One week from Saturday, Anthony Marsella Jr. takes the next step in his highly-publicized fight career, a step many before him have taken in order to climb to the top of their respective weight class.
Coming off back-to-back first-round knockouts in 2016, the Providence, R.I., junior welterweight returns to Twin River Casino on Saturday, Feb. 4th, 2017 to face 16-fight veteran Francisco Medel in just his fourth fight as a professional.
The four-round bout between Medel and Marsella Jr. is one of 10 scheduled for next weekend’s CES Boxing 2017 season opener and will be fought at a catch weight of 138 pounds. The 28-year-old Medel, a native of Uruapan, the second largest city in the Mexican state of Michoacán, boasts a 10-6 record with six knockouts, at one point in his career winning nine consecutive fights between 2007 and 2013.
“He may have more fights than me,” Marsella Jr. said, “but I have more fight in me. February 4th, I’m going to do what I do best.”
Next Saturday is Marsella Jr.’s third fight since October and third in his home state. The first two ended quickly; a 45-second knockout against Bardraiel Smith in October, followed by a knockout at the final bell of the opening round against Virginia’s Devante Seay in December.
Now he tests his mettle against the experienced Medel, who has faced opponents with a combined record of 100-30 in his last seven fights, including a nationally-televised showdown on Fox Sports 1 against unbeaten prospect Emmanuel Medina in September and a bout against Massachusetts fan-favorite Ryan Kielczewski in December.
Tickets are priced at $47.00, $102.00, $127.00 (VIP) 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.
Reigning Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) Northeast and International Junior Middleweight Champion Khiary Gray (14-1, 11 KOs) of Worcester, Mass., defends both titles against Brooklyn’s Courtney Pennington (9-4-1, 5 KOs) in the eight-round headliner.
The Feb. 4th card features an additional title bout as New Haven, Conn., vet Josh Crespo (7-4-3, 3 KOs) faces unbeaten Timmy Ramos (4-0-1, 4 KOs) of Framingham, Mass., in a six-round bout for the vacant New England Super Featherweight Championship.
In a battle of unbeatens, Hartford, Conn., prospect Jose Rivera (2-0, 2 KOs) faces his toughest test to date in a six-round junior middleweight showdown against New Bedford, Mass., vet Ray Oliveira Jr. (6-0, 1 KO) and fellow undefeated prospects and decorated amateurs Jamaine Ortiz (2-0, 2 KOs) of Worcester, Mass., and Canton Miller (2-0, 1 KO) of Saint Louis, Mo., square off in a four-round lightweight battle.
Framingham’s Julio Perez (4-1) ends his nine-month layoff in a four-round intrastate showdown against Salem vet Matt Doherty (5-3-1, 3 KOs), who returns to Twin River for the first time since July of 2015. Following a busy 2016 in which he fought six times in seven months, Worcester’s Kendrick Ball Jr. (4-0-2, 3 KOs) faces Minneapolis’ Kenneth Glenn (3-2, 1 KO) in a four-round middleweight bout, and Framingham middleweight Christopher Davis-Fogg (2-0, 1 KO) makes his Twin River debut in a four-round bout against Anthony Everett (1-4) of Lawrence, Mass.
Taunton, Mass., welterweight Marqus Bates (0-1) aims to bounce back from a loss in his professional debut in a four-round battle against Providence, R.I., native Aaron Muniz, who makes his debut. Junior welterweight Khiry Todd (1-0, 1 KO) of Lynn, Mass., battles Woburn, Mass., native Bruno Dias (0-2) in a four-round bout.
The Feb. 4th card will also feature two special CES Ring of Honor ceremonies inducting famed boxing trainer Kevin Rooney, who worked with world champions Mike Tyson and Vinny Paz in his storied career, and the late Manny Lopes of Marshfield, Mass., a former light heavyweight prospect who fought his entire career with CES Boxing until retiring undefeated in 2010.