Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga Victorious in pro boxing debut

“NEW ENGLAND’S FUTURE 4” RESULTS

Gabriel Gonzaga (R) won his pro boxing debut

WORCESTER, Mass. – Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga has a successful pro boxing debut last night (Saturday, Oct. 28) in the co-featured event on the “New England’s Future 4″ card, presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), at DCU Center, Exhibition Hall, in Worcester.

The 6′ 2”, 280-pound Brazilian, now fighting out of Worcester (MA), fought another pro-debut boxer with limited MMA experience, Alejandro Esquilin Santiago, of Tampa (FL). Gonzaga stalked the southpaw Santiago, landing some hard shots in the opening round. The heavy-handed Gonzaga picked up the pace in the third and his upset-minded opponent responded in a positive fashion. Both fighters exchanged freely in the fourth and final round, neither was hurt during the contest, and Gonzaga was awarded a win by four-round majority decision.

“I thought I’d be more relaxed in the ring like I had been in the gym,” Gonzaga said. “I did my best and came away with a victory. I was too safe in the third round. My punches were much strong and a lot of his punches I blocked with my gloves. This was really great! tonight”

Gonzaga (L) defeated Santiago

“I felt good and gave it my all,” Santiago remarked. “He hit me with some shots and gave ’em back. Not only does he have a big nose (“Napao”), he has a strong, big head, too.”

In the main event, popular Hartford (CT) light heavyweight Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera remained undefeated, improving his record to 4-0 (3 KOs), with a first-round knockout of an over-matched Hansen Castillo (0-3)

Rivera, not relations to the promoter, first dropped Castillo with a beautifully placed left uppercut and finished the show moments later with a left hook that sent Castillo flying to canvas. Referee Kevin Hope didn’t bother to count.

“My coaches were telling me to be calm because it was a six-round bout,” Rivera explained. “I saw that he had his left down and caught him with an uppercut. I’m strong to the finish because I eat my spinach.”

New Haven junior middleweight Edwin Sosa (11-2-2, 4 KOs) overcame at 15-pound disadvantage, at the very least, en route to a dominant six-round unanimous decision over Anthony “The Animal” Everett (1-7), of Rowley (MA).

Danbury (CT) junior welterweight Omar Bordoy, Jr. (3-0, 1 KO) stopped New York veteran Bryan “The Brick” Abraham (6-31, 6 KOs) in the fourth and final round. Abraham was decked twice and after counting to 10 after Abraham’s second time on the canvas, referee Paul Casey waved off the action.

Three-time national amateur champion Elvis “Chi Chi” Figueroa (3-0, 1 KO), fighting out of New Haven, pitched a complete shutout over a game, pro-debuting Rene Nazare (0-1), of Brazil, for a convincing win by way of a four-round unanimous decision.

Southbridge (MA) welterweight Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan (3-0, 1 KO) pinned Patrick Leal (0-4), of Woburn, on the ropes early, dropping him three times until referee Casey halted the fight midway through the opening round.

“Collegiate Fight Night” Homecoming for two West Point Cadet Boxers Luca LoConte Botis & Jack Ward Saturday, Nov. 11 in Winchester, MA

WINCHESTER, Mass. – “Collegiate Fight Night”, presented by the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) in association with USA Boxing, on Saturday night (7 p.m. ET start), November 11, will be a homecoming for a pair of West Point Cadets boxers with close ties to the town of Winchester (MA), Luca LoConte Botis and Jack Ward.

Ten amateur bouts are on tap at Maurer Auditorium in Winchester Town Hall (on Mt. Vernon St.) as the Cadets of the United States Military Academy at West Point are matched against a New England all-star caliber team comprised of boxers from the Coast Guard Academy (New London, CT), University of Massachusetts, University of Connecticut, Trinity College and Harvard University.

West Point requires all its Cadets, male and female, to take 19 lessons of boxing and that, combined with the program’s tremendous success in competition over the years, results in its relatively high number of boxers (40) on a college boxing team. West Point voluntary head boxing coach Ray Barone is a military retiree who taught at West Point.

“Luca and Jack work hard in the gym and are leaders amongst their peers,” Coach Barone said. “They are top-of-the-line guys and we’re fortunate to have both on our team. West Point is a high-end academic school, like an Ivy League school, and we aren’t allowed to recruit boxers.

“We have another great group of boxers this year. It’s always, ‘Yes, sir; no, sir’ and they’re all very articulate. Luca and Jack, like other boxers on our team, are very respectful. Luca is a very good boxer who could very well be in the Fight of the Night. Jack came here as a football player and he’ll be in his first boxing match on November 11th.

LoConte Botis and Ward, who has close to a 4.0 GPA, are sophomores who aspire to be Infantry officers upon graduation from West Point.

Luca attended West Point Prep School for one year before entering West Point Military Academy. A 2015 graduate of Winchester High School, he started boxing at a young age, capturing top honors in the New England Junior Olympics, and he developed his skills at Peter Welch’s Gym in South Boston, as well as with the Rivera brothers at the Somerville Boxing Club.

Because he always intended to box at West Point, Luca contacted boxing officials there when he was still in high school, and he knew the coaches and boxers before he officially got there. With 18 (11-7) amateur matches under his belt, Luca has invaluable experience in a sport he passionately views as a lifestyle, much more than a sport

“I am from Winchester and look at this show as a homecoming,” Luca remarked. “I fought there once as a freshman and now I want to show everybody at home that I’ve grown. I’m no longer a boy, I’m growing into a man, and boxing has a lot to do with that. Styles make fights and I know who I’m fighting. I plan to relax in the ring and give everybody a real show. I’m going to have a lot of fun, too, and leave with a smile on my face.

“I become a better version of myself, every day, by getting in the ring. Boxing takes its toll on the body and mind but, if I have a tough day academically or during military training, I get that anger out in the gym. Boxing is a release for me. It reminds me why I’m here. What I overcome in the ring, I can do in any other way. I plan to compete in the Golden Gloves this year and as an officer, I will lead men and women soldiers.”

Ward grew-up in Hampton, NH, but he has roots in Winchester, which he considers his second home. Jack attended Salisbury School, in Connecticut, and he was recruited as a football player. He decided not to play football at West Point and, despite having no prior experience as a boxer, he joined the West Point Boxing Team after meeting Coach Barone and some members of the squad.

“I love competing, discipline and conditioning and I’ve never been in as good shape as I am now as a boxer,” Jack explained. “Boxing adds to my overall development, mentally and physically, and the it will help me become a more effective leader: Calm under pressure, in and out of the ring.

“Because my entire mother’s side is from Winchester, my extended family lives in Winchester, which is like home for me. I’m very happy to be boxing for the first time there and I plan on having a great outing.”

Former professional world champions “Irish” Micky Ward (Lowell) – no relations to Jack Ward — and Jose Antonio “El Gallo” Rivera (Worcester) will be special guests at “Collegiate Fight Night”.

Victory Sports & Entertainment signs former world champion Jose Pedraza to managerial contract

New York, N.Y. – Victory Sports & Entertainment is pleased to announce the signing of former IBF World Junior Lightweight Champion Jose Pedraza to a multi-year managerial contract.

Pedraza of Cidra, Puerto Rico has a record of 22-1 with 12 knockouts. Pedraza says, “I am very happy to sign with Victory Sports and look forward to the next chapter of my career. They represent a number of up and coming fighters and also work with elite fighters like Badou Jack so I feel that Victory is the right team to lead me back to a world championship.”

At 28 years-old, Pedraza is a six-year professional and one of the most highly decorated amateurs to come out of Puerto Rico. An Olympian in 2008, Pedraza also won medals in numerous international competitions including silver in the 2009 World Amateur Championships in Milan and gold at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games. After turning pro in 2011, Pedraza won his first 19 fights before capturing the IBF Junior Lightweight Championship in only his 20th fight, capturing the belt with a 12-round unanimous decision over Andrey Klimov. After defending his belt twice, Pedraza lost his belt earlier this year in an upset to Gervonta Davis, and is now looking to rebound. “My lack of activity and struggling to make weight at 130lbs definitely affected my performance in my last fight,” says Pedraza, “but I am working hard and looking forward to coming back soon. I think the Lightweight division is where I will make my mark and am excited to get back in the ring.”

President of Victory Sports Rick Torres feels that Pedraza is ready to make a statement at Lightweight, “Jose Pedraza is bar none the best fighter in Puerto Rico and we are extremely proud to welcome him to the Victory Sports family. We feel that Jose can be a force at Lightweight. There are a number of attractive fights in the division, from Jorge Linares to Mickey Garcia, all of which would make great fights for boxing fans.”

“Jose is a tremendous fighter who, at twenty-eight, is still in his physical prime,” explained Victory Sports COO Mike Leanardi. “We are looking to get him back in the ring as soon as possible. Then, after a tune-up fight or two, there is no reason Jose won’t be ready to take on the best in the world,” Leanardi continued.

Pedraza joins Victory’s growing stable of fighters including undefeated world ranked contenders Sonny Fredrickson and Tyler McCreary.

Founded by noted sports attorney Rick Torres and boxing trainer Mike Leanardi, Victory Sports & Entertainment is an athlete management company with offices in New York and Las Vegas.

Mark Reyes Jr on the Slip Punches Show with Latinbox

@officialmarkreyesjr Welterweight Mark Reyes, Jr. Live on #SlipPunchesShow with Damon Gonzalez Latinbox Sports.

Welterweight Mark Reyes, Jr. (4-0, 3 KO’s) from Tampa, Florida. skillful fighter improving in his offensive arsenal good hand speed and and throws mean combinations, Reyes returns to the ring Nov 10th

Fight Night Promotions presents #FridayNightFights live from the Bryan Glazer Family JCC 522 N. Howard Ave, Tampa, Florida. 33606

on Friday November 10, 2017 doors open at 7:00 p.m.

Mark Reyes, Jr. Guest on Latinbox Slip Punches Show

@officialmarkreyesjr Welterweight Mark Reyes, Jr. Live on #SlipPunchesShow with Damon Gonzalez Latinbox Sports.

Welterweight Mark Reyes, Jr. (4-0, 3 KO’s) from Tampa, Florida. skillful fighter improving in his offensive arsenal good hand speed and and throws mean combinations, Reyes returns to the ring Nov 10th

Fight Night Promotions presents #FridayNightFights live from the Bryan Glazer Family JCC 522 N. Howard Ave, Tampa, Florida. 33606

on Friday November 10, 2017 doors open at 7:00 p.m.

Saunders-Lemieux set for Dec 16

WBO World Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs)

and former IBF World Middleweight Champion David Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs) press conference kicked off today as they get set to go to war on December 16th.

#SaundersLemieux, a 12-round fight for the Saunders’ WBO World

Middleweight Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Eye of the Tiger Management in association with Frank Warren. The event is sponsored by Tecate,”THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING.” The event will take place Dec. 16, in Montreal, Canada and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 9:40 p.m. ET/PT.

@goldenboyboxing @oscardelahoya @makeawar @marylynaceves @monicasears @class56ramiro

@gaberivas03 @janeymurcia @janinegarcia @primorosa1040

@willyvideo @Micheladatime @hboboxing @worldboxingorg

Tiara Brown Returns Nov 18

@tbaby125lbs

Featherweight Tiara “T Baby” Brown (3-0, 2 KO’s) returns to the ring on Saturday November 18th at the Mary Virginia Merrick Recreation Center 4275 4th St. S.E. Washington, D.C. The main event of the evening welterweight Jonathan “Bad Badger” Baxter (8-1, 7 KO’s) vs. Joseph Figueroa from Bronx, N.Y. and co main event cruiserweight

Quinton Taylor (1-0, 1 KO). Presented by Tony’s Athletic Club associated with Putney Promotions.

Photo credits: @tbaby125lbs