Nineteen months after it was originally scheduled, “Fight Night in Framingham” finally will be presented October 16 by Shearns Boxing Promotions for the benefit of “Fighting Life” at Sheraton Hotel in Framingham, Massachusetts.
Canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions, “Fight Night in Framingham” will mark the first professional boxing event ever held in Framingham, a city incorporated in 1700, located in the MetroWest subregion of Greater Boston, less than 40 miles from Boston.
“Fighting Life” is an after-school youth boxing program and academic empowerment program, available 100-percentfree of charge to students beginning in elementary school through high school education.
High Octane Classics is the presenting sponsor. Other sponsors include Platts Landscaping and Shamrock Sports.
“We had to cancel this show last year just a week before the event,” promoter Chuck Shearns explained. “A lot of people had put in a lot of work for the event, so it was disappointing for many, especially fighters. When events were allowed again in Massachusetts, we wanted to finish what we started in Framingham. Although still in uncertain times, we waited just a bit hoping that it would lessen the possibility of another cancellation. We are feeling confident that this will be the great event that we started last year.”
Shearns is excited about promoting the first boxing event in Framingham history, as well as working in association with Fighting Life.
“Shearns Boxing Promotions (SBP) is very excited, and we look forward to putting on Framingham’s first-ever boxing event for a great charity, Fighting Life,” Shearns added. “I think what speaks loudest is the amount of community and business support Fighting Life has received. I think it says a lot about what (Fighting Life founder/head coach) and the board are trying to accomplish with this organization. This kind of support will go a long way.”
Located in UpperKuts Boxing Club in nearby Ashland, MA, the Fighting Life Boxing Program was founded as a resource and program to provide children with a positive outlet in life. Visit www.fightlif.org to learn more about this organization.
The purpose of Fighting Life is to provide a safe space to promote structure, growth mindset, self-worth, and goal setting through physical and academic fulfillment and self-discipline.
“It is an outlet for kids,” Thomas said. “Kids who have been picked on. Bullied, or at risk find it’s a safe haven. We take kids from all walks of life. We don’t turn anybody away. If their parents can’t afford the membership fee to join the gym, we provide a voucher to apply to waive the fee. Not all of these kids come here to become boxers. We have fitness classes in addition to teaching boxing lessons.
“This show is important because the attention and money we receive will help us get more volunteers, equipment, and go places to box that we’ve never been. Any money we receive will go straight to the kids. Our dream is to promote our own shows someday and get our charity’s name out there for the benefit of our programs. Boxing is growing here in Framingham, and we believe that here will be more boxing in our city. I even check on the kids in school and if they need help, they’ll have a big brother right next to them. Everything is for the kids!”
Undefeated Florida-based junior middleweight Josniel “TG” Castro (5-0, 3 KOs) will headline “Fight Night in Framingham” in a 6-round bout versus 57-fight veteran Rynell Griffin, of Las Vegas. Castro has been active, something few boxers have been able to do during the pandemic, as this will be his fourth fight of 2021.
The co-featured event features a “graduate” of Fighting Life, Marlboro, MA super lightweight Nelson “Chino” Perez (3-0, 2 KOs), who will fight Ryan Venable (2-6) in a 6-round bout. Puerto Rico-native Perez is a past New England Golden Gloves champion.
Perez hasn’t forgotten where he comes from. He trains at UpperKuts and often teaches youngsters there how to train to become boxers. “I try to teach the kids to stay out of trouble,” Perez remarked. “I coach them a little to help them live and prosper. It’s great seeing these kids in the gym. I’m very excited to be part of this event to benefit Fighting Life.”
Hometown favorite Kevin Lewis will make his professional debut in a 4-rounder against a fellow Framingham resident, super middleweight Saul “The Spider” Almeida (0-14-4), one of the top MMA fighters in New England.
A pair of New Haven (CT) fighters will also be in action. Three-time New England Golden Gloves champion, super middleweight Elvis Figueroa (7-0, 4 KOs), and 4-time New England Golden Gloves champion, pro-debuting featherweight Felix Parilla, will fight in 6 and 4-round bouts, respectively, versus opponents to be determined.
Also fighting on the undercard in 4-round bouts is Boston heavyweight Wallace Nass Silva (0-2) and pro-debuting Sean Evans, fighting out of Shrewsbury, MA. Brazilian middleweight Leonardo Ladeira (0-6), of Revere (MA), will fight TBAs.
Priced at $75.00 ringside and $60.00 general admission, tickets are available to purchase online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fight-night-in-framingham-tickets-171408807357, at UpperKuts gym, or from any of the local fighters on the card.
Doors open at 6 p.m. PT, first bout at 7:00 p.m.