Worc, Mass is Back on the Map with some TKO's and Towel Tossin' in Last Nite's Pro Boxin
[Worcester, Massachusetts] The first show for Rivera Promotions Entertainment was a success. They had a packed, sold out crowd of about 2100. When I arrived there was a line around the building. When was the last time you seen that in boxing? There was a total of 10 bouts. I was sad and disappointed that I didn't get to see Pancho from Springfield, Massachusetts make his pro debut. There were no KO’s, a bunch of TKO’s and the white towel tossed in the ring more than once.
In the main event, Worcester’s own promising featherweight and 2015 New England Golden Gloves champion Irvin Gonzalez was scheduled to fight 6 rounds but he only needed 2 rounds when he faced Mexican, Israel “Tigre” Rojas. Round 1 Gonzalez was the aggressive of the two fighters and Rojas gets the count by ref Steven Clark. Round 2 Rojas goes down by a right hand and the referee stops the bout at 1:28 of round 2 and Gonzalez gets the TKO victory and advances to 5-0, 5 Kos.
Co-Main - Light heavyweights- 4 rounds – Springfield’s Ray "Bazooka" Graceski faced mma fighter from Worcester Ralph Johnson. Johnson has about a 5-inch height difference on Ray. Bazooka landed body shot after body shot. After the 1st count from a body shot, the corner of Johnson tossed in the towel, but … it wasn’t seen by the referee and the fight continued even after Ray jumped on the corner rope and his corner started to come into the ring and was told to leave the ring. The fight continued and ray landed a barrage of punches on Johnson, Johnson went down and referee Kevin Hope stopped the bout at 1:32 of round 1. Winner Graceski by TKO and he advances to 5-0, 3 Kos and Johnson decreased to 2-10.
Catchweight – 4 rounds - Richard "Popeye The Sailor Man" Rivera of Hartford, Connecticut met up with Davonte Hopkins of Philly. Rivera who wasn’t from Worcester, lite up the arena. There were more fans cheering for him than any of the Worcester fighters. Round 1 Popeye working the jab body/head and leaping forward. Round 2 Rivera trying for the knock out and he got it with a body shot. Hopkins goes down and referee Steven Clark starts the count. Hopkins corner tosses in the towel at 2:48 and that’s all she well me wrote. Rivera increases to 1-0, 1 ko.
Junior Featherweights – 4 rounds - Ranse Andino making his pro debut from Worcester against Jonathan Perez of Lowell who prior to this fight was 2-0-1, w/2Kos. Opening round was a busy one. Both back n forth action. Round 3 Perez has a bloody mess on this forehead due from a headbutt. This was a tough fight for Andino first fight but after 4 rounds Andino got the UD. Judges scored the bout 39-37; 39-37 and 40-36 all in favor for Andino 1-0 and Perez 2-1-1
Heavyweights – 6 rounds - Jean Pierre Augustin of Lawrence vs. Jose Humberto "Olympico" Corral of Mexico. In my eyes, Augustin was the best dressed boxer of the nite and this really wasn’t a busy fight. Mostly slow rounds. I even heard some boo’s. What can I say, Augustin jabbed and went to the body and fought a typical Augustin fight. After 6 rounds Augustin won by UD. All 3 judges scored it the same 60-54. Augustin advanced to 8-0-1, 3 kos.
Featherweights – 4 rounds - Luis "Pancho" Santiago of Springfield was scheduled to make his pro debut against Jonathan Ramos of Mexico. Unfortunately, due to medical reasons Ramos was not allowed to fight.
Junior Welterweights – 4 rounds - Anthony Laureano of East Haven, Connecticut meet up with Rafael Francis of Dorchester. During round 2 Laureano lands a great body shot to the liver and down he goes to one knee. Referee Kevin Hope stops the fight at 24 seconds. Laureano increases to 2-0, 1 ko.
Heavyweights – 4 rounds – Pro debut of Felix Martinez of Worcester went up against Bobby Favors of Cincinnati, Ohio. Martinez weighed in at 223.6 and Favors 393.2. Very slow round 1 until the 10 second bell when Martinez took a chance, backed up Favors and landed some left/rights. Favors ended up retiring at the corner and Martinez takes the win by TKO. Martinez 1-0, 1 ko.
145-pound Catchweight – 4 rounds - Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan of Southbridge making his pro debut vs. Alexander Picot of Puerto Rico. Picot being the aggressive boxer. Not afraid to let his hands go. Picot won the 1st round but Pagan looked alive during the latter part of round 1. Round 2, Pagan controlled the round. Round 3 both fighters exchanged and are tiring out. Round 4 was pretty much the same. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a draw. After 4 rounds of back n forth action the judges scored the bout 38-38; 39-37 and 39-37 both in favor of Pagan. Pagan wins by majority decision and increases to 1-0.
Junior middleweights – 4 rounds - 49 years old "Irish" Chuck Shearns of Auburn who will be retiring after tonight’s fight was tiring out after round 1 against Shavonte Dixon of Philly. This was an interesting fight. Both fighters showed a ton of heart. Dixon very stiff in the ring. Not too much punching power from either fighters. Dixon’s corner tossed in the towel at 2:19 of round 1. Shearns won by TKO. Will this be Shearns really retire? We shall see.
Light Heavyweights – 4 rounds - Brandon Montella of Saugus vs. Mexican veteran Roberto El Viejo" Valenzuela. Valenzuela currently has including this fight a total of 145 fights. Dammm… Montella kept backing up Valenzuela and landing uppercuts. During round 2 Valenzuela’s corner had enough of and tossed in the towel at .58 seconds Montella wins by TKO and increases to 6-0, 5 Kos.
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Photos by Kineo Photography.