PROVIDENCE, R.I. (March 27th, 2014) – The typically stoic, all-business Chris Chatman found himself star-struck at Thursday’s pre-fight weigh-in until he stood toe-to-toe with his opponent, Grady Brewer, for the first time.
“I saw that seriousness in his eyes,” Chatman said. “He looked right at me and pretty much said, ‘Motherfucker, I’m not playing.’”
Neither is Chatman (11-3-1, 5 KOs). The 5-foot-8 southpaw from Jersey City, N.J., will face Brewer (30-18, 16 KOs), The Contender Season 2 champion, Friday night in the main event of Classic Entertainment & Sports’ professional boxing event Twin River Casino, arguably the biggest fight of his career.
Having recently signed a promotional agreement with CES, the nomadic Chatman has finally found a home after years of relocating, first from his birthplace of Chicago to California, then to Jersey City, where he now lives and trains. At 29, he’s entering the prime of his career and is looking for the kind of signature win that could put him on the fast track to a world title.
“Tomorrow night, it’s about to go down again,” said Chatman, who last fought at Twin River in July when he beat hometown favorite Thomas Falowo. “I expect to see the same Grady Brewer we’ve grown to know and love through the years.
“That being said, he can expect a meaner, vicious Chris Chatman, because there’s only one thing in my way right now, and that’s him. He needs to get out of the way, or I’ll put him out of the way.”
Chatman will be making his fourth appearance at Twin River, which has become his second home in recent years. In 2009, he lost a close, unanimous decision to former Olympian Demetrius Andrade and then won his next two bouts at the same venue, including last summer’s unanimous decision win over Falowo in Falowo’s first career eight-round bout.
“To be a world champion, that’s the only thing I’m here for,” Chatman said. “Sleep world champion, wake up world champion, eat world champion, take a shit world champion – that’s what I live and breathe for. That’s my goal.
“All pleasantries and jokes aside, it’s going down tomorrow night. I can guarantee that.”
Brewer, 43, is no stranger to New England; the Lawton, Okla., native fought in 2008 on the undercard of the CES and the Tournament of Contenders’ co-promotion at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, beating Season 2 teammate and former light middleweight world champion Cornelius Brundage by split decision.
In 2009, he stopped unbeaten Nigerian prospect Albert Onolunose in the second round of their scheduled 12-round bout and two years later handed world-title challenger Fernando Guerrero – 21-0 at the time – the first loss his career via fourth-round knockout. Brewer has also faced World Boxing Association (WBA) light middleweight champion Erislandy Lara, current World Boxing Organization (WBO) champ Andrade and unbeaten Russian prospect Matt Korobov in his 15-year career.
“It’s been a while since I’ve felt the way I feel right now,” Brewer said. “I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Tickets are priced at $41, $76 and $126 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling 401-724-2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com or www.ticketmaster.com, or at the Players Club at Twin River.
Friday’s undercard includes the return of unbeaten Providence middleweight KJ Harrison-Lombardi (5-0-1) of Providence, who will put his record on the line in a four-round bout against Jason Bakanowski (0-1) of Worcester, Mass., while Springfield, Mass., welterweight Zack Rasmey (6-0, 3 KOs) takes on veteran Shakha Moore (11-19-3, 2 KOs) of Norwalk, Conn., in a six-rounder.
Coming off a knockout win over veteran Arthur Saribekian in November, Hyannis, Mass., heavyweight Jesse Barboza (7-1-1, 5 KOs) will look to stay on track against East Stroudsburg, Pa., heavyweight Glenn Thomas in a four-round bout.
Chattanooga, Tenn., lightweight prospect Ryan Martin (3-0, 2 KOs) will face Justin Robbins (2-5, 1 KO) of Springfield, Ill., in a four-round bout, and Cranston, R.I., welterweight Nick DeLomba (2-0) will return in a four-round bout against Providence’s Josh Beeman (5-14-3, 2 KOs). All fights and fighters are subject to change.