The top young pros in the northeast step back into the Friday night as CES Boxing celebrates America and its fighting spirit with a star-studded lineup at Twin River Casino.
“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. The official weigh-in will be held Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at Twin River Casino’s Wicked Good Bar & Grill and will be open to the public.
Friday’s event is a celebration of the United States’ recent success in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, where American athletes took home 121 medals, the most in any Olympics not held in the United States.
Among the United States’ noteworthy achievements, boxers Nico Hernandez, Shakur Stevenson and Claressa Shields captured medals, the latter becoming the first American boxer, male or female, to earn medals in back-to-back Olympic games. The Sept. 16th event is also dedicated to the memories of those who died in the 2001 terrorist attacks that occurred 15 years ago this month.
“We’re extremely excited about what the future holds for us in professional boxing, not just here in the northeast, but throughout the world,” CES president Jimmy Burchfield Sr. said.
“This sport is full of life, and there are so many remarkable young men and women on the verge of stardom. You will see some of them on display Friday night in an event that will prove to be the gateway to success for many of the young future champions in the northeast.”
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.
Featherweight Irvin Gonzalez (2-0, 2 KOs) of Worcester, Mass., faces Mike Heffelfinger (0-1) of Harrisburg, Pa.; Worcester middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (2-0, 2 KOs) takes on Philadelphia’s Demetrius Thomas (0-1); and junior welterweight Adrian Sosa (1-0, 1 KO) from Lawrence, Mass., faces Lamont White (0-2) of Washington, D.C., all in four-round bouts.
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. Worcester junior welterweight Jamaine Ortiz (2-0, 2 KOs), who competed at the Olympic Trials in December, and New London, Conn., welterweight Cristobal Marrero (1-0, 1 KO), will also compete on the undercard in separate four-round bouts.
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.
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.