Two converted mixed-martial-arts fighters, Raphael Torres (2-0, 2 KOs), of Framingham (MA), and Fall River’s (MA) Jonathan Gruber (3-1, 2 KOs), will throw-down in a 6-round match for the vacant Massachusetts Cruiserweight Championship.
“The Next Chapter,” presented by Granite Chin Promotions, will be held Saturday night, August 6, at the Bridgewater Veterans Club in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
“Raphael is an impressive athlete who currently has a lot of people’s attention in the local boxing scene,” Granite Chin president Chris Traietti commented. “He is now training in arguably the best gym in the state and showed massive improvements in his first fight with Ken Ball as his trainer. This is really going to show us where he is at. Gruber comes to fight. He is a big guy coming down in weight and has had some good amateur experience. August 6th will answer a lot of questions.”
The 22-year-old Torres is coming off an opening round knockout of Igor Pessoa this past June at home in Framingham. He weighed in at 186 pounds, but he plans to come in close to the 200-pound maximum for his cruiserweight clash with Gruber.
“”It felt good,” Torres talked about his last fight. “I kind of surprised myself. My standards are a little higher. We had a game plan for people to see how much better I’ve become. I’m coming in close to 200 for this fight. I’ve gotten faster and stronger. More importantly, I’m comfortable fighting at this weight. I love to eat; my training has been dope. This title fight is huge for me. Taking it says a lot about my confidence. I’m taking a big step up. I’m an opportunist, so when this fight was offered, I jumped at it fast.
“I know my opponent is a former Muay Thai fighter and kick boxer. He fought one of my (MMA) teammates a few years ago. I’m excited. He’s bigger, but I’m going to show I’m the puncher.”
Gruber, 33, switched from MMA to boxing in 2019 when he fought in the Golden Gloves. Rather than work on different MMA disciplines, he decided to concentrate on one type of combat sport, boxing.
“I’m a construction worker and it was difficult training because one day it would be boxing, the next Jiu-Jitsu, and then kickboxing,” Gruber explained. ”Now, I box five days a week. I’m in a zone when I box and never think about anything else (like MMA). People call me an awkward fighter. I’m not the usual boxer. I was right-handed until I got into boxing. My father taught me boxing and he was left-handed. I had to learn everything again as a righty. I do switch back and forth. I use it to cut off the ring or going backwards. I also confuse my opponent. They may be looking for a big right, but then I switch to southpaw.
“I know my opponent is coming up in weight from a lighter weight class. I’ve heard he’s fast. This is my first fight below heavyweight. Two fights again I weighed 225 and last November I was 262. I’ve trained hard to lose this weight and keep my strength. And I’m still learning every day.”
In the 10-round main event, former New England Welterweight Champion Mike “Bad Man” Ohan, Jr., fighting out of nearby Holbrook (MA), meets Argentinian junior welterweight Jonathan “Yoni” Ariel Sosa (7-13-2, 4 KOs).
Anthony “The Gentle Savage” Andreozzi (3-2, 1 KO) and Julien “Black Dragon” Baptiste (4-2, 2 KOs) square off in the 8-round co-feature for the vacant Massachusetts cruiserweight title.
New Bedford (MA) light heavyweight prospect Edet “Papito” Mkpanam (7-0, 6 KOs), the 2018 New England Golden Gloves runner-up, fights veteran Texas fighter Larry “Slo Mo” Smith (13-50-2, 9 KOs) a 6-rounder.
Promising Brockton (MA) welterweight David “The Blessed One” Ribeiro (1-0, 1 KO) faces a new opponent, Rhode Island’s Alfred “Keenan” Raymond (1-3, 0 KOs) in a 4-round match. The 25-year-old Ribeiro was a decorated amateur who captured a gold medal at the 2020 New England Golden Gloves Championships.
Also scheduled to fight in a 4-round bout is Methuen (MA) junior middleweight Luke Iannuccilli (2-0, 2 KOs).
Card subject to change.
Tickets are available for purchase at GRANITE-CHIN-PROMOTIONS.TICKETLEAP.COM or www.ticketriver.com (Search: The Next Chapter) for $45.00 (standing room), $60.00 (floor seats), $80.00 (VIP stage seats) and $40.00 for a table of 4.
Doors open at 7 p.m. ET, first bout at 7:30 p.m. ET.