun" Smith.
Iraq War veteran Chris Traietti (25-4, 20 KOs), fighting out of Quincy, MA, meets Indiana veteran "Jammin'" James Morrow in an eight-round, non-title fight. Traietti, whose title will not be on the line, is also the co-promoter of "Fight Night at The Zone."
Another top Conn. prospect, Danbury junior welterweight Omar Bordoy (4-0, 1 KO), takes on Carlos Galindo, of Woburn (MA), in a four-round match. Other four-rounders on the undercard include Peabody, MA light heavyweight Russell Kimber (1-0) vs. Dustin Caplinger; Irish welterweight Paddy McGee, now fighting out of Dorchester (MA), makes his pro debut vs. Philadelphia's Bardraiel Smith; Springfield, MA welterweight Anthony Velezquez (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Philadelphia's Shavante Dixon, and Claremont, NH junior middleweight Rickey Ford (1-1-1) vs. Philadelphia's Demetrius Thomas.
Also fighting on the undercard in six-round bouts are Stoughton, MA welterweight Travis Demko (5-1, 1 KO) vs. Paul DeSouza, and New Jersey middleweight Chris "Sandman" Thomas (7-0-1, 4 KOs) vs. Lynn, MA middleweight John Hantzopoulas.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets, priced at $60.00 (ringside), $45.00 and $30.00, are on sale and available to purchase at www.ticketriver.com. Tables with wait service are also available for $400.00. Half-priced tickets are available for active members of the military, police and fire departments.
This Past Friday night, Malik Hawkins remained undefeated by winning a 10-round unanimous decision over Raymond Serrano to capture the NABA-USA Welterweight title that headlined an action-packed 8 bout card at The Fillmore in Philadelphia.
The sold-out show was promoted by Hard Hitting promotions.
Hawkins used his length to pick and land shots on the inside. Hawkins raced to the early lead, but the veteran Serrano got going in the middle rounds as he used his experience to get himself back into the fight by winning scrums on the inside and an occasional long right hand. Down the stretch, Hawkins dug down deep and took control of the fight as seemed to be the fresher fighter. Hawkins who had never been past seven rounds, paced himself well against a tough Serrano, who never showed any signs of retreating as the two stood and fought until the final bell.
Hawkins of Baltimore, MD won by scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 to raise his perfect mark to 13-0. Serrano of Philadelphia was urged on by his loyal fan base, but fell just short, and now drops to 24-5.
Heavyweight prospect Darmani Rock landed a hard right to the body that dropped Ronny Hale down and out at 1:27 of round two of their scheduled six-round bout.
Rock of Philadelphia is now 11-0 with 7 knockouts. Hale of Austin, Texas falls to 4-12.
Good looking prospect Brandon Pizarro rebounded nicely from his 1st professional defeat by pounding out a 4-round unanimous decision over Pablo Cupal in a lightweight fight.
Pizarro, 18 years-old of Philadelphia won by shutout scores on all cards of 40-36, and is now 9-1. Cupul of San Diego is 9-24.
Samuel Teah dropped Orlando Rizo three times in the 1st round, and their lightweight bout was stopped at 2:35 of that opening frame.
Teah dropped Rizo with a right hand early in the round. He followed that up with hard body shot that sent Rizo to the canvas, and finished off Rizo with another right hand.
Teah of Philadelphia is now 13-2-1 with 6 knockouts. Rizo of Managua, Nicaragua is 19-13.
Undefeated prospect Jeremy Cuevas got off the deck to come back to win a six-round unanimous decision of Erain Cruz in a super lightweight bout.
Early on it looked like it could have been a rough night for Cuevas as he ate a perfect right hand that sent him to the canvas in round two. A round later, Cuevas had blood dripping from his nostrils, but the young veteran got himself together and put his combinations together to come to take the rest of the fight, and win by scores of 59-55 on all cards.
Cuevas of Philadelphia is now 8-0. Cruz of Ocala, FL is 4-5.
It looked like undefeated super middleweight Ronald Ellis would have a short night as he battered Taneal Goyco all over the ring in the first round of their scheduled six-round bout. Ellis continued to have Goyco in trouble throughout their affair, and dropped Goyco with a right hand in round three. Goyco hung tough, but took many power shots, and Ellis looked impressive in winning by shutout scores of 60-53 on all cards.
Ellis of Lynn, MA is now 15-0-2. Goyco of Philadelphia 9-11.
Tramaine Williams won a six-round unanimous decision over Antonio Rodriguez in a featherweight bout.
Williams landed quick combinations, and cut Rodriguez over his right eye in the final round.
Williams of New Haven, CT won by scores of 60-53, 59-55 and 58-56 to raise his mark to 15-0. Rodriguez of Mexico is 12-21.
Joey Alday, Jr. kept his knockout streak intact by stopping Michael Crain at 1:28 of round three of their scheduled 4-round junior middleweight bout.
Alday dropped Crain round two with a hard combination, and finished him off with a hard left to the body in round three.
Alday of Odessa, Texas is now 7-0. Crain of Smyrna, DE is 1-2.
Fans’ favourite Anthony Crolla inspired Ultimate Boxxer hopefuls by grinding out a win on the Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker undercard that keeps him on course for another shot at the world lightweight championship.
Manchester ace Crolla is an ambassador for boxing’s exciting and revolutionary new entertainment brand that brings together eight unbeaten welterweights in thrilling toe-to-toe action at the Manchester Arena on Friday, April 27.
“Million Dollar” had the greatest night of his career there, the fifth-round knockout of Darleys Perez in November, 2015 that brought him the WBA title, and the 31 year old stayed in contention for another title shot with a points win over game Mexican Edson Ramirez at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.
Crolla overcame a nasty cut on his right eye midway through his 10-rounder after heads clashed – but he stayed calm and held his boxing together to go on and win unanimously, and widely, on the three judges’ scorecards.
His crucial big-fight experience, accrued over nearly 12 years as a professional in 42 fights, with English, British, Commonwealth, International and World title honours under his belt and potentially more to come, ensures Crolla is an ideal mentor to the fighters, alongside former World Champions Ricky Hatton and Paulie Malignaggi.
Ultimate Boxxer contender Andy Kremner was watching the fight – and felt inspired.
“I’ve always followed the Manchester fighters,” said Kremner, “and Crolla is definitely one of my favourites.
“You have to admire someone who’s been through everything Anthony’s been through and still got to the top.
“He lost fights early in his career, we thought his career was over after he was badly injured chasing burglars – and it wasn’t easy for him on Saturday night either.
“That was a nasty cut he picked up, but Anthony just got on with it and got the job done.”
Ultimate Boxxer Isaac Macleod said: “I would love to see Anthony win back the world title. His story is so inspiring to other fighters. It’s a ‘Rocky’ story – and unlike ‘Rocky,’ it’s real. Anthony is proof of where hard work and self belief can get you.”
There’s talk of a possible match between Crolla and Matchroom stablemate Luke Campbell later this year.
Crolla, who held pound-for-pound fighter Jorge Linares to a draw in a world-title challenge, said:
“I’m looking for big fights sooner rather than later.
“I’m going to have a break for a few weeks and I’m looking forward to ‘Ultimate Boxxer.’
“I’ve looked at the fighters taking part and it’s wide open. One of them is going to be star and I’m looking forward to finding out who it’s going to be.”
ULTIMATE BOXXER I will take place at the Manchester Arena on April 27. Tickets are available from www.ultimateboxxer.com