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Kenny Larson challenges MA Welterweight Champ Denzel Whitley in battle of undefeated prospects

March 11th at MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA

Kenny “Lionheart” Larson

(photo by Emily Harney / Fightography)

QUINCY, Mass. (February 27, 2023) – Style make fights and a potential instant classic in on tap March 11th in the “Springfield Championship Boxing 2” main event, when undefeated Kenny “Lionheart” Larson (6-0, 5 KOs) challenges defending Massachusetts State Welterweight Champion Denzel “Double Impact” Whitley (10-0, 6 KOs) in the 8-round headliner, at MassMutural Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.

“Springfield Championship Boxing 2”, presented by Granite Chin Promotions (GCP), will be streamed live on

“This fight has all the makings to be one of those local fights that people talk about for years,” GCP president Chris Traietti commented. “You have a hyper aggressive guy like Kenny going up against a slick counter-puncher like Denzel. Both guys are undefeated and there’s a state title on the line. Kudos to both guys for taking this fight, one that nobody will want to miss.”

Larson, 33, is an ultra-aggressive fighter who constantly applies pressure on his opponent; Whitley’s an intelligent counter-puncher that breaks down the other guy in the ring. It figures to be an exciting showdown to determine who fights his fight. It’s so rare for a pair of undefeated prospects to fight each other so early in their professional careers.

“We are looking to showcase that we are both serious,” Larson explained. We both want to make statements! As long as I do what I’m supposed to do, fighting like I do in the gym, it doesn’t matter that I’m fighting him in his neck of the woods. (Whitley is from Holyoke, which is only 8 miles from the Springfield venue.) One night a fan said to me,

‘You fight with the heart of a lion.’ I couldn’t think of a better nickname for me. He (Whitley) beat Kris Jacobs (WMDEC8) in his last fight (to capture the vacant Mass. welterweight title) and I knocked out a guy (Ryan Clark) in the first round who defeated Jacobs.

“We’ll see what happens when the kitchen starts getting heated up (vs. Whitley). Everybody has a plan going into a fight. Anyone who knows me knows my assets and what I have for him. I’ve watched him (Whitley) on tape and saw a few things that interested me. I was kind of amused by what he had to say. Let the cards lay where they may and we’ll see what it comes down to. I’ll have people there for me. I’ve always had a huge crowd behind me since I was an amateur because of my fan-friendly style.”

Larson was a hockey player who didn’t pick up boxing until he was in high school. He started at a gym that wasn’t, as he described, super serious about boxing, more for fitness, and one day a friend suggested that he go to train at the Somerville Boxing Club., where he changed his life, both in and out of the ring.

“Everything there was serious,” Larson reported. “Things clicked and I had focus and direction. I had a substance abuse problem, drinking, but I changed addictions from drinking to boxing for the last 10 years. Today, I have no days off from boxing.”

Larson now trains out of Broadway Boxing in Everett (MA) with Joe Riccardi as his head trainer.

A native of Salem (MA), Larson was a 3-time Central New England Golden Gloves runner-up, as well as a 2016 New England Golden Gloves champion in the novice division.

The O must go for either Larson or Whitley. Fans will be the biggest winner!

The Cruz brothers, lightweight Isaiah (5-0, 3 KOs) and super lightweight Calixto (1-0), fighting out of Springfield, will both be in action in front of fans, family, and friends. In the 6-round co-featured event, Isaiah “Baby Warrior” Cruz will face Akeem “Action Action” Jackson (6-5, 5 KOs) in the 6-round co-featured event, while Calixto meets Luis “Broccoli” Gerardo Avila (8-22-3, 5 KOs) in a 4-round bout.

Also schedule to be in action are unbeaten Dominican welterweight Carlos Castillo (6-0, 4 KOs), of Holyoke (MA); Puerto Rican super lightweight Ian “Dinamite” Garcia (2-0-1, 1 KO), of Springfield; Springfield super featherweight Carlos Gonzalez (4-0, 4 KOs), and Springfield super lightweight Liz Humphries (0-1-1)

Card subject to change.

Doors open at 6 p.m. ET, first bout at 7 p.m. ET.


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