The Sweet Science Finally Returns to the Whaling City
New Bedford, Massachusetts – It has been over two decades since a professional boxing event took place in the Whaling City. That drought will come to an end on Saturday, November 12, 2016 when Boston Boxing Promotions presents “All-Pro Boxing” at New Bedford High School featuring New Bedford resident Briam “Bam Bam” Granado (1-1-1, 1 KO), as well as local favorite “The American Nightmare” Vinnie Carita (14-1-1, 13 KOs) in a special ten-round heavyweight attraction.
The rich history of professional boxing in New Bedford dates back well over a century. The first modern pro boxing event on record in the city was held in the spring of 1883. From that time on, the area was a hotbed for prize fights with New Bedford’s various athletic clubs, skating rinks and arenas playing host to a regular schedule of boxing events from the late 1800s through World War I.
It was one New Bedford venue, however, that emerged in the 1920s as one of the nation’s most revered boxing institutions. The Bristol Arena rose to prominence as a hub for pugilism, mentioned by the sports’ pundits often in the same breath as Madison Square Garden, St. Nicholas Arena, Marigold Gardens, Cobo Hall and the Olympic Auditorium. 4,000 fight fans would pack the arena each and every week for the bouts featuring both local and national names.
Later in the century, Sargent Field (renamed “Walsh Field”), was the place to be on hot summer nights to enjoy pro boxing action. Like most places across America, however, the late 1970s and 1980s saw boxing’s overall popularity diminish in New Bedford. The space between local fight cards went from weekly to monthly, then to yearly and then finally non-existent. The last pro boxing event in the Whaling City would take place on May 19, 1995.
Despite not hosting a card in over two decades, New Bedford natives “Sucra” Ray Oliveira and Scott Pemberton emerged as top 10 contenders in their respective weight divisions in the early 2000’s.
Just prior to press time, another New Bedford pro boxer, Chris Boykins, had also signed to appear on the November 12 fight card.
“This is what Boston Boxing Promotions is all about,” said the company’s matchmaker Peter Czymbor. “It’s about revitalizing the local pro boxing scene around New England, especially in old fight towns like New Bedford. That process begins in the Whaling City on November 12. At one time, pro boxing events thrilled thousands in this city every week. It’s almost criminal that a city with such a rich history in this sport hasn’t hosted a pro boxing event in over 20 years. That’s all about to change.”
Tickets for the November 12 All-Pro Boxing event at New Bedford High School are on sale now at www.BostonBoxingPromotions.com/Tickets/.
Boston Boxing Promotions is dedicated to the resurgence of professional boxing at the regional level, particularly in the New England area. To learn more about the promotion, you can follow them on Twitter @BostonProBoxing, join the promotion’s official Facebook page “Boston Boxing Promotions,” and visit the promotion’s website www.BostonBoxingPromotions.com.