The fireworks begin Friday night as CES Boxing kicks off the summer with a long-awaited rematch between two fierce rivals at Twin River Casino.
With undefeated light heavyweight Angel Camacho Jr. unable to fight due to a shoulder injury, Thomas Falowo and Chris Chatman headline Friday, July 15th, 2016 in an eight-round rematch with Falowo’s New England Middleweight Title on the line, nearly three years to the date of their epic showdown at Twin River.
In July of 2013, the outspoken Jersey City, N.J., vet Chatman (13-5-1, 5 KOs) edged the hometown favorite Falowo (14-3, 8 KOs), 77-75, on all three scorecards, a tremendous, see-saw battle in which the two fighters exchanged knockdowns in the fourth round.
With regional fight fans clamoring for a rematch, CES Boxing delivered; nearly one year since beating Vladine Biosse at Twin River, Chatman returns to Rhode Island for the seventh time, fulfilling a promise he made to Falowo shortly after their 2013 showdown.
“I’m a very competitive guy,” Chatman said. “I don’t even like people walking past me on the sidewalk. I speed up. I’m very competitive. I’m going to come in here the same way I did last time. I beat Thomas before, and I’m going to beat him again.”
Added Falowo: “The only advantage I have is that I feel like I’ve progressed and I’m a much better fighter than I was the last time I fought him. Before, I was kid, but I’m a much different man now, so it’s going to be a whole different story.”
Falowo-Chatman is one of seven fights scheduled for Friday, a loaded lineup featuring two title bouts in addition to the return of three-time female world champion Kali Reis (9-5-1) of Providence, R.I., and a special Ring of Honor Ceremony dedicated to this year’s inductee, Rich Gingras, a former New England title-holder and longtime Twin River fan favorite who now leads the fight against Parkinson’s Disease through his Rock Steady Boxing program in Lincoln.
Tickets for the event are priced at $42.00, $67.00, $102.00 and $152.00 (VIP) and can be purchased online at www.cesboxing.com, www.twinriver.com or www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 401-724-2253/2254 or at the Twin River Casino Players Club. All fights and fighters are subject to change. Proceeds from each ticket sold benefit The Parkinson’s Place.
Also defending his title Friday is Cranston, R.I., native Nick DeLomba (9-1, 2 KOs), who puts the New England Super Lightweight Championship on the line in a six-round bout against Bridgeport, Conn., vet Oscar Bonilla (3-1-2), who threw his hat into the ring May 13th when DeLomba won the title against rival Freddy Sanchez.
“Once that bell rings, may the best man win. That’s it,” Bonilla said. “I’ve spoken to Nick before. He really seems like he’s a hell of a guy, but once the bell rings we don’t know each other. When the bell rings again, we can celebrate together.”
“[Bonilla] is a typical, come-forward, hard-working fighter. We’re not taking him lightly because we know he’s training for the title, so he’s going to train his hardest and come for us,” DeLomba said. “We’re just going to get in the best shape we can and we’re going to go out there and perform, have another fabulous night and come out on top.”
Three months after capturing the World Boxing Council (WBC) Female Middleweight World Title in New Zealand, Reis returns to Rhode Island for the second time this year in a six-round special attraction against Atlantic City’s Althea Saunders (3-2-2).
Reis dazzled in her last Twin River appearance, knocking out former world champ Victoria Cisneros in 91 seconds in February before her historic journey to New Zealand two months later, which ended with Reis capturing her third world title in the past year and a half.
Also on Friday’s undercard in a four-round junior middleweight bout, Ray Oliveira Jr. (4-0, 1 KO) of New Bedford, Mass., faces Worcester, Mass., slugger Andy Gonzalez (3-0, 3 KOs), a special attraction between two unbeaten fighters that could steal the show. Oliveira Jr. is the son of former world-title challenger “Sucra” Ray Oliveira, also of New Bedford. Gonzalez climbs back into the ring less than a month after knocking out Joshua Cook in Pennsylvania.
“I’m looking forward to the fight,” Oliveira Jr. said. “I’ve been out of the ring for a little while getting some things right and spending some time in the gym getting some good road work and getting my head back in the game. I’m ready to do this. I’m getting real impatient, actually.
“I’ve been waiting for this my whole life. Every fight that comes, I’m impatient for it. You’re going to get what you normally get when I get in the ring. Relentlessness. True heart, real heart. I’ve heard about my opponent. He’s a very decent fighter and I’m looking forward to getting a decent fight.”
Gonzalez is one of three Worcester fighters on Friday’s card. Middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (1-0, 1 KO) faces Bruno Dias of Woburn, Mass., who will be making his professional debut, and lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (1-0, 1 KO) battles Kimmy St-Pierre (1-1, 1 KO) of St-Georges, Quebec. Both are four-round bouts.
“I’m working seven days a week, so I’m ready to get in there, get it over with and remain undefeated,” Ball said. “I’m happy to be on the card with the rest of these guys.”
Added trainer Kendrick Ball Sr.: “Jamaine Ortiz, this kid can fight. We’ve got Andy Gonzalez out of our gym. I like Ray [Oliveira] a lot, but he’s fighting someone out of our gym. I’m sorry, man, we’re bringing the fucking heat that night. Anyone coming out of our gym that goes pro, we’re bringing heat.”
New London, Conn., welterweight Cristobal Marrero also makes his professional debut Friday in a four-round bout against Pittsburgh’s David Perez (0-5-1).