USA Boxing is hosting a special reunion, featuring two key members of the 2001 Fight of the Year, to be part of the final stop on the 2018 USA vs. Ireland Northeast Boxing Tour, March 21 at the Manchester Downtown Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Presented by Corona Premium, the Manchester event will start at 7 p.m. EST, and it also serves as a fundraiser for another partner of the show, the Manchester PAL Boxing Club.
Tickets are reasonably priced at $20.00 for general admission, $30 for reserved ringside seats, and available to purchase on Seacoast Ticket Agency's website, www.seacoastticket.com, the official ticket distributor for the event.
The 2001 Fight of the Year was held July 13, 2001, at Hampton Beach Casino in Hampton, NH., and it is still considered one of the greatest matches ever broadcast on ESPN. "Irish" Micky Ward won an incredibly entertaining, back-and-forth junior welterweight match-up with "boxing cult" hero Emanuel Augustus, by way of a 10-round unanimous decision that was much closer than the judges' scoring indicated (98-90, 96-91, 96-94).
The high-profile win positioned Ward for what turned out to be his epic Gatti trilogy, while Augustus went on to become one of the most dangerous, upset-minded opponents in boxing. Ward and the third man in the ring that night, Hall of Fame referee Steve Smoger, will host as USA Alumni Association event Tuesday, Mar. 20 at The Shaskeen Pub & Restaurant (909 Elm St. in Manchester), starting at 6 p.m. ET, and attend the following night's (Mar. 21) USA vs. Ireland Northeast Boxing Tour finale in Manchester.
"I'm honored to be invited by USA Boxing to represent all professional officials who spent so much valuable time in the amateurs on their way to their positions in the pros," Smoger said. "I'm looking forward to being part of everything planned.
"Anytime I spend time with Micky is enjoyable, in and out of the ring, and we've truly formed a bond. I worked six or seven of his fights, including his first in Atlantic City, around the time we were both breaking in. We spend time together every year at the International Boxing Hall of Fame inductions. He's such a pleasure to be around. He treats people very well. His history in the ring and personality make him a big fan favorite. He's the same guy he's always been but he still has the heart of a warrior."
Bernard Dunne celebrating world title anniversary
Irish Team Performance Director Bernard Dunne will celebrate the ninth anniversary of his WBA super bantamweight title-winning performance, Mar. 21, 2009, the same date as the USA-Ireland Northeaster Boxing Tour stop in Manchester.
Dunne (28-2, 15 KOs), fighting out of Dublin, fought professionally between 2001-2009. He was 119-11 as an amateur, including 13 Irish titles.
In 2009, he stopped Ricardo Cordoba in the 11th round at O2 Arena in Dublin, to become world champion.
USA stars out in Manchester
USA Boxing will be looking to conclude the tour on a high note with expected boxers on the show such as 2017 four-time international gold medalist Ginny Fuchs (Kemah, TX), 2017 Elite Women's Continental Championships bronze medalist Oshae Jones (Toledo, OH), 2017 World Championships silver medalist Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, OH), 2017 World Championships bronze medalist Freudis Rojas (Las Vegas, NV), 2016 USA Nationals heavyweight champion Jared Anderson (Toledo, OH), and 2016 Youth World Championship bronze medalist Richard Torrez (Tulare, CA). All boxers and bouts are subject to change.