In a homecoming like no other, rising middleweight prospect Chordale Booker finally gets the long-awaited opportunity to fight in front of his hometown fans in the Nutmeg State.
Having established a successful run as one of boxing’s preeminent road warriors, the Stamford-born Booker (16-0, 7 KOs) makes his Connecticut debut Friday night in the co-main event of CES Boxing live on UFC FIGHT PASS® from the Connecticut Convention Center. Booker faces tough veteran Silveiro Ortiz (37-27, 18 KOs) of Yucatan, Mexico in an eight-round bout.
The preliminary card begins at 6:30 pm ET with the live FIGHT PASS stream kicking off at 7, featuring play-by play from Michael Parente alongside color commentators “Sucra” Ray Oliveira and Fun 107 radio host and veteran ringside correspondent Madelyn Grimaldi. Tickets are available at CESFights.com.
For Booker, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime to feel the warmth of a hometown arena and the cheers of a supportive fan base for the first time as a professional, a well-deserved experience for the 30-year-old southpaw after spending his entire career fighting in New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and even Biloxi, Mississippi.
A late bloomer by boxing standards, Booker escaped a trouble past as a teenager and took up boxing at age of 18 as a form of “physical therapy,” allowing him to escape the demons that nearly sent him behind bars and refocus his energy on something more productive. He began training under the guidance of Connecticut native and former pro Ahmad Mickens, who remains in his corner to this day.
What started out as a hobby to keep him off the streets quickly became Booker’s passion. Booker relocated to Brooklyn to build his boxing career – and stay closer to his mother’s side of the family – and eventually launched a successful amateur career, one in which he finished 111-19 and earned a trip to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in addition to the following achievements:
2015 Elite National Champion
2015 Golden Gloves Champion
2015 Sugar Ray Robinson Most Outstanding Boxer
2015 Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame Amateur Boxer of The Year
2015 Fairfield County Sports Person of The Year
2014 USA Elite Men’s Silver Medalist
2013 USA Elite Men’s Bronze Medalist
2013 Northeast Regional Champion
Truthfully, there are too many accoladed to name. When Booker turned pro in 2016, the success continued; he raced out to an 8-0 start within two years and kept plugging away both in and out of the ring. He was the subject of a documentary that appeared at the New York Short Film Festival; he launched his own charity, the “Go The Distance Foundation” to help break down the barriers between at-risk youth and the police; and even began modeling in 2018 at the New York Fashion Week runway show for designer ACID NYC.
All the work outside the ring only made him stronger; he soon caught the attention of major networks, debuting on Showtime in 2017 with a win over unbeaten Malcolm McAllister.Since then, he’s become a stable on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) telecasts, defeated Ve Shawn Owens (9-1), Juan De Angel (21-9-1), Wale Omotoso (27-3), and most recently Sanny Duversonne (11-1-2) to keep his perfect record intact. An Achilles injury, and subsequent surgery, set him back in 2019, but the time off due to the COVID-19 pandemic also gave him the chance to recover without missing any major opportunities.
With 16 wins under his belt, the only thing missing has been a fight back in his home state on a worldwide platform, which is where CES Boxing and FIGHT PASS come into play. Booker will get the chance to showcase his talents in front of a new audience on Friday and continue to prove there’s always a second chance at life for those with the drive and commitment to succeed. The Homecoming King finally makes his long-awaited return.