Chordale Booker looks for 2nd win on comeback trail Saturday night

By Alex Pierpaoli

Stamford, CT’s Chordale “The Gift” Booker is in top shape and ready to face Daniel Aduku of Accra, Ghana, this Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena. Booker and Aduku will fight 8 rounds for the WBC Silver Super Welterweight strap in the co-feature of a scheduled 9 bout card promoted by Rhode Island based promoter CES Fights. Booker’s last fight was an 8 rounder versus rugged Angel Hernandez, at the same venue, where Booker notched a lopsided unanimous decision victory. 

“I feel great, honestly,” the 31 year old southpaw said on Friday night. “I’m close to weight. I feel like I’m going to make weight really easy. And that’s gonna be a big weight lifted off my shoulders.” Booker giggled at his play on words.

Booker’s easy laugh filled the beautiful Revolution Training Gym in Stamford, CT, where he sparred with three different fighters for a total of more than ten rounds. 

“I got some good sparring in, with Tramaine, Mike, my boy Steve,” Booker said afterwards. 

Tramaine Williams, a super bantamweight southpaw from New Haven will box in Saturday’s Main Event and on Friday night he was first into the ring to spar with Booker. Despite a weight advantage for Booker, the two southpaws demonstrated why they’re the Main Event and co-featured attractions on CES Boxing’s Championship Jackpot card this week. 

“I feel sharp,” the 18-1 (7) Booker said. “I’m in there with Tramaine and I’m just trying to go speed with him. Trying to sit on my shots isn’t going to do anything for him or for me. I’m just trying to play that speed chess with him.” 

And that’s exactly what it looked like, speedy chess moves with the periodic crack of leather against flesh. After 6 rounds with the smaller, speedier “Mighty Midget” Williams, 26 year old Mike Kimbel of Waterbury was next into the ring with Booker. 

Kimbel is looking for his second win in as many fights as a pro-boxer this Saturday night after starting his career in MMA. Against Kimbel, Booker exchanged harder shots and worked on in-fighting, also allowing and encouraging Kimbel to push himself especially when the two were partially tied-up. 

Booker finished the evening of sparring with a few rounds against amateur boxer, Steve Mejias and apologized profusely when Mejias moved right into a hard body-shot that left him crumpled on the canvas. Mejias gathered himself got up and kept sparring with the very generous Booker who made sure to help each man he sparred with sharpen their skills while he sharpened his own.

“It’s a team,” the good natured Booker stated. “Everybody here is on my squad. I want everybody here to do well,” he explained. “I’m not looking to get hit,” he added, laughingly. 

Booker, who has spent his life in Stamford, CT, shares more than just boxing with members of the Revolution Training gym, where he’s a master trainer and the head coach of their youth program. As a coach he’s helped young people like Steve Mejias mature both in boxing and in life.

“He’s[Steve Mejias] a grown man,” Booker stated proudly. “He graduated high school, he’s got his automotive business. He came up through the youth program. I didn’t talk to him just about boxing I talked to him about having a girlfriend, I taught him about money…you know, expand his mind because I wish somebody did that for me!”

Booker continues along the comeback trail this weekend, rebounding from a 1st round knockout loss to Austin Williams, almost exactly one year ago at Madison Square Garden on the undercard of the sensational Katie Taylor versus Amanda Serrano card. 

“I feel like that made me a better competitor, a better fighter, a better person,” Booker said about the loss. “I got to the point where I was stagnant. I was stale in my growth. I didn’t feel like I was preparing the same way. I felt like I wasn’t learning much anymore. I had to take a step back and just look at everything around me. And I started looking at my game and trying to say ok, this is the reason why I lost. Here’s the shot I kept getting hit with.” 

And after that soul-searching, Booker is now in tip-top shape and ready for this weekend. If victorious versus Aduku, Booker will pick up the WBC Silver Super Welterweight strap and hopes to stay busy, fighting 3 more times this year if possible.

“A lot of guys, they’ll say my name because of how I lost…They think I’m gonna say no. I say yes and then they out-price themselves and they say the money wasn’t there for the fight…But I’m just going to stay active, stay busy with whoever gets in the ring…You sign on the dotted line and we’ll fight you.”

Booker’s opponent, Daniel Aduku, will be fighting for the first time outside his native Ghana and it can be difficult to prepare for someone you learn about mostly on paper.

“I watched a few videos [of Aduku]. There was two videos on line…He’s a come forward fighter, trying to use his strength, pressure…I’ve seen that at least a hundred times. I had a hundred and forty amateur fights. I’ve seen that style before. Over and over and over. I don’t think anything he can do is gonna surprise me.”

“I feel like my last performance [in January versus Hernandez] was good. I gave myself a B minus. There’s some things I thought I could’ve done better…I wanted a better, sharper, quicker performance”

On this Saturday night, Chordale Booker looks to do just that and maybe earn himself an A.

Saturday’s fight card is scheduled to showcase 9 bouts featuring regional talent, including CT fighters: Nathan Martinez of New Britain, Stevie Jane Coleman of Columbia and Mike Kimbel of Waterbury. The first bout begins at 6pm and tickets are available through CES Fights website and at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office.


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