Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga (1-0), a former UFC heavyweight title challenger made a successful professional boxing debut as he defeated Alejandro Esquilin Santiago (0-1) over four competitive, back-and-forth rounds with two scorecards (58-56) and one scorecard (38-38), for a majority decision victory. Both fighters had their moments in this entertaining heavyweight bout, especially in the third-round; however, Gonzaga landed the more powerful punches and was the aggressor throughout the fight.
“I did my best and came away with a victory. I was too safe in the third-round. My punches were much stronger and a lot of his punches I blocked with my gloves,” said Gonzaga. “This was a really great night.”
Rivera Promotions Entertainment showcased their fourth and final fight of the year “New England’s Future 4” at the DCU Center, Exhibition Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Unbeaten light heavyweight Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera (no relation to the promoters) scored a devastating first-round technical knockout win over Hasen Castillo with two quick knockdowns from a left uppercut and left hook, respectively. Referee Kevin Hope did not bother to count as he halted the action after the second knockdown at 2:18 since Castillo was in no shape to continue. Rivera improved his record to 4-0, 3 KOs. Castillo dropped to 0-3.
“My coaches told me to be calm because this was a six-round bout,” said Rivera. “I saw that he had his left hand down and I caught him with an uppercut. I am strong to the finish because I eat my spinach.”
Edwin Soto upped his record to 11-2-2, 4 KOs as he defeated Anthony “The Animal” Everett via a six-round unanimous decision with two scorecards (58-56) and one scorecard (60-54) in this light middleweight matchup. He won his second consecutive bout after a two and half year layoff. Everett fell to 1-7. Soto dominated this bout as he punished Everett throughout their fight and connected on almost everything he threw despite being outweighed by fifteen-pounds. Everett did not land much of anything and was more focused on trying to defend himself.
Omar Bordoy, Jr. controlled this one-sided junior welterweight bout against Bryan “The Brick” Abraham for third rounds and then he landed a powerful right hook in the fourth that knockdown Abraham, who was slow to get up. This caused referee Paul Casey to stop the fight at 1:48. Bordoy, Jr. laid a beat down on Abraham who had no answers to stopping Bordoy, Jr.’s offensive onslaught. He also scored a knockdown in the third-round from a right jab, although it appeared it was a slip. Bordoy, Jr. improved his unbeaten record to 3-0, 1 KO, with the technical knockout victory. Abraham dropped to 6-27-2, 6 KOs.
Undefeated super middleweight Elvis “Chi Chi” Figueroa, a three-time USA Boxing Nationals Champion upped his record to 3-0, 1 KO with a four-round unanimous decision over Nazare, who fell to 0-1, in his professional debut. Figueroa dominated Rene Nazare throughout their super middleweight bout en route to three scorecards (40-36). Figueroa landed whatever he wanted on a defenseless Nazare, who did not offer much of any offensive return.
Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan made easy work of Patrick Leal as he scored three quick knockdowns in the first-round of their welterweight bout, after which referee Casey stopped the bout at 1:36. Pagon improved his undefeated record to 3-0, 1 KO with the technical knockout victory. Leal dropped to 0-4.