Heavyweight Cassius Chaney returns with stoppage win; results from Mohegan Sun

By Alex Pierpaoli

“We had a long training camp for this, man,” Cassius Chaney told the crowd last night at Mohegan Sun Arena after scoring a first round victory over the reluctant Matthew McKinney. Chaney returned to the ring for the first time since splitting with his old management team, after picking up his first loss, to George Arias, back in December.

Now reunited with head trainer Kent Ward of New London’s Whaling City Athletic Club, Chaney is back with the people who first developed him into a prizefighter when the now 35 year old was just 22.

Although dissatisfying in how it played out, Chaney, 252 lbs, did exactly what is to be expected when faced with an opponent the likes of McKinney; he got him out of there quickly. McKinney, of Fullerton, CA, charged out at the bell and rushed at Chaney behind a jab. As McKinney pressed, Chaney looked for openings and stuck him with a right to the mid-section. Any boldness from McKinney seemed to vanish with the impact. McKinney backed off and Chaney pressed forward, landing a hard right of his own to McKinney’s body. Down went the Californian and Ref Johnny Callas reached a count of 8 before McKinney got up. Callas let him continue and Chaney came in to finish, landed what appeared to be another grazing body shot and McKinney went down again, grimacing. McKinney got up slowly, while even Cassius Chaney goaded him into rising from the neutral corner, but McKinney was clearly looking for a way out. Chaney moved in to finish, grazed him with a right to the head and McKinney slumped into a neutral corner. As the crowd booed and Cassius Chaney shook his head in disgust, Ref. Johnny Callas did everyone a favor and waved an end to the bout.

Chaney was crestfallen during the post fight interview with the ring announcer. He worked very hard in camp and hoped to put on a show for his New London area supporters. There’s a saying in boxing; win tonight, look good tomorrow. And that’s exactly what Chaney did last night.

Cassius Chaney improved his record to 22-4 (15) and hopes to fight again this fall. In defeat, Mathew McKinney’s record fell to 9-6-2 (6).

Juiseppe Cusamano, 235lbs, scored a second round stoppage over Dennis Ventura, 215 1/2 lbs, of Lynn, MA. Cusamano blasted away at the body of the smaller Ventura in round one and in the second Ventura was stunned along the ropes from a barrage. Again Cusamano landed heavily to the body and Ventura stagger-stepped briefly prompting Referee Danny Schiavone to step in way too early and halt the fight. Ventura looked at Schiavone in disbelief as he had been hurt to the belly but the attack was hardly withering. This observer felt Schiavone may have overreacted to the loss of balance by Ventura but whatever the case he waved the fight off at 1:59 of round two.

Cusamano improved his record to 21-4 (18) while Dennis Ventura fell to 4-2 (3).

There was rousing applause for lightweight Alejandro Paulino of New London, CT who brought quite a cheering section. Paulino passed a gut-check in defeating Brandon Idrogo of by 6 round unanimous decision. Idrogo stunned Paulino early in the first and blasted away, hoping to capitalize. But by the end of the first Paulino roared back landing a flurry of his own just before the bell. Paulino made up for possibly losing the first by setting a blistering pace in rounds 2 and 3.

In round 4, Paulino is cut horribly in the mouth from what looked to be an unintentional clash of heads. Despite a grisly wound and lots of blood which was clearly obstructing his breathing, Paulino stayed focused and kept Idrogo on the run with left hooks to the guts and accurate power-shots. At the end of six the judges saw it 58-56, 59-55 and 60-53 all in favor of Alejandro Paulino.

Paulino goes to 11-0 (9) while Idrogo falls to 6-3 (6).

Middleweight Francis Hogan of Weymouth, MA, controlled Cleotis Pendarvis, of Lancaster, CA, with a speedy, power jab from the southpaw stance. Pendarvis went down from a straight left hand in round 3, he seemed to freeze along the ropes before slumping to the canvas. He beat ref Johnny Callas’ count and survived the round.

But Hogan sensed blood in the water and after controlling the bulk of the 5th, he slammed Pendarvis with a straight left that produced a loud cracking sound. Pendarvis sat down hard, glossy-eyed, Ref. Johnny Callas started a count but after looking closely abandoned it and waved the bout off. The official time was 2:59 of round number 5.

Hogan lifts his record to 12-0 (11) while Pendarvis falls to 21-11-2 (9).

In other action:

Heavyweight, Sean Bey continued his kayo streak with a second round stoppage of John Shipman of Dallas, TX. Bey is now 7-0 (7), Shipman returns to Texas at 4-3 (2).

Light heavyweight, Gary Balleto III, of Cranston, RI, scored a second round stoppage victory over debuting, Jeremiah David Austin of Niagra Fall, NY. Balleto is now 3-0 (2) and Austin enters the pro ranks at 0-1.

Jalen Renaud, of Sp[ringfield, MA, remained unbeaten, scoring a six round UD over Michael Ogundo, of Quincy, MA. Renaud is now 9-0 (3) while Ogundo drops to 16-16 (13).

Jonathan DePina of Boston, MA scored a UD over Christian Otero, of New York, NY. Scores were 58-56 x 2 and 59-55. DePina raises his record to 9-1 (4) while Otero’s drops to 4-2 (2).

Stevie Jane Coleman fought the first bout of the night scoring a first round victory over debuting Jesenia Rivas of Denver, CO. Coleman is now 3-1 (1) and Rivas backs into the pro ranks at 0-1.

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The Homecoming Kid, Cassius Chaney

By Alex Pierpaoli

Heavyweight contender Cassius Chaney returns to Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday night in an 8 round featured attraction, as Rhode Island based CES Promotions brings boxing back to Uncasville, CT.

Chaney, born in Baltimore, Maryland, grew up in the New London area and attended Old Saybrook High School. He went to college at University of New Haven and played basketball for the Elm City university before trying his mettle as a boxer.

Trainer Kent Ward remembers the first time Chaney came up the staircase at the old Whaling City Athletic Club address on New London’s Bank Street. Ward worked the mitts with then 22 year old Cassius and had a feeling about him from the start. Now 20-1 with 14 kayos as a professional, Chaney has returned to Whaling City Athletic Club and developmental trainer Kent Ward.

“I’m trying to get him back to the aggressive fighter he was in the Golden Gloves,” Ward said.

Saturday night will be Chaney’s first time through the ropes in twenty-twenty-two and his first bout since losing for the first time, back in December against undefeated, speedy heavyweight George Arias. Chaney dropped a 10 round split decision to Arias and afterwards, split with his management team and came back to where he started.

At Whaling City Athletic Club, not only is Chaney back where he first learned to box, there, he also gets to work closely with kids through the gym and its close-knit community. A basketball quarter court abuts the boxing ring at Whaling City and as Chaney blasts away at the mitts held by Team Chaney member, Kyle Holland, a missed shot bounces into the ring and rolls between Chaney’s legs.

“Sorry,” a child shouts. “Sorry, my bad.” He offers a second apology as he scrambles to grab the basketball that has rolled off the other side of the ring. Chaney gives a small nod, acknowledging the mistake and gets back to work.

“Make sure to call him ‘Kid’ Chaney,” says trainer Kent Ward. Cassius blushes, shaking his head. At 35, and father of a one-year old girl, Chaney is no kid. But Ward knows his charge is a dangerous heavyweight contender as well as a gentle giant who works very well with kids. The moniker seems a fitting one for the 6 foot 6 inch, two hundred fifty-plus pound prizefighter with the easy, infectious smile.

“It used to be a big fighter nickname,” says Fred Weaver, another member of Team Chaney.

He’s right. Boxing has had lots of great Kids; Kid Gavilan, Kid Chocolate, Kid Lewis, Kid Berg, Kid Azteca and plenty more popularized the nickname. And, as Chaney circles the ring, working on lateral movement and eye-hand coordination with amateur boxer Andy ChaCha, the pair tossing tennis balls back and forth to each other; it’s easy to see the ‘Kid’ nickname fits.

Chaney is scheduled to meet journeyman, Matthew McKinney, 9-5-3 (4), of Oceanside, California.

Also on the fight card, heavyweight Joe Cusamano, 20-4 (18), continues his comeback campaign after a December 1st round kayo defeat to Daniel Dubois. Cusamano scored a 1st round kayo over Irineu Costa Jr in June at Twin River Event Center.

Female welterweight, Stevie Jane Coleman, 2-1, enters the ring for her first fight since November when she picked up a 4 round UD over LeAnn O’Malley.

Undefeated boxers galore flesh out the rest of the fight card:

Sean Bey, 6-0 (6), heavyweight out of Providence returns to his busy schedule. His debut came on July 23rd of last year and he fought four times in 2021, Saturday night will be his third time through the ropes this year.

Middleweight Jalen Renaud, 8-0 (3), of Springfield, MA, returns to the prize ring after scoring a 6 round UD over tough Evincii Dixon in his last bout, in April.

Also scheduled to appear:

Middleweight southpaw, Francis Hogan, 11-0, of MA in a scheduled 6 rounder.

Light heavyweight, Gary Balleto Jr, 2-0 (1) of Cranston, RI.

Super featherweight, Alejandro Paulino, 10-0 (9), of New London, CT

Super Middle Jahvel Joseph, 5-0 (2), of the Bronx, NY

Middleweight, James Maner, 2-0 (2), of Providence, RI

Tickets are available through CESFights.com, Ticketmaster or Mohegan Sun Arena. 

Jimmy Williams battles Luis Arias on the Gervonta Davis versus Rolly Romero Pay-Per-View

By Alex Pierpaoli

“The older you get, you gotta be smart,” says West Haven, CT’s, Jimmy Williams.

“At this age, to fight at this weight, it feels good.” The 35 year old prizefighter steps through the ropes for the twenty-ninth time as a professional on Saturday night at the Barclay’s Center, in Brooklyn, NY. Williams battles Luis Arias, of Boca Raton, Florida, in a ten round junior middleweight bout (catchweight of 156lbs) to be aired live on YouTube as part of the Gervonta Davis-Rolando Romero Pay-Per-View undercard. Jimmy Williams, 18-7-2 (6), a thirty-five year old father of twin boys, hopes to rebound after two straight losses since a majority-decision win over Yuri Foreman in June of 2021.

“Beating Yuri Foreman put me back in this position. That was a big win for me,” Williams says. He fires a one-two at a heavy bag inside the Montanari Brother’s Powerhouse Gym in New Haven, CT where Williams first started training before debuting as a pro in January of 2013. “To be 35, to be in great shape, to be on this level, I’ve been blessed.”

This is Williams second time fighting on the undercard of a big pay-per-view. In July of twenty-nineteen, he lost to Abel Ramos on the off-tv undercard of Manny Pacquiao versus Keith Thurman. Tomorrow night Williams versus Arias will be the “Main Event” of the free undercard streaming live on YouTube before the Pay-Per-View broadcast begins at 9pm.

Luis Arias, a naturally heavier opponent, is 19-3-1 (9) as a professional and debuted just 3 months before Williams in November of twenty-twelve.

“He’s been on a losing streak too,” says Williams.

Arias has lost three of his last five bouts, most recently he dropped a split decision to Vaughn Alexander in December of last year. Two of those bouts include a 12 round decision loss to middleweight Daniel Jacobs in twenty-seventeen and a 12 round draw with perennial middleweight tough guy, Gabriel Rosado in twenty-eighteen. No doubt, Williams faces one of the largest opponents of his career. But, despite fighting much his career at or around welterweight, Williams feels stronger and revivified at junior middleweight.

“The style match-up is unbelievable,” he says. “At `56 I’m going to be a lot stronger.” Williams was already in training for a March 21st fight in Mexico against Carlos Molina when the opportunity to fight on the Davis-Romero Pay-Per-View came up. “He’s going to be bigger but he’s gotta make the weight too…The first three rounds he’s gonna look to take my head off. He’s gonna try to break me down…I’ve gotta keep my defense…use my legs a lot.” Williams knows Arias will try to walk him down and looks to fight smarter than he has in past bouts where he’s been willing to through caution to the wind.

“But I’ll get in the ring with anybody. I’m my own worst enemy,” he laughs. “But now that you live and you learn in your career, it’s not necessarily about the money. It’s my legacy. I got my son coming up. No matter what i’ve gotta make it home to him.” Williams waves a gloved hand in the direction of his 4 year old son and training partner for this camp, Austin James Williams.

“He’s been my motivation this camp,” Williams says. Austin, separated only by seven minutes from twin brother Logan, is the boy after his Dad’s fistic heart. He’s got a genuine love for the sport of boxing.

“At his age I was doing other stuff but he’s all into it(boxing).” Austin has joined his father throughout this training camp and even watches fights of Luis Arias to help Dad study his style. “We go home and watch Luis (Arias) until we fall asleep. We have fun watching it. We’ve watched Luis fight Danny Jacobs, Luke Keeler, Vaughn Alexander, and Gabriel Rosado.”

Manager Tommy Smalls, who’s been with Williams since the victory over Foreman, feels confident in his charge’s conditioning. “The guy is a consummate professional…That’s what you want, a person that’s gonna take this seriously.” Smalls describes boxing as the “hurt business” and no matter what will be with Williams every step of the way this Saturday night. “Jimmy Williams is more than just a boxer. He’s a man, he’s got a family.”

“I look at this like it’s God’s timing,” Williams says. “Whatever happens Saturday night I’m gonna give it my all.” Jimmy Williams shoots another jab at the heavy-bag, rolls left, cracks it with a left hook. He’s thinking about Luis Arias.

“He’s in a must-win situation. I’m in a must-win situation,” Williams grins. “It’s gonna be a helluva fight.”

Mike Guy stops Kendrick Ball : Twitter Recap

#CESHolidayBash

By Alex Pierpaoli

As is our tradition here, if we covered a fight live and tweeted details from ringside we like to post a recap later for any of you anti-social media types. Here is a chronological recounting of our live-tweets from ringside, made slightly more grammatical and a little bit less hashtaggie.
You can follow us on Twitter here

You Retweeted
Alex Pierpaoli @FistThingsFirst Ringside for @CESBoxing at the @MM_Center in Springfield, MA follow along over @KOFantasyBoxing #boxing

LIVE #Boxing from
@MM_Center
in Springfield, MA starts now! 194lbs 0-1 Rodrigo DeRocha vs. debuting 242 pound Tim Hatfield, 4 rounds, heavies

the shorter DeRocha is down from a flurry of shots, he’s claiming one strayed behind the head but he makes no effort to rise and is counted out at 1:23 of round number 1. Tim Hatfield is now 1-0 (1)

Up next, female welters, Stevie Jane Coleman 145lbs, of Columbia, CT versus Leann O’Malley 145lbs of Las Vegas, NV, 4 rounder
lots of straight shots from both women. Coleman’s shots are straighter and harder and more accurate. She wins round one.
almost zero body shots in the first but halfway through the second both women are making up for it now. O’Malley pressing but taking shots on the way in. 2-0 Coleman but the second was closer.
O’Malley smiling as she adjusts her trunks before the bell to start the third. she’s having fun in there.
Coleman looks a little tired but was still able to crack O’Malley with numerous straight rights to the chin. O’Malley really a gutsy, come-forward fighter, durable and aggressive.
Waiting on the scorecards… Coleman should take this one, probably 4-0 in rounds.
the judges see it 40-36 x 3, all in favor of Stevie Jane Coleman, now 2-1-1 #boxing O’Malley heads back to Nevada at 1-1

Next up, Darren Mima, 130lbs, of Poughkeepsie NY, versus Isiah Cruz, 130lbs, of Springfield, MA. 4 Rounds, super feathers #boxing
Cruz got credit for a knockdown in the 1st that locked a little more like a shove to this observer. Cruz got the better of the round by far. Mima spent much of it being driven back to the ropes.
Cruz let Mima lead in the second and it was the Springfield fighter letting the New Yorker bang at him while he looked to counter. It was somewhat effective. Cruz had the edge in shots landed for sure.
Mima may have stolen the third despite Cruz finally blasting his way off the ropes in the final 15 seconds of the round.
Wow, Cruz may have scored a last second TKO. The bell rang within a split second of the ref waving it off. Cruz landed a perfect left hook counter that crumpled Mima. He was allowed to continue and dropped again.
The official call is going to be a TKO at 2:58 of the 4th. I misspoke, Mima was reeling from an overhand right but he did not go down a second time. The ref waved it off. How he got up from the knockdown I have no idea. Wow! He got crumpled. Isiah Cruz now 2-0 (1) #boxing

Next up, Feathers, Jayron Santiago Lopez, of Bayamon, Puerto Rico vs. Nathan Martinez, of New Britain, CT #CESHolidayBash
This is a prizefight. These two came to the center of the ring and got right to work. By round’s end it was Lopez catching Martinez with a right hand jolt that got his attention. He opened up with both hands but the bell sounded.
Martinez corner must have bent his ear after the first because he walked out and scored a knockdown.
Lopez seems to have heavy hands. He’s gotten Martinez’ attention repeatedly but the New Britain native is up 19-18 on my card
Martinez has won the second and 3rd, with the extra point for the knockdown in round he should be up 29-27, imo
Lopez has twice the amount of professional experience Martinez does. He’s been stopped three times but he seems durable and in shape here tonight.
Lopez gave Martinez a couple wrinkles to struggle with in the fifth. He stopped trading and started scoring and moving and Martinez had few answers. He scored heavy in the final seconds but was it enough to steal the round back?
Headbutt in the sixth. Martinez got the worse of it. The doctor is taking a look.
wow, they’re stopping this. Must be a bad cut. we go to the scorecards.
I had this 48-46 in favor of Martinez who got some good experience here tonight, along with what will undoubtedly be a whole mess of stitches.
58-56 was the score from all three judges. But 2 had it for Lopez who, along with his team, is rightfully overjoyed. Martinez never seemed to shift into the higher gear he needed to nullify Lopez’ effort.
Jayron Santiago Lopez improves to 8-8-1 (5) while Nathan Martinez drops to 7-2 (2) #CESHolidayBash

Next up, junior middles, Jalen Renaud of Springfield, MA versus Jurmain McDonald of Jefferson City, MO, 6 rounder
Not a lot of landed shots here by either man. I’d give the edge to McDonald largely because of his activity and he’s scored several hard body shots. Both guys very defensive-minded.
Renaud had a better round three. He’s landing long sweeping left hooks now.
wow, Renaud timed McDonald with what looked like the perfect right hand pull-counter. McDonald went down hard and the ref didn’t bother to count.
Not sure if we’ll make the whole card here. I’ve got a bad power cord and my battery is down to 36%. May have to shift to paper and pen shortly!
Jalen Renaud improves to 7-0 (3) after scoring a 4th round TKO, 1:37, over Jurmain McDonald, who drops to 5-5 (2). #CESHolidayBash

Up now, lightweights, Josh Orta, 132lbs, of Springfield, MA, versus a 132 pound late sub

Orta scores a 1st round TKO. His opponent beat the count but the ref felt he was in no shape to continue. Josh Orta raises his record to 8-0 (4). The official time was 2:24 of the first.

here we go, the Battle of the Shellys! 8 rounds, female feathers,
@shelitosway
of Providence, RI versus Shelly Barnett, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. #CESHolidayBash

solid first round for
@shelitosway
Pretty clear she’s having fun out there. This is her first bout in over 2 years.

Barnett was able to sting Vincent on her way inside in that second round. Looked like there may have been a butt as well.

Barnett working very hard. She knows this would be a nice name to have on her record.

Some blood flowing from the nose of Barnett, likely from the right jab of
@shelitosway
which she’s been landing regularly.

Vincent able to keep Barnett missing; she comes forward swinging but whiffs at air.
@shelitosway
should be comfortably ahead going into this six round.

Barnett stung Vincent again with a single shot in the final ten seconds of the sixth, otherwise this is all
@shelitosway
. She’s out-working, out-landing & out-slicking her opponent.

Heated action at the end of the seventh.
@shelitosway
slamming Barnett with power-shots to the head and body.

Both Shellys are swinging and landing right up until the final bell. It’s going to be interesting to see if these judges gave Barnett a single round. I didn’t.

All three judges see it 80-72, all in favor of
@shelitosway
, who picks up a Unanimous Decision victory in her first fight since August 17, 2019. She’s now 27-2 (1). Shelly Barnett drops to 5-6-2 #CESHolidayBash

down to 9% battery left… just the main event to go now.
Here we go with the Main Event, Mike Guy, of Sacramento, CA versus Kendrick Ball, of Worcester, MA 10 rounds, super middles
Kendrick Ball dropped from a cuffing right. He rises and Mike Guy is all over him. Ball lasts the round. Guy may have punched himself out. Second coming up…
Ball was able to put some distance between himself and Mike Guy in that second. I didn’t give him the round but it was close. Guy’s leaping left hook is the punch that keeps changing this fight. But Ball’s jab was effective in the 2nd.

Alex Pierpaoli
@FistThingsFirst The laptop battery died so I’ll finish up over here…
Kendrick Ball used his jab and lots of movement to stay out of serious trouble in the 3rd & 4th but I only gave him one of those rounds.
In the fifth now and Guy wings Ball’s head with the left and the right. Ball much more aggressive in the fifth. Ball’s cheek is swelling from all the left hooks Guy has smashed against it.
Kendrick Ball boxed two beautiful minutes in round six, then Mike Guy stole any ground he may have gained right back, landing heavy bolts to the head.
Guy pressing the action now. Ball very tired.
Ninth round coming up and Kendrick Ball is looking pretty diminished.
Ball gets cracked again, he’s sitting in these ropes, leaning back, Guy swinging away. Guy connects repeatedly and the referee steps in to halt the action. TKO for Mike Guy!
Story to follow. Remember: Tip your waitresses and please drive safe! Peace #CESHolidayBash

The official time of the stoppage was 1:26 of Rd 9, the winner is Mike Guy!
That’s all from here, fight-fans!