Reveling in the success of the U.S. Boxing Team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, CES Boxing returns to Twin River Casino next Friday to continue the victory party and showcase its own young talent.
“The Future Is Now,” scheduled for Friday, Sept. 16th, 2016, features six undefeated fighters, including one who competed in the Olympic Trials in Nevada in 2015, and the professional debuts of two promising up-and-comers who will square off against one another in a four-round welterweight showdown, their first time on the CES stage.
Tickets for “The Future Is Now” are priced at $42.00, $76.00 and $126.00 (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.
The aforementioned six unbeaten fighters have combined for 11 wins, all by knockout, a unique collection of talent reminiscent of the early to mid-2000s when CES built its foundation behind the strength of then unknown rising stars Peter Manfredo Jr., Chad Dawson, Joey Spina, Matt Godfrey and former Olympian Jason Estrada, all of whom competed together under headliners such as Gary Balletto and Scott Pemberton.
Today, it’s Jamaine Ortiz (2-0, 2 KOs), the decorated junior welterweight from Worcester, Mass., who competed at the Olympic Trials in December; fellow Worcester natives Kendrick Ball Jr. (2-0, 2 KOs) and Irvin Gonzalez (2-0, 2 KOs); junior welterweight Adrian Sosa (1-0, 1 KO) from Lawrence, Mass.; and New London, Conn., welterweight Cristobal Marrero (1-0, 1 KO) showcasing their talent under the same banner Sept. 16th.
“The names and faces you see on the 16th will be household names before you know it,” CES Boxing president Jimmy Burchfield Sr. said. “Years from now, when Ortiz, Ball Jr., Marrero and others are headlining major events in fight capitals across the world, we’ll remember these nights when they all starred on the same fight card, all working their way to the top of their respective weight divisions.
“When I see a card like this, I can’t help but to think back 10, 15 years when we promoted events at the Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet in Cranston, R.I., featuring some of our region’s greatest champions long before they developed into household names of their own.
“In those days, it wasn’t uncommon to see Joey Spina, Peter Manfredo Jr., Chad Dawson, Jason Pires and Jamie Clampitt on the same undercard, showcased underneath headliners such as Gary Balletto and Scott Pemberton. Fast forward to the mid 2000s and reminisce about those nights when up-and-comers Matt Godfrey, Josh Beeman and a young Olympian named Jason Estrada flashed their talents on the same stage.”
As an added bonus, the Sept. 16th card also features the return of Albanian middleweight Fatlum Zhuta (3-0-1, 3 KOs) of Anchorage, Ak., who headlines in his first career six-round bout against the dangerous Ray Burroughs (2-1, 2 KOs) of Houston, Tex.; plus the debuts of welterweights Marqus Bates of Taunton, Mass., and Miguel Ortiz of nearby Springfield, who face each other in a four-round bout.
Zhuta returns to for the first time since February when he stopped Greg McCoy in the third round of a scheduled four-round fight. The 22-year-old Burroughs fights next Friday for the fourth time in less than six months since making his debut in March.
Zhuta is one of nine fighters on the card under the age of 30; Marrero, Sosa, Gonzalez and Jamaine Ortiz are all 21 or younger, truly among the elite, young fighters in the northeast. Marrero will face Woburn, Mass., vet Bruno Dias (0-1) while Sosa battles Lamont White (0-3) of Washington, D.C. Gonzalez, Ball Jr. and Jamaine Ortiz will be featured in separate four-round bouts.
Ortiz is fresh off wins in May and July, the latter against Canadian Kimmy St-Pierre, who battled for three hard rounds, but did not answer the bell for the fourth, Ortiz’s second knockout in as many fights. Marrero debuted that same night, stopping Pennsylvania’s Roosevelt Archie with a body shot 65 seconds into the opening round.
Ball Jr. returns for the first time since July 22nd, when he fought to a majority draw against unbeaten Connecticut rival David Wilson on just one week’s notice following his July 15th knockout win over Dias at Twin River. Gonzalez, meanwhile, returns next Friday just 15 days after stopping Juan Muniz in the opening round of their scheduled four-round bout. Sosa is also coming off a first-round knockout on July 30th against Shavonte Dixon in the debut for both fighters.