Ali Izmailov defeats Charles Foster in close, ugly decision; Juan Carrillo hands Richard Vansiclen his first loss; and Clay Waterman bests Kenmon Evans in ShoBox Light-Heavyweight Triple Header from Turning Stone Event Center in Verona, NY

By Alex Pierpaoli

Russia’s Ali Ismailov remained undefeated last night, scoring a close unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten Charles Foster in the 10 round main event of a ShoBox light heavyweight triple-header at Turning Stone Casino on the eve of the International Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend. Ismailov and Foster banged, shoved and grappled their way to the final bell in front of a crowd of boxing cultists in the area for the annual pilgrimage to just up the rode in Canastota. The crowd was absolutely peppered with Sweet Science Hall-of-Famers from both inside the ring and out, like Roberto Duran, Riddick Bowe, promoter Russel Peltz, broadcaster Al Bernstein, ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr and many, many more.

In the two supporting televised bouts, Colombia’s Juan Carrillo defeated Richard Vansiclen of Seattle, WA by majority decision and Australian Clay Waterman turned back the challenge of Kenmon Evans of Florida by unanimous decision.

Read on, below, for detailed round-by-round coverage of the entire eight bout card.

The ShoBox Main Event pits Charles Foster, 172 1/4lbs, of New Haven, CT against Ali Izmailov, 174lbs, of Russia via Detroit, Michigan and the man in charge is Referee Charlie Fitch. Izmailov crowding Foster from the start. Izmailov very aggressive and taking Foster’s jab away by getting inside so quickly. Foster fires a long uppercut to Izmailov’s body that lands flush. Izmailov lands a right hook of his own to Foster’s body at the end of the first. There’s a mouse under the right eye of the southpaw Foster from the left hook of Izmailov. Foster using the right jab more as a measuring stick to keep Izzmailov back than he is using it as a punch. Izmailov getting around it with left hooks to the ribs of Foster. Foster shoots the straight left in with some success in the second and third. He’s standing in the corner after round three, hard to know what to read into that, if anything. Foster gaining lots of confidence in the fourth after landing several combinations and he’s dropping his hands and urging Izmailov to come forward. Izmailov comes out more aggressively in the fifth. Izmailov lands a straight right that puts Foster down in the final seconds of the round. Foster, wisely, takes the mandatory 8 count and rises, Ref. Fitch let’s it continue and the bell sounds. Izmailov landing heavier now and seems suddenly meaner, knowing he can hurt Foster. Ref. Charlie Fitch goes to the corner of Foster and warns him for pressing down on the back of the neck of Izmailov. Seemed like he took a good close look at Foster too, checking on his condition. Foster continues to loop his arm around the neck of Izmailov and trainer John David Jackson complains to the ref about it an before the bell he tells his charge, when he does that to you dig at him to the belly underneath. When they clinch in round number 8 Izmailov throws Foster to the canvas and gets a stern warning for it from Fitch. Izmailov goes to touch gloves before they return to boxing and Foster refuses to do so. By the end of the round Foster has connected with a couple solid rights. Foster doing a lot of grabbing in the ninth. Final round, lots of grappling at the start and both fighters are warned by Fitch to clean it up. Ref. Charlie Fitch is going to be sore tomorrow from pulling these guys apart all night. We’re going to the scorecards.

The decision is unanimous in favor of Ali Izmailov by scores of 95-94, 96-93 x 2. With the win, Ali Izmailov goes to 11-0 (7) while Charles Foster loses his first bout, now 22-1 (12). 

Bout 7, in the scheduled 10 round, ShoBox co-feature, Richard Vansiclen, 172 1/2lbs, of Seattle, WA, battles Juan Carrillo, 174lbs, of Barranquilla, Columbia, and the man in charge is Referee Benji Esteves. This is an all southpaw contest and Carrillo has brought a lot of swagger into this ring. He’s more aggressive and there’s a hands-low arrogance to the way he’s coming forward and pressing the action. Vansiclen able to snake in a right hand in the final minute of the second and he “fires back” in the attitude department when Carrillo misses wide and Vansiclen looks left and right as if to say “what are you shooting at?” Carrillo puts Vansiclen down with a counter right hook early in round three. Vansiclen lowers his head, comes forward and belts Carrillo with two hard body shots. Vansiclen looks to have recovered but Carrillo lands a straight left that freezes Vansiclen in his tracks. Carrillo got the extra point in that third for the knockdown but Vansiclen definitely rebounded well and even landed a thumping left of his own in the final minute. Carrillo landing uppercuts now and that may have changed things. Wow! Under fire and stunned, Vansiclen connects with a big shot of his own and scores a knockdown. Carrillo gesturing in his corner as if it was nothing. Carrillo walks around with his chin in the air and in that 4th he paid for it. Carrillo came back strong in round number five. His uppercut, when he throws it, gets Vansiclen to open up to take more shots. Still a lot of bounce in the legs of Vansiclen but Carrillo is lumping him up to the head. Carrillo landing lots of heavy shots but Vansiclen is still trying. Carrillo unable to land a heavy flurry to get Vansiclen in trouble but he’s been blasting him with bombs all night. Save for the knockdown round, it’s unlikely Vansiclen has gotten the best of a whole three minutes. Last round coming up and it would be good for Carrillo if he could close the show with a stoppage here. And for Vansiclen, preventing Carrillo from doing that would be at least a moral victory. Vansiclen goes the distance and holds his hands up at the final bell, not because he could possibly think he won, but because he’s still standing. 

The officials see it, 94-94, 95-93 x 2 in favor of Juan Carrillo which shows why this observer is NOT a judge because that didn’t look like a close fight to me at all. 

With the win Juan Carrillo is now 11-0 (8) while Richard Vansiclen loses his first fight, now 13-1-1 (6). 

Bout 6, in the scheduled 8 round ShoBox opener, Clay Waterman, 173 1/2 lbs, of Logan City, Queensland, Australia, goes up against Kenmon Evans, 173 1/2lbs, of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, the man in charge is Referee Mark Nelson. Evans, taller and longer, gets things started in round one with a busy jab from the hip. Evans landed a solid right behind the jab in the final seconds of the first while Waterman had to several for a couple landed body shots in the first. Waterman trying to work his way inside in round two, jabbing to the body and weaving back and forth on his way in. Evans looks to be in control through two. Both fighters are listed at five eleven but Waterman looks to be at least 3 inches shorter than Evans. Waterman boring his way in and cracking Evans in round three. Waterman able to beat Evans to the punch with his own jab on occasion, and he’s connecting with heavier blows in the fifth. Not a lot of really clean punches, save for jabs, landing for either fighter here. Waterman has to get the edge in power but it’s been Evans’ jab that’s been more consistent. Waterman cracks Evans with several big left hooks as he reels back along the ropes in round number 6. Waterman may be wearing Evans down. Two rounds to go in this bout. Waterman gets lots of cheers for a lunging left hook that causes Evans to shake his head, as if to say no, no, that didn’t hurt. Waterman goes to the body again to start the final frame and it’s another very hard left hook to the belly that Evans just absorbs well. Evans doing more clinching here in the final two rounds and Waterman doesn’t care for it and sloughs him to the canvas in a neutral corner. Both these guys are tired but Evans looks to be the one who has wilted quite a bit. There’s the bell to end the eighth and we will go to the scorecards. 

The officials see it 77-75 and 78-74 x 2 all in favor of Clay Waterman. Kenmon Evans falls to 10-1-1 (3) while Clay Waterman wins his ShoBox debut, now 11-0 (8). 

Bout 5, in a welterweight 8 rounder, Paulo Cesar Galdino, 142lbs, of Sao Paolo, Brazil goes up against Marvelous Mykquan Williams, 141lbs, of East Hartford, CT. Williams landed heavily in round number one, reddening the face of Galdino and snapping his head back with hard uppercuts. Galdino landed a right of his own but Williams seemed unfazed. Galdino sneaks in a hard right hand in the second round that surprised Williams. Williams throwing and landing lots of punches but Galdino fought a much better round two. Galdino doing some clever feinting to start round three. Williams looks to be swelling a bit around that right eye from the lefts the southpaw Galdino keeps sending in. Big round three for Galdino who looks like a different fighter now than he did in round one. Williams was scheduled to face Ryan Blue Chip Martin an orthodox fighter and now he’s facing a late substitute southpaw with less than a week’s notice. Galdino able to get off 3 to 5 straight punches in bursts against Williams who is covering up behind a high guard and blocking some but many are getting in. Williams reddened around both eyes and Galdino drives Williams back into a corner and blasts him. Marvelous Myke is going to have to dig deep here because it’s likely he’s fallen behind in rounds. Going into round six and it’s Galindo who is in control here, could be up 3 rounds to 2, maybe 4-1. The first was Williams biggest round and it looked like this might not be a long fight, since then it’s been mostly Galindo. In the sixth, Williams connects with a big right that sends Galindo back but he’s too tired to follow up, seconds later Galindo lands with a hard right hook of his own. Looks to be an abrasion on the forehead of Williams. Williams landed heavier in the seventh but these rounds are close and it’s Galindo pressing the action. Williams landed in spots in the final round but Galindo has him retreating again before the final bell. It’s not a true measure of a who won a fight but comparing the faces of these two fighters it’s Mykquan Williams who is all lumped up and Galdino who looks a bit red-faced after 8 tough rounds. This observer saw that for the late sub, Galindo, 5-3 albeit there’s lots of distractions here in press row and trying to write down what’s happening. The officials see it 77-75, and 76-76 x 2. Galindo stands on the ropes in the neutral corner to a rousing applause. That probably gives a sense of who this crowd thought won this fight. The ring announcer did not say who the 77-75 card had winning. 

With the draw Marvelous Myquan Williams goes to 19-0-2 (8) while late substitute Paulo Cesar Galindo can fly home to Sao Paulo, Brazil with head held high, now 12-7-2 (8).

Bout 4, in a scheduled six rounder, Jonathan De Pina, 138 1/2lbs, of Boston, MA, goes up against Bryce Mills, 138 3/4lbs, of Liverpool, NY. Huge cheering section here for Mills and De Pina’s hometown of Boston got some fierce boos. Beautiful double left hook to the body and the head from Mills has De Pina on the run. Both fighters look to be in excellent shape but it’s Mills who took control in the second half or the opening round, landing heavy shots to the ribs of De Pina. Mills very aggressive but De Pina held his own in the second, stopped circling away and countered Mills with several straight rights of his own. Mills likely ahead, though, two rounds to none, in this observer’s opinion. De Pina has a helluva chin because Mills is landing lots of clean hard shots with little visible effect in round three. De Pina doing too much waiting to counter and his corner is scolding him for it. “Don’t wait!” His trainer keeps shouting. Unlikely De Pina has won a round yet but Mills is breathing heavily around his mouthpiece, throwing lots of punches and pressing the action. De Pina is cut around the right eye, possibly from the left hooks Mills keeps landing on that spot. De Pina countered Mills several times in that fourth round but it’s more the energy Mills has expended that saw him slow a bit. Ref Mark Nelson calls time a few seconds into the fifth so Mills corner can replace his mouthpiece. This crowd really cheering wildly for Mills who may have hurt De Pina and had him on the run in the fifth. But De Pina appears to be looking to land a single hard counter and that strategy hasn’t paid off at all thus far. He even switched to southpaw and kept his hands at his sides hoping to coax Mills into walking into something but to no avail. Blood dripping from the mouth of De Pina in the sixth, Mills still pressing and De Pina ties him up in a headlock and is booed heartily by this crowd. And there’s the bell to end this one. Tremendous effort from Mills who fought this whole fight in fourth gear. It will be interesting to hear these scorecards as it didn’t look like De Pina was able to win a single round. The officials had 59-55 and 60-54 x 2 all in favor of Bryce Mills. 

Mills goes to 12-1 (4) while De Pina returns to Boston at 12-2 (5). 

Bout 3, Maceij Sulecki, 169 lbs, of Warsaw, Poland, battled Angel Hernandez, 168.5lbs, of Gary, Indiana in a scheduled 8-rounder that ends seconds into the second round when Sulecki takes Hernandez out with a bomb. Ref. Benji Esteves reaches the count of ten at :16 of round two. Sulecki controlled the opening round and Hernandez looked hurt several times and did lots of clutching and mugging to make it through the first three minutes. 

In victory Sulecki raises his record to 31-2 (12) while Hernandez falls to 19-22-1 (14).

Bout 2, Walter Burns, 214 1/2lbs, of Detroit, MI, stopped Moses Johnson, 252lbs, of Huntington, NY, at 1:57 of the opening round. 

Burns raises his record to 7-0 (5) and Johnson leaves with his first loss, now 9-1-2 (7).

In the first fight of the night, debuting heavyweights, Fabio Rodriguez, 223 3/4lbs, of the Bronx, NY and Robert Hernandez, 247 3/4lbs, of Rochester, NY, rumbled through a four rounder that saw Rodriguez come away with a unanimous decision victory by three scores of 39-37. 

Rodriguez enters the pro ranks at 1-0 and Hernandez backs in at 0-1.


East Hartford, CT’s Mykquan Williams faces late substitute Paulo Cesar Galdino this Saturday night at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY

By Alex Pierpaoli

Nothing ever goes as planned, sang the Chicago based rock band Styx and 25 year old prizefighter Mykquan Williams got a taste of that on Thursday night when the opponent he’d spent more than 9 weeks preparing for pulled out of their scheduled June 9th ShoBox clash. Instead, Williams will now face Brazilian Junior Welterweight Pablo Cesar Galdino in what will likely be an off-tv undercard bout from the Turning Stone resort and Casino in Verona, NY, on the eve of the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) Induction Weekend. 

The 25 year old Marvelous Mykquan Williams, or “Mykey” as just about everyone calls him, was scheduled to face 30 year old Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin of Chattanooga, TN but Martin pulled out of the bout towards the end of last week for “personal reasons.” Williams will now meet Galdino, a 30 year old southpaw from Sao Paolo who sports a professional record of 12-7-1 (8) and earned an 8 round draw in his last bout versus unbeaten Narciso Carmona on April 29th. 

Currently, 19-0-1 (8) as a professional, Myquan Williams will be making his first trip through the ropes in 2023. 

“I was supposed to fight in March or April,” he says. “But then we got the call for this fight.”

Williams is trained by Coach Paul Cichon of Ring of Champions gym in Manchester, CT, and the two have been together since Mykey walked into the gym as a child. Williams is managed by world famous Jackie Kallen who guided Hall of Famer James Toney to the Middleweight Championship of the World. Williams has learned much from Kallen and her wealth of experience in the Sweet Science.

“Definitely having a female as a manager, I feel like sometimes that favors us because I feel like females get their way a lot,” he laughs. “Jackie is great. she actually, she’s been in contact with us since I was 14 years old… She was already in the loop… Once I hit 18 we got everything on paper, in black and white.”

Williams went 45-13 as an amateur and in seven years as a professional he’s unbeaten in 20 fights and has sparred with fighters in and around his weight class. “I sparred with [Danny] Garcia, he’s heavy-handed but I didn’t feel like it was something I hadn’t felt before.” 

Williams has gone as far as Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym more than once where he gained some invaluable experience. 

“I went out there the first time as an amateur cuz we were in Oxnard for a tournament and we drove 3 hours to LA. Then a few years later…I was out there with a buddy of mine…and we took a train to LA to Wild Card. And I ended up sparring, I sparred upstairs the first day. It might have been a Thursday and then that Saturday, I went to the bottom gym where all the big names train and I actually sparred Ray Beltran down there.”

Williams also sparred a few rounds with Filipino southpaw Mercito Gesta, and back home in the New England area he’s worked with Will Madera who put Brandun Lee on the deck last August before losing a ten round decision to the undefeated power-puncher. 

For this camp Williams has sparred with top ranked lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (#10 by TBRB) along with former opponent Clarence Booth, who was flown in from Florida to help Mykey prepare.

“It’s been a good experience being up here seeing what his camp is like,” Booth states. “He looks great. My ribs are paying for it right now. He’s got a good system, he’s got a great family around him. He’s a very motivated kid. I really love his attitude and he’s gonna be a great champion one day.”

The 35 year old, Clarence Booth, 21-8 (13), lost a 10 round unanimous decision to Williams in November and has been in the Constitution State for 3 weeks as Williams chief sparring partner. “I’m glad they called me to come help out,” he says. “I’m just privileged.”

Booth was surprised to hear original opponent Ryan Martin pulled out of the fight and Booth wasn’t the only one to notice the word came soon after trainer Paul Cichon posted a photo of Williams with Booth and Jamaine Ortiz after an intense sparring session on social media. 

“He might’ve seen that post,” Booth laughs. “He[Ryan Martin] knows we got some killers in camp right now!”

“Personal reasons” was all Ryan Martin gave as to the cause of the cancellation, but training injuries are always a possibility. 

A training injury likely played a part in the abrupt finish to the recent Gervonta Davis versus Ryan Garcia bout when Garcia couldn’t continue after absorbing a body shot on what may have been a sore rib injured in training camp, and Williams knows it’s one of the catch-22s that come with a high-impact sport like prizefighting. 

“The chances of gettin hurt, you know, anything can happen. Getting prepared for a fight, I think being as cautious as possible is important, but you still have to get the work in and get prepared. If something, God forbid, does happen you can obviously, I would say ease back a little bit, not necessarily stop training, but I think it’s better to under-train than over train.

You need to go hard to make sure you’re in shape so you’re prepared for whatever comes to the table but you also don’t want to be an idiot and injure yourself. It’s not like you do it purposely, obviously, no one purposely injures themself. But like I said, shit can happen. But if something does happen it’s ok to take a step back…because some of these fights are what people fucking dream about and wait their whole career to get. So to have something like an injury or something small to interfere,” Williams shakes his head. 

“If we were to get injured, God forbid,” Williams stands and knocks a piece of wood trim on a nearby wall. “It would be ok to slow down a little bit. But if the injury is so severe we can’t compete I don’t think he’ll [Coach Cichon] think twice about pulling me out. Because the health is the most important.”

And the team Williams has around him are not just supportive but downright embracing of him and have been with him for years. One of the guests at his open workout on Friday was his sixth grade math teacher who brought his own son to the gym to wish Mykey well in this next bout. Williams’ mouthpieces are made custom by Manchester Family Dentist Brad Daar. “He’s been supporting my career since I was little. To this day he’s still involved with me.”

Boxing may be one of the most intense individual sports an athlete can participate in but Team Williams has the look and feel of a family. And it was family that brought Williams into boxing in the first place.

“The main and only reason I really got into it was my aunt,” Williams smiles. “She used to train with Paul back in the day and she fought at the [Hartford] convention center. And I was young, I had to be seven.” Female welterweight Adelita Irizarry boxed as a professional from 2007 through twenty-thirteen and retired with a record of 8-7 (2).  

“And I went to go see her fight with my mother and I don’t know what about it but I just thought, man, I want to try that…She’s the one that got me into it. She’s the one that brought me here.” 

Another member of Team Williams is his strength and conditioning coach Carmen Hormaza of Iron Will Fitness. Hormaza has been with Williams since just a couple days after his pro debut in twenty-sixteen. 

“My pro debut was April 16, 2016,” Williams recounts. “It was a Friday or Saturday and the next day I started with her.”

Hormaza likes what she sees from Williams in this camp. “He is so collected. I love it. He is calm, he is focused. There’s nothing getting in his way,” she explains. 

“His body is as strong as his weakest link so if we keep everything strong we have nothing to worry about. That’s how he’s managed to stay really healthy in his career so far. As he’s getting closer to the fights we lessen the weights and give him more reps. When he is not training for a fight…we go heavier in the sense that we’re going to go and build and put that nice, solid muscle in his body. So that muscle is used to working. And then we train it to work for a long time. If you train like a powerlifter…you’re going to have short punches. I need him to be nice and limber so I don’t shorten his range. Shortening his muscles is not going to be an option. At the end of the day he always has to make weight so if I put big chunky muscle on him he’s going to go up a weight-class. That’s his career on the line, we’ve got to keep him at the proper weight class so the type of muscle that goes on him is going to be sleek thick strong muscle but without the volume so he isn’t much heavier and doesn’t have to struggle to make weight.”

And for Friday’s bout, as well as the immediate future, one hundred forty pounds is where Myquan Williams wants to stay. “As of now, probably until I can’t make it or something,” he explains. “I’m only 25, I’ve still got a couple more years to grow. But if I can’t make it anymore then obviously I’ll have to go up but as of now I’m staying at 140.”

And if there are no surprises this Friday night, Team Williams plans to fight again soon. 

“I’m definitely gonna get in one more[fight], I don’t know about two. If I don’t get in twice more I’m pretty sure I’ll probably be in in early `24. We take it one fight at a time.”

Despite this being a business trip, Williams will be up at the IBHOF for the first time and hopes to rub elbows with some of the greats in attendance. 

“Me and Paul have a picture over there when I was really young of me, him and Riddick Bowe,” Williams points to a photo on the wall in the back of the gym. “But I told him[Coach Cichon] that if he’s[Bowe] there when we’re fighting, I’d like to remake that picture.” 

The former Heavyweight Champion of the World is scheduled to be in Canastota this weekend so Cichon and the now 25 year old Williams may be able to re-create the shot with Bowe.

And since Williams fights in the same weight class, he’s interested in what happens this Saturday night at the Hulu Theater at Madison square Garden when Josh Taylor defends his undisputed Junior Welterweight Championship against the outspoken power-puncher Teofimo Lopez. Mykey shared his take on that bout with FistThingsFirst. 

“I like Josh. I like Teofimo too but he didn’t really do that great in his last fight [vs. Sandor Martin] and I think that Josh is a lot sharper. I think Josh comes forward a lot more. I wanna lean towards Taylor. I’m going to say decision, I don’t think anyone’s going to get stopped or hurt. I think it’s going to be a real technical fight.”

Light Heavyweights, Clay Waterman, 10-0 (8) of Australia and Kenmon Evans, 10-0-1 (3) of Florida, scheduled for 8 rounds, will replace Williams-Martin on the televised portion of the ShoBox show Friday night which airs live on Showtime beginning at 9pm ET. Tickets for the 8 bout card featuring Izmailov versus Foster in the Main Event are available through Ticketmaster.

New Haven’s Charles Foster fights Ali Izmailov in Friday’s ShoBox Main Event on IBHOF Induction Weekend

By Alex Pierpaoli

This Friday night undefeated light heavyweight Charles Foster of New Haven, CT faces unbeaten Ali Izmailov of Russia, via Detroit, MI, in the 10 round ShoBox Main Event from Turning Stone Casino in Verona New York. The event takes place on the eve of the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s Induction Weekend, just about 25 minutes down the interstate from Boxing’s Hometown in Canastota, where the IBHOF is located. Foster, 22-0 (12), will be fighting on Induction Weekend for the second year in a row and looks forward to displaying his talents in front of what’s likely to be a star-studded crowd filled of boxing greats.

Last year, on June 10th at the same venue, Foster scored a 4th round TKO victory over Bo Gibbs Jr on the off-tv portion of the undercard. In twenty-twenty-two, the crowd was loaded with past greats as three classes of inductees were present because the annual event at the Hall had been cancelled 2 years in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of those boxing greats in attendance last June was Foster’s favorite, Andre Ward.

“When I seen Andre Ward, I didn’t care what he was doing I had to get a picture with him,” Foster recounts, smiling. “It was enjoyable. I had to make sure I looked good.”

And he did, dropping Gibbs, Jr en route to stopping him in round 4. “I dropped the guy in the first round with a punch I didn’t put nothing on but it was just that I caught him perfectly and he went down,” Foster remembers. 

Stylistically, Foster is a southpaw and a self-described boxer-puncher, but he’s won all three of his post-pandemic bouts by stoppage. What’s his favorite punch? 

“The one that lands mostly,” Foster laughs. “I like the jab a lot. Whatever punch lands on time. Sometimes I drop guys, I’m like damn I didn’t put that one in that hard. I feel like in the pros the harder you try to swing the softer it’s gonna land. It’s more about catching him perfect.”

Foster works full-time in construction as a mechanical insulator as well as being an undefeated prize-fighter and he got his start in the sport as a young teen. 

“My dad started as a professional when he was really old, like 27 years old,” Foster explains. “And then when he was about 34 he came to Luis [Rosa, Foster’s trainer] and trained under him and I started with Luis when I was 14 and I’ve been here ever since.”

Now 33 years old, Foster’s consistency and dedication is part of what defines him both as a fighter and as a man.

“The way I live my life, no drinking no smoking, since I was 14 coach has never had to call me and say ‘where you at, you’ve been out of the gym for a week?’ Never. [Boxing] shows me how far I can push myself, mentally and physically because once you think you’ve reached your plateau, or your wall, there’s always that extra reserve tank you can dig into.”

That consistency had Foster in the ring an average of three times a year since his pro debut in twenty-eleven, and should all go well this Friday, Foster and trainer Luis Rosa hope to get back into the ring once more in 2023. 

“That’s what we’re working towards now, the pandemic slowed us down a little bit…I wanna get back to where I was and just continue the dream.”

And that dream would be to face either one of the two Russian monsters atop the light heavyweight division right now, talented boxer Dmitry Bivol or the fearsome Artur Beterbiev. And Foster has already gotten a taste of what going up against Beterbiev might be like.

“I was actually in Canada with him like a year and a half ago while helping him get ready for the Marcus Browne fight,” Foster recounts. “It was pretty intense because that’s the cream of the crop right there. He’s the highest level in my weight class so sparring with him I was able to learn a lot. Different power I felt, different experience. Watching him train. The way he trains. Compared to everyone else I watch train… There’s nothing like seeing it live and their intensity. That was a good experience. He’s an intense guy.”

Foster’s dedication to boxing doesn’t just apply to training, he also studies the sport and watches as much of it as possible.

“I keep my eye on everybody a weight class above, and below.”

His opponent, Ali Izmailov, 10-0 (7), fought in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts in March and Foster almost went in person but wasn’t able to get there to see the result. He wouldn’t have been able to see all that much.

“He fought somebody he stopped in the first round and then I heard that a fight broke out in the crowd and they shut the show down after like 3 fights.”

But Foster and his trainer are prepared for whatever the five foot eleven and a half Ali Izmailov will bring on fight night.

“I make my adjustments as the rounds go on,” Foster says. “I listen to my coach. Sometimes fighting shorter fighters are a little bit harder, you’ve gotta punch down but it doesn’t really make a difference to me whether I have to stay close to the guy or box him or use different tactics or adjustments to get the job done.”

And after his fight on the 9th, on Saturday night, Charles Foster will be just another boxing fan enjoying the Josh Taylor versus Teofimo Lopez bout on ESPN on the eve of IBHOF Induction from the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Foster shared his thoughts on that match-up.

“I think Josh Taylor is gonna beat him, I think Josh Taylor is more hungry, he’s more mean, a bigger guy. He’s been in there with Regis Prograis who’s another big puncher. I don’t like the way Teofimo’s mind frame is right now, he seems kind of fragile. He’s super talented, he’s got the speed, he’s got power. He’s got the charisma. But seems like a lot of self-doubt is in his head right now.”

As to his own fight this Friday night at Turning Stone, Foster has no doubts.

“I feel good,” he states. “I think this is the best training camp I’ve had in a while. I’m always in the gym but this time I stayed closer to my weight, you know? I didn’t get too big, I didn’t go past 200 pounds and I’ve been staying on top of my game. So I feel like this is gonna be my best performance. So everybody tune in June 9th.”

ShoBox starts this Friday night, LIVE on Showtime at 9pm ET and features 3 bouts, with Foster-Izmailov as the 10 round headliner with the vacant IBF USBA Light Heavyweight strap on the line. 

Rhode Wars IV from Cranston Rhode Island Results

By Alex Pierpaoli

Bout 1, Calixto Cruz, 143lbs, of Springfield, MA goes up against Kevin Traynor, 142lbs, of Denny, Scotland in a 4 round over-the-weight, Jr Welterweight bout. Traynor more consistently aggressive in the first round but Cruz landed heavier especially in the second half of the opening round. Traynor ate several big over hand rights to the head and a mean right hook to the ribs. Traynor using no gears but forward and he’s crowding Cruz, bulling him into the ropes. Traynor’s corner shouting “he’s tired, he’s tired” but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Again it’s Cruz landing heavier and he likely steals the round from the aggressive Scot once he gets some distance from him and cracks him several times with heavy lead rights. Traynor lands a heavy right and makes the mistake of pressing forward right into a hard overhand right from Cruz which knocks him back. When they fight at distance it’s all Cruz. Lots of leather landed by both fighters in an exciting third but it’s Cruz who has likely won every round thus far on the basis of heavier shots. Traynor is trying his ass off but out-gunned. Cruz very relaxed at the start of the 4th. Traynor worked every moment of each round but Cruz should take this by Unanimous decision. If he lost a single round it may have been the first only because he waited too long to get started. 

After 4 rounds the judges see 40-36 x 3 all in favor of Calixto Cruz who leaves at 2-0 while Kevin Traynor drops to 1-2 (1). This was Cruz’ first time through the ropes since his debut in October of 2018 so getting the win, shaking off some rust and getting started with a new promoter were all priorities and mission accomplished on all three.

Bout 2, “Mighty” Joel Young, 134lbs, of Beltsville, MD, goes up against Michael “Primo” Didino, 134lbs, of North Providence, RI, in a 4 round lightweight bout. Didino fighting out of the southpaw stance, catching the jabs of Young. These two have started fast but lots of missing and falling into clinches so far. Young scores the best shots so far—two slashing left hooks as Didino rushes in. Young likely took that first round, not much landed by either fighter save for Mighty Joel Young’s left hooks that got Didino fighting behind a high guard in the final 30 seconds of the first. Very supportive crowd here for Didino who has a tattoo of PROVIDENCE all across his upper back. That looked like another round for Young who landed that cracking left hook again several times. Didino unable to get his offense started and he looks frustrated. Lots of clinching here and it’s hard to tell who’s initiating the majority of them. They end up so close together after each attempted exchange, clutching up seems to be the only option for both man. Didino scores a nice uppercut, finally, because he relaxed a bit and waited for an opening. Again, Didino scores with a straight left in the closing seconds of the third which likely earns him that round. Young landing lots of shots to the ribs of Didino. Blood streaming from the right eye of Didino, hard to tell if it was from a left hook or an accidental clash of heads. Mighty Joel Young clearly won this fight but it will be interesting to see if he comes away with the decision. 

This observer thought Didino won about 20 seconds of this four rounder but he comes away with the unanimous decision, the scorecards are 39-37, 40-36 x 2.

Michael Didino makes his pro debut, now 1-0 while Mighty Joel Young can certainly hold his up high tonight, now 0-2. 

Bout 3, Leonardo Ledeira, 175lbs, of Revere, MA faces the grandson of The Marvelous One, James Hagler, Jr. 173lbs, of Atlanta, GA in a four round light heavyweight contest.

Excellent first round for Ledeira who landed power shots from a distance on the southpaw Hagler. Ledeira danced his way to the ring to KC & The Sunshine Band’s “Boogie Shoes” and he discoed all over Hagler in that first who fought that opening round like he was underwater. Much better second round for Hagler who landed several jolting straight lefts and seemed to hurt Ledeira halfway through the round. Ledeira busier and effective with a slashing left hook but Hagler evened this fight up after 2. Ledeira comes out hard in the third round, stuns Hagler with a body shot. Hagler covers up and Ledeira lets his hands go, digging to the body of Hagler and he sends him to the canvas with a hard left hook to the ribs. Ref. Joey Lupino counts him out, giving Leonardo Ledeira the kayo victory at 1:08 of round number 3. 

Ledeira improves his record to 3-8 (3) while Hagler falls to 3-2 (1).

Bout 4, Robert Duran Jr, 155lbs, of Miami, FL goes up against Luis Eduardo Florez, 160lbs,  of Barranquilla, Colombia, in a 6 round middleweight bout. Flores lands a huge right hand that got Duran’s attention in the first minute of round one. No feeling out round for these two. Lots of heavy leather being exchanged. The southpaw Duran seemed to regain any lost ground by the end of the first, landing hard shots to the belly of the Columbian. Duran blasting away in round two but Florez is durable and returning fire. Duran spent more time in the orthodox stance in that second round. Both fighters looked a bit arm weary in the final thirty seconds of round two. Florez is incredibly durable and he’s absorbing a helluva lot of punishment but he hasn’t been down and it’s Duran who seems to be tiring with the effort. Duran fighting solely from the orthodox stance now so not sure what round one was about. Florez landing heavy, sweeping single shots with the right and left. Duran taking them well. Neither of these guys have been able to hurt each other yet. Florez is rugged as hell. His record is 26-26 going into this slug-o-rama. Duran just hit him with everything but his stool and Florez still connecting sporadically with hard overhand rights. Vinny Paz is sitting directly behind me and he just said of Florez “This is one tough prick. He’s got like 55 fights and he’s won every other fight. I hope he won his last one!” 

Florez looks to have wilted a bit now and Duran looks fresher but he’s being careful with his shots because Florez tends to punch with him. Wow, that was a fun, high impact brawl. Florez is exhausted but he was never off his feet and may have won the first.

After six rounds the scorecards are 59-55, 60-54 x 2 all in favor of Robert Duran Jr who improves his record to 12-3 (9) while the rugged Luis Eduardo Florez drops to 26-27 (21).

Bout 5,

Daisy Preston, 118lbs, of Manchester, ENG, faces the debuting Melanie “The Pitbull” Costa, 123lbs, of Providence, RI in a 4 round featherweight contest. Costa has a huge cheering section here in this converted theater. Costa roars out of her corner, attacking the body of her much taller opponent. Preston circles away but Costa drives her into a corner and puts her down with what seemed like a body shot. Preston being absolutely swarmed but she survived the first. She looks like she’s going to continue but she was absolutely overwhelmed in round one. Preston trying to get a jab out in front of her but Costa walks right through it. Preston is tough. Costa drives her to the canvas a second time, she takes a full nine count to rise. Ref Joey Lupino let’s it continue. Costa charges forward again, exploding with both hands and flattens Preston with what looked like a body shot. Ref. Joey Lupino halts the fight at 1:32 of round two with Preston on all fours, trying to catch her breath and not vomit. 

Melanie Costa enters the pro ranks at 1-0 (1) while Daisy Preston makes the long trek back to England at 0-6-1. 

Bout 6, Marcello Williams, 136lbs, of Orlando, FL, meets Kevin Walsh, 136lbs, of Brockton, MA, in a 6 round lightweight contest. Awkward, wild-swinging first that sees both fighters scoring with wide shots. Walsh looks a bit gassed in round two. His corner is shouting at him to get his hands up. Williams may have won that second round. Williams straightened his punches up in round two and had several successful charges. Walsh scores with a nice straight right to the middle of Williams to start the third. Williams is the aggressor and Walsh circling away in retreat. Walsh landed a decent combination in the final minute of the third but it wasn’t enough to undo what Williams had done in the first two thirds of the frame in this observer’s opinion. Walsh snaps the head of Williams back with a nice uppercut at the end of round four but he did more catching than he did pitching that round. Walsh seems to be the heavier-handed fighter here but he’s just not landing enough. Walsh needs a huge kayo if he hopes to walk out of here a winner on my card, he’s just done way too little punching here. Again, Williams is coming forward scoring with long snaking shots with either hand. Walsh has a solid chin but Williams keeps whacking at him. Walsh lands a hard left hook but follows up with absolutely nothing. He’s been breathing through an open mouth since the third. If there’s any justice at all in this scoring Williams should walk away with the decision, but we’ve already seen one example tonight that there isn’t.

After six, the ringside officials see it 59-55 x 2 58-56 all in favor of Kevin Walsh. Ugh.

Walsh improves to 9-0 (4) while Marcelo Williams drops to 4-18-1.

Bout 7, Wilson “Ill Will” Mascarenhas, 141lbs,of New Bedford, MA, battles Benjamin Lamptey, 140lbs, of Accra, Ghana in the co-main event, 6 rounds, junior welters. Huge crowd of supporters here for Mascarenhas who is coming back from being stabbed at a bar in New Bedford. Mascarenhas showing a lot more skill than has been displayed in a lot of these bouts tonight, jabbing his way in behind a high guard. Lamptey has a more relaxed, hands low style and he stands between rounds. Nice body shots from Mascarenhas. Lamptey seems to be the better judge of distance through two but it’s Mascarenhas landing all the punches, especially to the guts of Lamptey. Mascarenhas is bleeding from a cut over his left eye in round 3. Lamptey is sitting between rounds now. Lamptey landed a hard right in the middle of an exchange of shots that forced Mascarenhas to clinch, probably his best shot of the fight so far. Mascarenhas boxing well here, moving in and out, landing to the body and head, especially the body of Lamptey. Mascarenhas has Lamptey frustrated in round 5, the Ghanaian fighter has his hands at his sides, hoping to lure “Ill Will” into an exchange, something that seems ill-advised for the New Bedford boxer. Mascarenhas refuses to take the bait, still boxing smartly, stepping in, landing combinations and then rolling out. Sixth round coming up in what looks to be a shut-out for this locally celebrated fighter. Lamptey swings with a leaping left hook and catches nothing but air. A little more offense now from Lamptey which would have been a good idea 4 rounds ago. Mascarenhas shuts him down with a left-right to the guts followed by an uppercut to the head, a combination he’s used successfully often tonight. Double left hook from Mascarenhas lands forcing Lamptey to clinch. 

After six the judges see it 60-54 x 3 in favor of Wilson Mascarenhas who returns from a helluva lot more than a one year layoff, now 7-1 (2). Benjamin Lamptey drops to 13-10-2 (9). 

Bout 6, Alejandro Paulino, 134lbs, of New London, CT battles Jonathan Perez, 135, of Baranquilla, Columbia in the six round main event. Paulino lands first with a long straight right and Perez shakes his head to say “no, that didn’t hurt.” Paulino much faster, landing more often in round one. Perez seems a little stunned. Perez gets caught in the ropes, not ruled a knockdown. Perez is down in round 2. Looked as if their legs may have gotten tangled up but he was definitely under heavy fire from Paulino. He shakes his head to his corner, telling them he’s ok. Paulino looking very sharp, landing crisp, clean shots. Perez lands a heavy counter in the third and Paulino’s supporters utter a collective gasp. There’s an abrasion on the right cheek of Perez but that third saw him do his best work. It wasn’t enough to swing the round but he finally showed some offense. Paulino landed a huge right hand but Perez is cagey and he slid away and sank into these loose ropes and recovered. Perez is a ballsy guy, he lost that 4th big but sneaks in an Ali-shuffle in the final ten seconds trying to send the message that Paulino hasn’t rattled him. Paulino seems to be looking for a knockout here and his offense has dropped off dramatically. He may have been saving up some gas for the sixth and final round but he got away from the crisp aggressive boxing that’s been working very well in that 5th. Paulino opening up with both hands and scores a knockdown after a barrage of punches. Perez is allowed to continue but Paulino is all over him, blasting away with both hands. Perez sinks into a neutral corner and Ref. Ricky Gonzalez halts the bout at 2:12 of the final round. 

Elvis Figueroa Looks for Thirteenth Victory in as Many Fights Tomorrow Night in Greenwich

By Alex Pierpaoli

On Saturday night undefeated prizefighter Elvis Figueroa of New Haven, CT, meets Devaun Lee of Queens, NY, in an 8 round main event at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich CT. Figueroa-Lee is the featured attraction of a scheduled 8 bout card presented by Raja Boxing Promotions. Figueroa, currently 12-0 (8) will be making his first trip through the ropes this year and is looking for his 13th victory. After an excellent amateur career and a dozen victories since he turned professional in twenty-seventeen, super-middleweight Elvis Figueroa has already made his mark on the sport, especially when considering he was never really that interested in boxing in the first place.

“When I was a kid I didn’t do no sports in school,” the 26 year old confesses. “None, nothing at all. I would go to school, come home, eat, and play video games.” And it was that sedentary after-school tradition that brought him to boxing. 

“I never wanted to box to be honest,” he explains. “When I was young I was an obese kid. I was like 7 or 8 and a hundred eighty pounds or more…At the age of 8 that’s when I first entered, well, my dad put me into the gym, cuz like I said I never wanted to do it.”

Figueroa’s father sought help with his obese son from former boxer and current trainer Luis Rosa at his Boxing In Faith Gym in New Haven. “He asked him if [Luis] he could take me at the age I was and he said ‘yeah, I’ll take him.’ So I would go to the gym and like workout but like a lazy kid, a little chubby kid, Luis was like ‘do this and do this.’ And I would do it but not the way he wanted me to. I was there for some time and the weight never came off and then one day Luis said to me ‘I want you to write down all the stuff you eat.’ And I said ok. 

“So I brought in a list and it was like one page,” Figueroa smiles. “I showed it to him and he said ‘Naw, that’s not what you eat!’ So he wrote down a list and it was, front and back, like a regular sized page! And he said mark off what you eat, put a check next to it.”

Figueroa got honest about his food and brought the list back to trainer Luis Rosa. “I nearly checked off both sides. And he said ‘you see all this stuff you checked off, you gotta stop eating this stuff’ and he did it in front of my dad as well so my dad was like ok and my dad got real strict on me. He had me like on salad diets, six days a week, real strict diet. My dad was a strict parent but it was for the better of me. We did the list and after I started listening to what Luis was saying I started to see the weight come off. I was in the gym for four years, training, and sparring, I would get beat up everyday, bleed everyday, cry everyday. I was just in the gym for four years until I started to listen. So at 12 years old I had my first amateur fight.”

That’s when everything started to change for Figueroa and he discovered his love for the sport. 

“This is all I know how to do, literally. Boxing is my life. My dad put me in this, he said ‘this is what you’re gonna do to lose weight’ and I just fell in love with it. This is just me now.”

For Figueroa, his choice of weight-loss plan became a plan for life, a source of discipline and dedication.

“You gotta work hard If you want it to pay off,” Figueroa says of boxing. “You’ve gotta put in the work, you’ve gotta go through the fire and make sure you don’t cut no corners so that when you fight you feel good and you perform good and everything comes out good.”

That dedicated twelve-year old started to make good boxing as an amateur.

“In the amateurs I did a ton,” Figueroa explains. “I’ve won four golden gloves in a row, I won two nationals, I went overseas, to Russia and Ukraine…I never thought I could do all that.”

But what exactly was it about The Sweet Science that sparked his interest?

“I like the fact that, so much goes into it and you learn daily, you learn something new,” Figueroa nods, smiling. 

“If you really dedicate yourself to really training hard and actually learning, you can see it display itself. That’s what’s like mind-blowing to me…you don’t stop learning. You put your best effort into it and you see it unfold in front of you.”

Now in training camp with Luis Rosa at the new KOKing Boxing & Fitness Gym in East Haven, Elvis Figueroa has learned much in boxing, and sometimes he’s surprised himself.

“I’m not going to lie to you when I was in the [Olympic] Qualifiers I would think, am I going to be able to win this? But once I step into that ring that switch would flip and I’d do what I gotta do.”

That attitude brought him an amateur victory over current undefeated super middleweight Edgar Berlanga and landed him a spot as an alternate in the 2016 Olympics.

As to the future as a professional, Figueroa isn’t motivated by some specific opponent out there on the horizon, he’s motivated by the idea of becoming all Elvis Figueroa can possibly be. 

“I don’t have a dream fight,” he explains. “All I know is that I’m working to get up there to fight for a belt. I wanna be a world champion. That’s the motive of the sport, you wanna make it up there with the big boys. A dream fight I don’t have. I’m just focused on building my resume, building my career to get up there to where I can compete with elite fighters. I consider myself an elite fighter, but elite in that they have some top rankings and some belts. Whoever they put in front of me that I have to fight to have a belt. It’s all work at the end of the day. That’s how I look at it…As long as we can stay active, that’s the goal. We’re trying to get up there with top fighters and have our shot.”

As to tomorrow night’s opponent, Devaun Lee, 11-8-1 (6) of Queens, NY, Figueroa is ready for anything Lee may bring but he hasn’t seen more than a few clips of him on YouTube. To Figueroa watching an opponent’s previous bouts doesn’t matter much.

“Because what you look at in an old video might not be what he displays the night you step in the ring with him,” Figueroa says. “Once you get in the ring that’s a totally different ball game… I go in there to hurt you. That’s my job. My job is to hurt you before you hurt me. And that’s it. That’s just the sport. Anybody they put in front of me, I’m hitting hard.”

Devaun Lee has gone 8 rounds or more 6 times and has been stopped only once, by Shane Mosley Jr back in 2018. But Figueroa is ready for a distance fight if it comes and has experienced a gut-check fight of his own when he faced Ryan Adams in Orlando back in January of 2022.

“That one was like oh man, that was a teaching moment because you learn from every fight, you’re supposed to learn something new from every fight. And…you’ve really gotta be conditioned because it can be a long night sometimes. You can have a guy dazed or out a few times but some of them guys recover quick and keep going at it and that fight was like that. I got caught with one punch I didn’t see. We were engaging and he caught me with an uppercut. I wasn’t buzzed or see lights or nothing but I was like whoa, ok.”

Elvis Figueroa came away with a unanimous decision after 8 rounds that night and has scored two stoppage victories since. Tomorrow will mark his third time as the Main Event fighter and he likes that feeling. 

As to the video games he still enjoys, Call of Duty is Figueroa’s game of choice. He’s a fan of the Warzone game mode and prefers the UAV as a kill streak reward. “Yeah, it helps you and the team.”

“Listen man,” Figueroa laughs. “I just got a PC. I just upgraded from an Xbox to a PC. Boxing, don’t get me wrong, is my getaway. But video games are also my getaway, my other disconnect. I’m 26 years old but I still sit in front of that computer and play my life away like when I was a 13 year old boy at my mom’s house.”

Tomorrow night the war zone for Elvis Figueroa is twenty square feet of stretched canvas and he’s shown he can blast away with both hands in there just like he does in front of his PC. 

Pierce thumps Williams, Booker stops Aduku, more CES Championship Jackpot Results

By Alex Pierpaoli

Last night at Mohegan Sun Arena, Elijah Pierce defeated Tramaine The Mighty Midget Williams by 10 round unanimous decision and picked up the WBS Silver Super Bantamweight belt. In the co-featured attraction, Stamford, CT’s Chordale Booker continued along the comeback trail, scoring a TKO victory over Daniele Aduku and picking up the WBC Silver Super Welterweight strap along the way. Female lightweight Stevie Jane Coleman scored a first round stoppage victory and Waterbury, CT’s Mike Kimbel scored another kayo in his second start as a professional boxer. Lots more in ring action took place in the arena before much of the boxing-loving crowd moved over to the sports book to watch the choppy broadcast of the Gervonta Davis versus Ryan Garcia fight from Las Vegas.

Also, before the Booker-Aduku fight, CES promoter Jimmy Burchfield announced the upcoming June 24th heavyweight clash between Joe Cusumano and Adam Kownacki to be held at Madison Square Garden on the Edgar Berlanga versus Jason Quigley undercard. Cusumano has won two bouts since a first round kayo defeat to Daniel Dubois in August of twenty-twenty-one.

Read on for full coverage of last night’s ten bout card:

Bout 1, Two hundred pound, Gabriel Aguilar Costa, 1-4, of Woburn, MA defeats the much larger, two-hundred thirty-seven pound, Harold Roy of Waltham, MA. 

At the opening bell it’s Costa reaching up at his bigger opponent while Roy thumps at him with slow, heavy shots. By the end of the round Costa starts finding the mid-section of Roy with his right hand. After 2 it’s Costa landing speedier, cleaner shots while Roy lands far less often but heavier and Costa’s leaning back from each shot may give the judges the sense he’s being stung. Costa boxing mostly from the orthodox stance but he’s switching southpaw and squaring up and leading with his right. Costa hurts Roy with a combination at the end of the third. 

Costa in control in the final round. Roy gassed-out and getting tagged. Sloppy, but effective unanimous decision victory for Costa. Despite a thirty-seven pound weight disadvantage, Gabriel Costa improves to 2-4 while Harold Roy backs his way into the professional rankings at 0-1. This one might have started out with the appearance of David versus Goliath but the sloppy result was a bit more like James and the Giant Peach.

Bout 2, New Britain CT’s Nathan Martinez, 126 pounds, gets right to work against wild-swinging Daniel Coronel, 124lbs, of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Nathan Martinez’ back is covered with circular cupping therapy marks and it looks like he lost a fight with a giant octopus. In the first Martinez lands the quicker straighter shots in the opening round while Coronel elicits gasps from the crowd with his wild hooks aimed at but mostly missing the head of Martinez. Martinez lands several jolting straight rights to the head of the quick moving Cronel and scores a knockdown in the second. With about twenty seconds to go in the round Martinez drops Coronel with a left hook. Coronel is choosing to slug. Dr. Anthony Alessi takes a long careful look at Cornell before allowing the third round to begin. Martinez able to stun Coronel often in the third but unable to put him down again and it’s Coronel who catches Martinez with a stinging shot in the closing seconds. Coronel’s punches have a whipping, slashing quality to them and he seems to have shaken off however buzzed he may have been in round 2. Martinez not punching much in the 4th and that was the first round that was clearly Coronel’s. Martinez lands a got left hook to begin the fifth. Martinez holds his hands high and fires straight shots that get to the target quickly but Coronel’s hands-low defense and well-timed whipping shots are forcing Martinez to think twice before firing. Coronel has definitely made this into a fight after it looked very much like it was going to be a blow-out. Coronel’s feinting and busy, but mostly ineffective offense forced Nathan Martinez to settle for a distance win rather than the stoppage that looked inevitable. 

After six the officials score it 58-54, 60-52 x 2, all in favor of Nathan Martinez. Martinez goes up to 8-2 (2) while Daniel Alberto Coronel drops to 8-26-1 (3).

Bout 3, welterweight Yeison Berdugo, of Pawtucket, RI makes his pro-debut here versus 2-0, Jeff Gonzalez of New Haven. Gonzalez much busier in a mostly low-contact first round but it’s Berdugo who steals it with two jolting shots, one of which clearly rocked Gonzalez. Gonzalez controls round two and gets this crowd cheering when he drives Berdugo back into a neutral corner with a barrage of shots. Much better round two for Gonzalez. Berdugo scores a knockdown to start the third, Gonzalez complains about it but Ref. Arthur Mercante Jr gives him the mandatory 8 count. Gonzalez gets back to work, more serious now, sits down on his punches and lands a perfect left hook to the liver of Berdugo that ends this one. The official time is 1:29 of number three.

Jeff Gonzalez improves to 3-0 (1) while Yeison Berdugo is now a professional at 0-1.

Bout 4 pits two cruiserweights against each other, both men making their professional debuts. Slawomir Bohdziewicz, 198lbs of Stamford, CT goes up against Max Weslei Da Silva, 199lbs,  of Woburn, Ma. Bohdziewicz the aggressor in the opening round, he pursues Da Silva behind a hard, speedy jab. Da Silva having lots of difficulty with the range and quick shots of his taller, longer opponent. Da Silva bulls his way inside to start round two with mild success but Bohdziewicz feeds him several left hooks to the head and muscles him right back by round’s end. Da Silva looks gassed at the start of round three. Da Silva’s feet aren’t really under him. Bohdziewicz does exactly what a fighter needs to do with a guy like Da Silva who’s fleeing, swinging wildly and grappling, all in order to survive, and he goes to Da Silva’s belly with a hard left hook, follows it with an overhand right upstairs and crumples Da Silva in a neutral corner. Ref. Johnny Callas counts Da Silva out, the official time of the stoppage is 1:28. 

Both fighters are all smiles as they embrace after the official time of the stoppage is announced. 

Two cruiserweights came in here to make their debuts and debut they did; Max Da Silva is now 0-1 while Slawomir Bohdziewicz is 1-0 (1). 

Bout 5, female lightweight Stevie Jane Coleman, of Columbia, CT goes up against Sarah Click of Orlando, FL. Coleman starts fast, hammering at Click with both hands, and driving her back along the ropes. Click is driven back into her own corner behind a fusillade of blows from Coleman. Ref. Johnny Callas separates the fighters and asks the doctor to take a look at Click who may be complaining of a leg injury. But the only sprain suffered seemed to be to Click’s will to continue and the fight is stopped at 1:57 of the first. 

Stevie Jane Coleman improves to 5-1 (2) while Sarah Click falls to 1-4-1.

Bout 6, Mike Kimbel, 141lbs, of Waterbury, CT faces off against Dahvon Shelton, 140.5lbs, of Pawtucket, RI. A feint-filled first round with a slight edge going to Kimbel brings the boo-birds out in this good-sized crowd. Kimbel spent much of the round as a southpaw and seems to be looking to counterpunch while Shelton hesitates too much outside in round one. Kimbel is a hard puncher and he shows it in round two, landing a big straight right to the chin of Shelton that flattens him. Shelton rises but staggers away from Ref. Johnny Callas on unsteady legs, prompting Callas to wave off the bout. Kimbel picks up his second kayo in as many pro-starts as a boxer.

The official time is 1:04 of round 2. Mike Kimbel improves to 2-0 (2) while Dahvon Shelton falls to 1-2. 

Bout 7, Carlos Nunez, 120.5 lbs, of Port Chester, NY has trouble finding the range in round one versus the busier Dominique Griffin, 121lbs of Irving, TX. In round two, it’s the Texan landing harder and more often and Nunez is buzzed and retreating just before the bell. Lots of grappling between these two junior featherweights. Nunez landing double jabs and the left hook in the third and likely took that frame. Nunez the busier fighter in the fourth, connecting with cuffing overhand rights behind the jab. Griffin darts in and out with his shots but landing more sporadically. Griffin is better with the gamesmanship and he goads Nunez into careless bravado in that fifth. Griffin lands heavier bolts and Nunez gives away the last minute trying to act tough. Nice body shots from Griffin in round five. Twice Nunez reached down, slapped his own back foot and then smacked Griffin and was not warned about it either time by referee Arthur Mercante. It might look cool to some but it sure doesn’t score points and it’s not really a legal blow because it could end up getting debris into the eyes of your opponent. Hard to know if it will matter though. This observer saw Griffin winning and the officials agree, tabbing Griffin the victor by scores of 57-57, overruled by 2 scores of 58-56. 

With the majority decision victory, Dominique Griffin raises his record to 5-3-2 (2) while Carlos Venegas Nunez falls to 6-2 (5).  

Bout 8, Anthony Velazquez, 153.5lbs, of Springfield, MA stalks southpaw Rashid Stevens, 152lbs, of Gardena, CA in round one. Stevens staying just out of range, circling, walking away and tying up whenever they get close. Velazquez connects with several jabs in a mostly non-violent second round. Stevens turns on the offense in the third and is the aggressor for much of the round. Velazquez is busier but doing lots of missing the elusive and flexible Stevens who bends and dips and leans and lurches out of danger. Stevens lands the cleaner shots in round three. Stevens looks to be in control at the start of round six. Velazquez having lots of trouble landing cleanly while Stevens busily touching him and stepping back out of range. Velazquez scores two solid single shots in first half of the sixth which wake up his supporters in the crowd. These rounds might be difficult to score because neither fighter is landing a lot of clean blows. Stevens definitely appears the more confident and productive fighter at the start of seven. Not much lands for Velazquez in the 7th save for a right hand after the bell that pisses Stevens off. Velazquez has success when he goes to the waist of Stevens but he tries for it in the first half of the final round and Stevens makes him pay with a right-left to the head. Velazquez throws his hands up at the final bell but I’m not sure this one should break in his favor. The officials see it: 78-74 for Stevens, an absolutely ridiculous score of 80-72 for Velazquez and 76-76 even for a draw, which is a helluva lot better than a robbery. This wasn’t pretty by any means but the Glenn Feldman card of 78-74 for Rashid Stevens is also how this observer scored it.

Anthony Velazquez leaves the arena at 12-0-1 (11) and Rashid Stevens makes the long trip back to Cali at 6-1-2 (5). 

Bout 9, the co-featured attraction, Daniel Aduku, 154lbs, of Accra, Ghana meets Chordale Booker, of Stamford, CT. Booker takes a mostly feeling-out first round. Lots of circling with Booker landing slashing right hooks more than once. Both men stab at the mid-section, Booker’s shots land more solidly. They slug in the first minute of the second, when Aduku throws caution to the wind and comes inside on the southpaw behind a volley of shots. Nothing significant lands. Booker takes round two with several slashing right hooks. Much of Aduku’s early barrage were blocked. Booker jolts Aduku with an overhand left in the third that causes him to step back unsteadily. Booker starts landing heavier in round 4 and when he cracks him with a left hook as they are partly tied up Aduku goes down hard, face first through the ropes. It looked as though Aduku may have been hoping for a DQ win and Ref. Johnny Callas was signaling no knockdown. But Dr. Anthony Alessi was quickly into the ring and the bout is waved off. Aduku seems pretty upset as his handlers cut his gloves off which makes me suspect he was hoping to get a DQ off a perfectly legal left hook that landed while the fighters were partially clinched. The fight is called a TKO at 1:54 of  the 4th.

Chordale Booker raises his record to 19-1 (8) while Daniel Aduku, fighting for the first time outside of Ghana, heads home at 15-3-1 (10). 

Bout 10, Midget fires a big left hand bolt that gets Pierces attention. Ref Arthur Mercante angrily scolds Pierce for trying to clutch and muscle Williams when they engage. Mercante seems way too emotional in here. This is a southpaw versus southpaw squabble and they’re going to rough-out the terrain where this fight will take place. Pierce definitely shoving a bit. Williams lands with power in round two and Pierce scores a right of his own. Good second round for Williams who doubles the jab and follows it with left hand bolts to the head. Pierce clearly frustrated by his smaller speedier foe and he fires at Williams after the bell to end the second. Williams scores with another sneaky straight left to the chin of Pierce in round three. This has gotten rough, there’s head-butts as they come together and but Williams clearly getting the better of things. Double right hook, upstairs and down from Williams in round four. Pierce switching to orthodox and back to southpaw, looking to land heavily but unable to land more than a single shot at a time on Williams. This fight belongs to The Mighty Midget through 4. Pierce opening up in round five and he may have won that round. Williams electing to trade and he took a lot of leather in that fifth frame. The edge in power goes to Pierce but Williams landing more frequently and the more clever, style-shots. Double straight left power shots followed by a slashing right hook from Williams to start round six. The last minute of the seventh sees Pierce doing damage. Williams looks to be tiring. A chant of “Let’s go Midget, let’s go midget” starts up in round 7. Pierce chopping at Williams with his own hard left and he seems to be in control now. This is the 8th round coming up now and Pierce is surging. I’ve got Williams ahead 4 rounds to three but Williams taking a lot more punishment. Williams just completely unwilling to clinch and wow, he just landed three big lefts of his own. Williams cut badly over his right eye. This is a damn good fight!! Pierce is unbothered by Williams’ power. I gave that 9th round to Williams but it was close and Pierce’s shots are definitely more damaging. This fight is on the table for both guys at this point. Williams slams Pierce with speedy lefts to the face. Pierce cranks hooks into the ribs of Williams as he drives him along the ropes. Lots of punches landed by both fighters, the speed shots are all Williams with the edge is just plain raw blunt force trauma going to Pierce. This crowd is a nervous wreck awaiting the scorecards, it’s palpable. I had it 5 rounds a piece but could see it going 6-4 either way.

The officials see it 96-94, 97-93 x 2 all in favor of Elijah Pierce. Tough loss for Williams whose speedier shots just weren’t enough to make up for the heavier more damaging blows from Elijah Pierce.

Elijah Pierce improves to 17-2 (14) and picks up the WBC Silver Super Bantamweight strap while Tremaine The Mighty Midget falls to 20-1 (6).

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.

Tramaine “The Mighty Midget” Williams returns to Mohegan Sun

By Alex Pierpaoli

New Haven, CT’s Tramaine The Mighty Midget Williams returns to action this Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena. Williams battles Elijah Pierce for the WBC Silver Super Bantamweight Title in the ten round main event. Williams’ last fight was in August of 2022 and has not fought in CT since August of 2020 when he picked up his sole defeat, a 12 round UD, to Angelo Leo at the Uncasville venue. 

Still promoted by Roc Nation, Tramaine Williams, a 30 year old southpaw, will headline this week’s card promoted by Rhode Island based promoter Jimmy Burchfield’s CES Fights. 

“This kinda made sense for both parties,” Williams explained. “I’m a seat-filler… I’ve known Jimmy Burchfield since I was nine… Right now this is like a mutual partnership.” 

The Mighty Midget’s last time through the ropes was in Arizona back in August where he defeated Jetro Pabustan of the Philippines by ten round unanimous decision. Now 20-1 (6) The Mighty Midget looks to become more active.

“I was inactive for two years and when you’re inactive for a year they[sanctioning bodies] take you out. I’ve been taken out [of the WBC rankings]. This is a meaningful fight. That first fight [versus Pabustan] was just to get me back active on BoxRec.”

In May of last year, Williams was scheduled to face Isaac Sackey in Dubai, when the death of UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan resulted in the cancellation of the entire card which would have been broadcast on CBS Sports Network. Arriving in Dubai with just about two weeks to go before fight night, it wasn’t long before the whole event was scrubbed.

“I was actually in Dubai when the president died,” Williams described. “We landed on Tuesday and he died Thursday…When a Muslim dies there’s forty days of mourning. The whole city was closed… Everything was cancelled.”

On Saturday night, Williams faces hard punching Elijah Pierce of Oklahoma City, OK, 16-2 (14), currently ranked 37th in the WBC Super Bantamweight division. Up for grabs is the WBC Silver belt. 

“He [Pierce] actually won the Silver before and he didn’t fight within a hundred twenty days so they stripped him,” Williams said. 

After a grueling training camp at home in Connecticut, Williams looks to be in excellent condition. FistThingsFirst was present for one of his final sparring sessions where Williams boxed 6 rounds with Stamford, CT’s junior middleweight Chordale Booker, who faces Daniel Aduku of Ghana, in the 8 round co-featured attraction on the Mohegan Sun card this Saturday. Although larger, Booker is also a southpaw just like Williams and the man he’ll be facing, Elijah Pierce. Williams showed elusiveness and a speedy overhand left in sparring, which he’ll need on Saturday night.

“I feel good,” Williams said while skipping rope. “It’s been a long time since I feel this way. Each day that goes on I feel better, more confident. I wasn’t excited, I wasn’t happy with my last performance[versus J. Pabustan]. I feel good this time.”

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.

Regional Favorites: Booker & Paullino win, Gonzalez upset & Walsh struggles at CES Boxing’s Winter Brawl: Results from Mohegan Sun Arena

by Alex Pierpaoli

CES Boxing returned to Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT last night, with a 10 bout fight card featuring lots of regional talent. The fistic action continued late into the night and credit is due not only to the combatants but also to the matchmakers, Brian Dillon and Patrick Sullivan.

Bout 1: Light heavyweight Gabriel Costa, of Woburn, MA scored a revenge 4 round split decision victory over Chad Lioncello, of Brockton, MA in the first bout of the night. Costa applied steady, albeit, sloppy pressure and plenty of leather to the face of Lioncello throughout the four rounder. Lioncello was credited with a knockdown in round two that looked more of a grazing shot on the shoulder to this observer. Costa’s work rate over the next two rounds, especially in the third where he appeared to stun The Lion Lioncello more than once, scored him the decision on two of the 3 official scorecards.

Costa picks up his first win in 4 fights, now 1-3 while Chad Lioncello drops to 1-1-1.

Bout 2: Stevie Jane Coleman, 134lbs, of Columbia, CT thrilled the crowd with a majority decision win over Michaele Nogue of Egg Harbor, NJ. Coleman went right to work behind a jab-right hand to open the first round aggressively and Nogue answered back. Both women stood and traded quick, stinging shots to both body and head. The skill difference between bouts one and two was rather startling, as Coleman and Nogue feinted at each other, fired and landed combinations to body and head. Coleman’s bold, orthodox boxing was just enough to control Nogue’s bold, slugging style. A six round rematch between these two would be a delight for fans.

At the end of 4, the officials scored the bout 38-38, overruled by two scores of 39-37 in favor of Stevie Jane Coleman, now 4-1 (1). Michaele Nogue dropped to 2-3.

Bout 3: Mitch Charles, of Boston, MA, scored a surprise stoppage win over Josniel The Gorilla Castro, of Boca Raton, FL. From the start Castro tried muscling his way inside, as his nickname would suggest, but was foiled repeatedly by Charles’ long, speedy bolts to the head. Charles kept his foot on the gas throughout, busily crafting an upset win by landing repeated straight rights to the noggin of Castro. In the fourth with Castro becoming more and more desperate to land something to change the tide of the bout, Charles cracked him with a long right. Castro went down hard, catching his head on the bottom rope. Ref Johnny Callas counted him out as Castro seemed to be talked to the ref instead of trying to get up. The fight was stopped at 1:56 of round 4.

Mitch Charles goes to 7-3-2 (4) with the upset kayo win and Castro falls to 9-1 (7).

Bout 4: Kendrick Ball, 174lbs, of Worcester, MA, battled every second of six rounds to hold off the spirited Victor Hugo Exner, 174lbs of Argentina. Ball didn’t have the power to keep Exner off and in a place where he’s more comfortable. Exner kept Ball fighting defensively and in retreat all night. Ball was the more skilled fighter here and often landed the technique-heavy, sweeping shots but it was Exner’s consistent, pressuring and short chopping shots that forced the action and electrified this crowd.

At the end of six it looked to this observer that the Argentine had pulled off the upset but the officials saw it differently, at 58-56, overruled by two scores of 58-58 for a majority draw. Ball’s record goes to 19-1-4 (12) while Exner walks away at 9-12-2 (3).

Bout 5: Mike “The Savage” Kimbel, 141 1/2lbs, of Waterbury, CT made a successful pro debut in stopping Robert Banks, 141lbs, of Hempstead, NY. The speedier Kimbel opened up in the second half of round two, hammering Banks with power shots along the ropes and controlled the game Banks throughout. Early in the fourth, Kimbel nailed Banks with a short straight right to the chin the sent him reeling backs on legs of rubber. Kimbel opened up with both hands and Ref Johnny Callas waved off the bout at 1:54.

Kimbel is now 1-0 (1) and Banks drops to 0-2.

Bout 6: Kevin Walsh, 130lbs, of Brockton, MA, defeated Christian Otero, of New York, NY. Walsh put Otero down with a right hand in the first. Scores were 57-56 Otero, overruled by two scores, of 59-54 and 58-55, for Walsh. Walsh improves to 7-0 (4) and picks up the New England Jr Lightweight Championship, Otero fell to 4-3 (2).

Bout 7: Chordale Booker, 154lbs, of Stamford, CT held off the aggressive and durable Angel Hernandez, 154lbs, of McAllen, TX. Hernandez did exactly what he was here to do, rebuild Booker’s confidence and he did, forcing the CT fighter to engage in exchanges and keeping him on the move. Both fighters slugged away in Hernandez’ corner for the last minute of the bout, to the delight of the remaining fans.

The officials saw it in favor of Chordale Booker by scores of 79-73 and 80-72 x 2. Booker returns with a victory, now 18-1 (7) while Hernandez returns to Texas at 17-18-3 (11).

Bout 8: Lightweight Ryezimmon Ford, of Alliance, OH battled Alejandro Paulino, of New London, CT. Paullino put Ford down hard in the 3rd. Ford beat the ref’s count but was steady on his feet only after the bell. Ref Danny Schiavone must not have heard the bell as he signaled the bout to continue. Paullino charged in hoping to finish Ford off as the timekeeper hammered at the bell until Schiavone realized the round was over. Schiavone waved off the bout in round 5 after Paullino blasted Ford with a left uppercut followed by a hard right. The official time was 1:17.

Paullino improves to 12-0 (10) and Ryizeemmion Ford drops to 8-4 (6).

Bout 9: John Gotti III, of Oyster Bay, NY stopped Alex Citrowske, of Coon Rapids, MN at 2:59 of round number one. Ref. Johnny Callas waved off the bout after Citrowske was dropped for the third time. Gotti III improves his record to 2-0 (2) while Citrowske drops to 1-2-1 (1).

Bout 10: Irvin Gonzalez, of Worcester, MA, battled Dannis Arias of the Dominican Republic, in the Main Event of the night which may have looked more like the walkout because it didn’t start till 11:37pm . Arias fought like a man possessed in round two. Both fighters may have stunned each other that round but right before the bell Arias rocked Gonzalez and sent him back to the corner on stiff legs. Later it appeared that perhaps it was in this round that Gonzalez injured his knee. In the aggressive fury Arias brought to this fight, even Ref. Johnny Callas took a shot from Arias as he was stepping in to call a knockdown on Gonzalez in round 3 when it appeared only the ropes were holding him up. Arias finished things early and he did it in style with a single shot knockdown in round 4. Ref Callas waved the fight off without a count at 2:04 of the 4th. Afterwards it appeared Gonzalez had badly injured his right knee. Paramedics were called to the ring with a stretch but he insisted on limping out on his own, with the help of one of his supporters.

Dannis Arias picked up the WBC Silver Featherweight Title with the victory and improves to 20-12 (16). Gonzalez was stopped for the second time and is now 15-4.

Columbia, CT’s “Coyote” Coleman fights Saturday night

By Alex Pierpaoli

Stevie Jane Coleman, lightweight boxer, out of Columbia, CT looks to pick up her fourth victory in a five fight career this Saturday night at Mohegan Sun. Coleman scored her first stoppage win as a pro in her last fight at the Uncasville venue back in August when she toppled debuting Jesenia Rivas in just :39 seconds.

“I feel great,” Coleman smiles. “I feel like this has been my best camp so far.”

Coleman, 22, sparred twice a week for Saturday night’s bout, 6 rounds each session.

With just one week left to go she spars six hard rounds with veteran Jaime The Hurricane Clampitt at CT’s Manchester Ring of Champions Society. Coleman practices her jabs, attempting to keep the shorter, pressuring Clampitt from boring inside and banging her ribs. They circle, feinting, exchanging hard combinations. These days, Clampitt, now 46, serves as both an inspiration and an invaluable resource to young female boxers. Coleman’s trainer, Paul Cichon, watches from outside the ring and shouts instructions. This is the laboratory where boxers experiment with new and different things, and the results of experiments gone wrong is logged in pain and black and blue.

“Switch southpaw!” Cichon shouts. Coleman does and Clampitt retaliates immediately, closing the distance and blasting her with a hard right to the chest. Coleman switches right back to orthodox. Coleman has learned a lot in just five years of competitive boxing.

“I had my first amateur fight at seventeen years old. I turned pro at twenty.” Coleman had ten fights as an amateur and became New England Golden Gloves Champion in 2020. She lives at the family’s sheep farm, along with about fifty rabbits and fifty chickens.

In Connecticut, one thing that goes along with rural settings is the proximity and potential interaction with local wildlife. Coleman experienced her own version of When Animals Attack while out running just last year.

“She called me and said she got attacked by a dog,” Cichon recounts. “I said ‘well does it have a collar?’ She said ‘it took off, but it looked like a maingy german shepherd.'” Cichon laughs. “I said ‘you got attacked by a coyote!’ It’s funny now, but it wasn’t funny then.”

“It was like a week out[before a scheduled fight], maybe a little more,” Coleman recounts. She had been doing her roadwork when the coyote came up behind her and knocked her over. She balled up, reflexively, but was bitten on the hand and ear. Not knowing whether the coyote was rabid and considering it was atypical behavior for the species, Coleman went through the required battery of rabies shots and was forced to pull out of a fight scheduled for last April.

She runs a different route these days and part of this week’s fight will be with the scale as this bout takes place at 135lbs, the lightest of her career.

“I’m two pounds away,” Coleman says. With six days to go she’s not worried about making the weight and can focus on her opponent.

“I know she comes out fast…I’m looking forward to that.” She smiles. “I’m looking forward to a good fight.”

Coleman fights on the undercard of a scheduled ten bout fight card promoted by Rhode Island based Classic Entertainment and Sports. Tickets are still available through their website or at the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office.