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CES Boxing signs 2-time Muay Thai World Champion Kinjo Espada

Kinjo "The One" Espada signed a multi-fight promotional agreement with CES Boxing. The Rhode Island based fighter makes his pro debut on March 23rd at Bally's Twin River Lincoln Casino.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Tuesday, March 19, 2024

PROVIDENCE, RI – CES Boxing is proud to announce an exclusive multi-fight pro boxing promotional agreement with former 2-time Muay Thai world champion Kinjo "The One" Espada. The 22-year-old will make his professional boxing debut at ‘CES Boxing Homecoming’ on Saturday, March 23 at Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino against undefeated welterweight prospect Jeff Gonzalez (4-0, 2 KOs).

‘CES Boxing Homecoming’ is a stacked 8-bout card featuring many of the top fighters in New England. The card takes place at Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino on Saturday, March 23. Tickets are available at, priced at $60, $80, $155, and $180. Fans who can’t make it to Bally’s can catch the action live and for free on Swerve Combat TV.

"Kinjo Espada is a tremendous talent," said CES Boxing founder Jimmy Burchfield, Sr. "I am honored to welcome him to our team. He is already a world champion in Muay Thai and I will ensure that he surpasses those accomplishments in boxing. He has a great team around him, and his family embodies the values of humility, discipline, and dedication that I look for in fighters."

Born in San Diego to a Puerto Rican and Italian father and a Vietnamese and Filipino mother, the multi-ethnic pugilist has also lived in Las Vegas and Everett, MA before settling in Pawtucket, Rhode Island earlier this year. That makes for a broad fanbase as his career takes off.

"Oh yeah," agrees John Espada, Sr. "Our fans travel. For this fight, we’ll have people coming in from California, Vegas, Massachusetts, the Carolinas, and Florida."

However, rather than coming up the amateur boxing circuit, Kinjo and his brother John Jr. are well known for their Muay Thai, where Kinjo amassed a 56-6 amateur record. In the process, he became an 8-time national champion and a 2-time world champion. This earned Espada an invitation to join the United States Muay Thai team, where he served as the captain and qualified for the US Olympic team when Muay Thai was considered on a provisional basis. As luck would have it, the COVID pandemic struck and put a halt to those plans, altering Espada’s fate in favor of the Sweet Science.

"Boxing has always been in my family," explains Espada. "I’m a third-generation boxer. My grandfather fought and my father fought. We did do Muay Thai first, but my heart will always be in boxing."

John Espada Sr., who raised his 3 kids as a single father for 12 years before remarrying 5 years ago, believed that Muay Thai would provide his sons with the discipline and humility that is sometimes missing in boxing.

"The reason why I started them in Muay Thai instead of boxing, is that I don’t like what boxing has become," says John Sr. "By design, I didn’t want my sons in the limelight like some of these other boxers who are always on YouTube and getting into trouble for what they say or do. I used Muay Thai as a vessel for them to gain their notoriety because I knew that it would teach them true discipline and it would translate well into boxing."

The transition to boxing is going to be a steep one for Kinjo. With his father and co-trainer Brian Johnson, the fighter and his team decided that he was ready for the pro ranks after only one amateur contest. Rather than debuting against a boxer with a losing record to test the waters, Kinjo is jumping into the deep end by facing an undefeated prospect in Jeff Gonzalez.

"I only had one amateur fight," laughs Kinjo. "But I sparred a lot of professional boxers when I was in Muay Thai. I did pretty well, so I’m confident. I know that my opponent is 4-0 and finished his last 2 opponents. I think beating him in my debut is going to make a statement."

A win against an undefeated prospect in his pro debut would make quite a statement, and CES Boxing plans to keep him very active if he does.

"Definitely," agrees Burchfield Sr. "If he wins on Saturday, the sky’s the limit. He’ll fight at Bally’s again on May 11 and then at Mohegan Sun Arena on June 15th."

The journey begins for "The One" this Saturday at Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino.

For more information, follow CES Boxing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @CESBOXING.


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