Godfrey- Williams headlines “Pinnacle FiteNite: The Heat’s On In Hartford”

Championship pro boxing returns to Hartford on Saturday night, November 24 -- “Pinnacle FiteNite: The Heat’s On In Hartford” -- as NABF cruiserweight champion Matt “Too Smooth” Godfrey defends his title belt against former WBO heavyweight title challenger Jeremy “Half-Man, Half-Amazing” Williams, at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford..

“Pinnacle FiteNite: The Heat’s On In Hartford,” promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment, Inc. (CES), in association with Sports Entertainment & Media, Inc., will be taped live and air on dates and times to be determined across the country on numerous Comcast regional stations including Comcast West, American One Network, Fight Network in Canada, Sports Net New York, GTV in Africa, as well as internationally on KOTV. Pinnacle FiteNite is produced by 21 Lakes and distributed by Integrated Sports.

Hartford has a rich boxing history that was rejuvenated on September 23, 2006, when CES promoted the first pro show there in a decade, but the city’s pugilistic tradition dates back long before if produced the late, great Willie Pep (230-11-1, 65 KOs). Back on July 4, 1887, legendary heavyweight John L. Sullivan umpired a baseball game and later fought a four-round exhibition with Joe Lannon. Through the years, lightweight king Ike Williams fought twice within a week in 1943 at an outdoor arena in Hartford, heavyweight Joe Louis fought a pair of exhibitions in Hartford during World War II, light heavyweight Archie Moore knocked out Doc Williams in eight rounds at the Hartford Auditorium, where heavyweight Rocky Marciano stopped Harold Mitchell in the second round of their 1951 fight. On the same card in 1977 at the Hartford Civic Center, Marvelous Marvin Hagler stopped Roy Jones (not Roy Jones, Jr.) in the third round of the main event, while Sugar Ray Leonard registered the same outcome versus Vinnie DeBarrios in the co-feature.

In addition to the great Pep, two-time world welterweight champion Marlon “Magic Man” Starling (45-6-1, 27 KOs) also comes from Hartford where he still resides. Starling’s most notable victories were against Lloyd Honeyghan, Mark Breland, Simon Brown, and Floyd Mayweather (twice). Starling successfully defended his WBC welterweight belt at the Hartford Civic Center in 1989, winning a 1-round decision against Yung Kil Chung.
Other top Hartford born-or-based fighters have included former world title challengers “Iceman” John Scully, Eric Harding and Israel “Pito” Cardona, as well as 1996 U.S. Olympic Team captain Lawrence Clay-Bey.

At least three other world title fights were held in Hartford: Young Corbett II (William Rothwell) knocked out Terry McGovern in the second round of their 1901 fight for the World Featherweight Championship at the Hartford Coliseum; Jimmy Slattery won a 10-round decision against Maxie Rosenbloom in 1927 at the Velodrome for the vacant NBA light heavyweight crown; Joe Louis Manley stopped Gary Hinton in the 10th round of their 1986 fight for the IBF light welterweight title.

Godfrey (16-0, 9 KOs), now training in Hartford with his new trainer John Scully, is rated No. 2 by the World Boxing Council, as well as ranked No. 4 by the International Boxing Federation and No. 6 by the World Boxing Association. “Too Smooth” faces his toughest opponent in Williams (42-5-1, 35 KOs), fighting out of Long Beach (CA), in the 12-round main event on Nov. 24.

Unbeaten Las Vegas-based cruiserweight prospect Aaron Williams (15-0-1, 11 KOs), former nine-time United States amateur champion, is scheduled to fight in the eight-round co-feature. On the undercard in separate bouts are Manchester’s (CT) own Matt “Sharp Shooter” Remillard (11-0, 7 KOs), the former WBC Youth super featherweight champion managed by Jackie Kallen; WBC rated No. 23 super middleweight Joey “KO Kid” Spina (20-1-1, 15 KOs), of Providence; cruiserweight Marc “The Defender” Saggese (3-0, 3 KOs), the high-profile defense attorney from Las Vegas known as the toughest pound-for-pound lawyer; Hartford junior welterweight Addy Irizarry (2-1, 2 KOs). All bouts and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets are priced at $35.00 (Bronze), $50.00 (VIP Silver), $100.00 (VIP Gold), and $150.00 (limited Jimmy’s Platinum Club). Group discounts are available. Discount tickets are being offered to members of the Connecticut police and fire departments, men and women active in the U.S. military, and students. VIP Presidential Tables (total of 10 tables, 8 per table) are available by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254. Call CES at 401.724.2253/2254, the Connecticut Convention Center (860.249.6000), Manchester PAL (860.645.6261) and Connecticut Restoration (860.528.6800), or go on line at, to order tickets or for more information. Visit for additional information. Doors will open at 5:30 PM/ET, first bout at 6:45 PM/ET.

Article posted on 13.11.2007

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