With the highly anticipated Fight of the Year less than three weeks away, CES Boxing launches its official press tour Thursday in Worcester, Mass., to kick off the final countdown to its April 7th extravaganza.
CES hosts the first of two pep rallies / press conferences Thursday, March 23rd at 6:30 p.m. at Lock 50 in Worcester, located at 150 Water St., to formally announce its Friday, April 7th card at Twin River Casino featuring the main event World Boxing Council (WBC) USNBC Welterweight Title Bout between Nick DeLomba and Jimmy Williams. The press tour continues Tuesday, March 28th, also at 6:30 p.m., at Powerhouse Gym in New Haven, Conn., located at 31 Bernhard Rd. Both events are open to the public.
The DeLomba-Williams bout is one of 11 on CES’ second show of 2017, its unprecedented 25th year of promoting combat sports. The Rhode Island native DeLomba (11-1, 2 KOs) challenges New Haven’s Williams (12-0-1, 5 KOs), who’s won his last eight fights, in the 10-round headliner while New Bedford, Mass., junior middleweight Ray Oliveira Jr. (7-0, 1 KO) faces Portland, Maine native Casey Kramlich (6-0-1, 3 KOs) in the six-round co-feature.
Tickets for April 7th are priced at $47.00, $102.00, $127.00 (VIP) and $152.00 (VIP) and can be purchased online at www.cesboxing.com, www.twinriver.com or www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 401-724-2253/2254 or at the Twin River Casino Players Club. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
April 7th also features an eight-round female welterweight showdown between Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes (16-4-2, 1 KO) of Marshfield, Mass., and Mexican challenger Paty Ramirez (11-3, 5 KOs), plus a New England Lightweight Title bout between Springfield, Mass., vet Zack Ramsey (7-1, 3 KOs) and unbeaten Augusta, Ga., native Divante Jones (9-0, 6 KOs).
Joining Aleksandra Lopes on April 7th is her stepson, Arturo Lopes (1-0), who ends an eight-year layoff in his return bout against Taunton, Mass., welterweight Marqus Bates (1-1, 1 KO). The Lopeses fight April 7th in honor of the late Manny Lopes, a former CES standout who passed away in December and will be inducted into the CES Ring of Honor.
Worcester, Mass., lightweight Jamaine Ortiz (3-0, 2 KOs), fresh off a hard-fought win over unbeaten Canton Miller in February, faces another undefeated challenger in a four-round bout against Glenn Mitchell (2-0, 2 KOs) of Steubenville, Ohio, and Lynn, Mass., welterweight Khiry Todd (2-0, 2 KOs) battles Philadelphia’s Vincent Floyd (2-2-1) in a four-round bout. Fellow Worcester native Kendrick Ball Jr. (5-0-2, 4 KOs) returns in a six-round super middleweight bout against Rhode Islander and U.S. Air Force vet Zachary Christy (1-0-1).
Junior welterweight Jonathan Figueroa (2-0, 1 KO) of Hartford, Conn., returns to Twin River to face Springfield’s Miguel Ortiz (1-0, 1 KO) in a four-round showdown between two rising New England prospects and amateur standouts Ricky Delossantos of Providence, R.I., and Philip Davis of Worcester make their professional debuts against one another in a four-round super featherweight bout. Junior welterweight Cristobal Marrero (3-0, 2 KOs) of New London, Conn., by way of Worcester, returns for the first time since December in a four-round bout against New York’s Sidney Maccow (4-4, 3 KOs).
CES Boxing and the WBC have worked hand-in-hand throughout the years to provide up-and-coming fighters with championship opportunities. Twelve years ago, CES hosted the first USNBC title bout in any weight class when Providence’s Joey Spina captured the inaugural super middleweight crown with a win over Carl Daniels at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Two months later, fellow Providence native Matt Godfrey defeated Willie Herring to win the first USNBC Cruiserweight Title.
Since 2005, nine current or former USNBC title-holders have gone on to win world titles: Paul Williams, Mario Rodriguez, Mauricio Herrera, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Bermane Stivern, Lamont Peterson, Adrien Broner, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. and reigning WBC World Light Flyweight Champion Ganigan Lopez. Twenty-eight others have gone on to fight for a major world championship.
Additionally, each of the five current USNBC title-holders are ranked among the top 40 in the world in their respective weight class: cruiserweight champ Robert Hall (38th), light heavyweight Sullivan Barrera (8th), middleweight Andrew Hernandez (28th), super lightweight Ivan Baranchyk (29th) and bantamweight Alexis Santiago (21st).