After More Than a Quarter-Century, Pro Boxing Returns to Nashua

When the bell rings to signal the start of the first bout on August 16, it will have been 27 years and 78 days since the last time a professional boxing match took place in Nashua. Boston Boxing Promotions is scheduled to present the first professional card in the city since May 1992. The event, to be held at the gymnasium at Nashua Community College, will be a fundraiser for The Scars Foundation – a charity started by Godsmack frontman Sully Erna. Erna will be in attendance on August 16.

While it has been more than a quarter-century since Nashua’s last professional boxing event, the city has a rich history when it comes to the “sweet science.” The first recorded professional bout in Nashua took place in December 1889 when John Descelle (1-0, 1 KO) knocked out Lowell, Massachusetts journeyman Joe Flaherty (10-22-13, 5 KO’s) in a local barn.

Three years later, on Thanksgiving night 1892, a bout at the Nashua Theatre was ruled a no-contest when police intervened. Such occurrences were common in the prizefighting world in the days before state regulatory bodies.

In April 1895, Nashua would get its first major professional event. The card featured four bouts and was headlined by legendary Lowell pugilist and trainer Martin Flaherty (29-15-32, 13 KO’s). Flaherty was one of the most well-known boxers to come out of New England in the 19th century. By 1895 he had already fought on the national scene, including a bout with world featherweight champion George Dixon (68-30-57, 36 KO’s) in Chicago, Illinois.

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During the Roaring Twenties, Nashua experienced the professional boxing boom that took hold in many cities around the country. Live boxing was a preferred form of entertainment in post-WWI America and crowds were coming out in droves. Monthly, and at times weekly, cards were presented at the Nashua Theatre, the Franklin Opera House, the Pine Street Arena, and O’Donnell Hall throughout the decade.

Regular cards continued to take place in Nashua into the 1930s and 40s. By the end of the 40s, however, as national events began to be televised several nights each week from arenas in Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles, the local cards became few and far between for smaller markets like Nashua. Fans were choosing to stay home and watch the national boxing events for free from the comfort of their living rooms.

Only a handful of pro boxing events took place in Nashua in the second half of the twentieth century. The May 1992 card, the last to be held in the city, featured a young Edwin Santana (27-5-6, 7 KO’s) in his tenth pro fight. Santana, fighting out of nearby Lawrence, Massachusetts, was victorious that evening and later went on to challenge Joel Cassamayor (38-6-1, 22 KO’s) for the WBA Super Featherweight Championship of the World on a nationally-broadcast Showtime card.

The event on August 16th will feature a plethora of local fighters. They will arrive in Nashua and, like the prizefighters over a century earlier, look to build a career in the ring for themselves. Boston Boxing Promotions has made itself known as the promotion dedicated to helping regional fighters reach the next level of the sport.

“Our goal since starting this promotion in 2013 has always been, first and foremost, to bring the regional boxing scene in New England back to prominence,” said Boston Boxing Promotions President Peter Czymbor. “Places like Nashua, that had once been hotbeds for professional boxing, can be once again. The talent is there. The boxers need a place to showcase their abilities and hone their craft, and that’s what we’re providing them. We hope the community in and around Nashua will come out to support this event and support the athletes.”

Ryan Dibartolomeo (1-0-1, 1 KO), who trains in Nashua at the Police Athletic League under the guidance of coach Muhammad Brooks will enter the ring for the third time. In May, he set an all-time record for “fastest knockout” in Boston Boxing Promotions, needing just 18 seconds to down his opponent. Dibartolomeo previously competed in mixed-martial-arts (MMA), but has transitioned to professional boxing in the past year. He will take on a fellow MMA-to-pro boxing convert in the form of Cape Cod’s Fernando Perez. The bout will be Perez’s pro boxing debut.

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Chelmsford’s Brandon Higgins returns after a successful pro debut in May. Also on the card will be Haverhill’s Harry Gigliotti and New Hampshire’s own Jose Medina, as well as Revere’s Kimberly Wabik and Travis Gambardella, among many other local athletes. Wabik is scheduled to face Wakefield’s Fernanda Araujo who will be making her pro debut.

Ornelas-Garcia Fight Promises Non-Stop Action on August 16 Nashua Boxing Card

Nashua, NH [June 27, 2019] – Boston Boxing Promotions has announced a super featherweight fight to take place August 16, 2019 at Nashua Community College in Nashua, New Hampshire. Portland, Maine’s Ernesto Ornelas is scheduled to take on New Bedford, Massachusetts’ Henry Garcia as part of “Scars for Scars” – an evening of professional boxing to benefit The Scars Foundation, a charity established by Sully Erna of Godsmack.

Both Ornelas and Garcia are battle-tested ring veterans known for action-packed fights. Ornelas was last seen in a Boston Boxing Promotions ring losing a razor-thin split decision to the undefeated Joshua Orta in May, and Garcia participated in a four-round war with New Jersey’s Malcolm Simms that ended in a draw this past January.

“Garcia is a rugged guy who has gone the distance in all of his fights, but I’ coming to finish this fight. I’m excited to be back in the ring for Boston Boxing Promotions and come August 16th, I don’t see this fight going the distance,” said Ornelas.

Ornelas will be preparing for this fight training with The Choi Institute and Recon Fitness in Maine. Garcia will be training with the well-respected Israel Santiago and Johnathan Vazquez.

“From what I’ve seen of Ernesto Ornelas, he’s a tough kid who comes to fight and that’s exciting to me! I’ll be prepared and I know he will be as well. This is going to be a show that’ll leave the fans on their feet but I plan on having my hand raised at the end,” said Henry Garcia.

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Revere’s Gambardella Makes the Leap to Six-Round Fights Beginning With Nashua Boxing Event

Nashua, NH [July 15, 2019] – Boston Boxing Promotions has announced that Revere, Masschusetts’ undefeated Travis Gambardella (5-0-2, 2 KOs) will be in action on Friday, August 16, 2019 at “Scars for Scars” – an evening of professional boxing to benefit The Scars Foundation, a charity established by Sully Erna of Godsmack.

Gambardella, who in his most recent outing defeated the previously undefeated Joe Farina at TD Garden on the Demetrius Andrade – Walter Kautondokwa world middleweight championship event, will be taking on an opponent to be announced in Gambardella’s first-ever six-round fight. Gambardella is now training with Joe Lake who also trains fellow undefeated fighters Dominic Monzione and Shayna Foppiano. Lake also previously worked with 90’s super middleweight contender Dana Rosenblatt.

“I’m excited to make the jump from four-round fights to six-round fights. I’ve always gotten better as the fights have gotten longer, and this will give me the time I need to display my abilities to the people who come out to see me fight,” said Gambardella.

Recently having re-located from Ventura, California back to his hometown of Revere, Gambardella looks forward to the future while remaining grateful for all the experiences he has had across the country as a pro fighter thus far.

“I worked with Joe Janik in California for most of my career as my trainer and he’s fantastic and will always be a part of my career. However, at this time I felt it was best to be at home with my friends and family I’ve known my whole life. Joe Lake is training me for this fight, and it’s good to be home in Revere. Moving forward as the fights get bigger and the stakes get higher, I hope to have both trainers in my corner.”

“Scars for Scars” is an evening of professional boxing to benefit The Scars Foundation, a charity established by Godsmack lead singer Sully Erna to raise awareness of mental health issues and provide resources and tools to educate and empower people on a global level that struggle with burdens such as bullying, addiction, abuse, depression and more. Sully Erna will be in attendance as a special guest that evening.

GODSMACK’S SULLY ERNA TO TAKE ON ROLE OF CORNERMAN AT NASHUA BOXING EVENT

Nashua, NH [July 31, 2019] – Boston Boxing Promotions today announced that Sully Erna, lead singer for multi-platinum hard rock band Godsmack, will take a on new role on Friday, August 16th at “Scars for Scars” – an evening of professional boxing to benefit The Scars Foundation. Erna will be a professionally-licensed cornerman for Light Heavyweight boxer David Tubbs as Tubbs makes his pro debut against Ranieri Souza in a four-round fight.

Erna, a boxing enthusiast who routinely works boxing into his fitness routines while at home and on the road, will be in Tubbs’ corner with Joseph Janik and Chris Jay of KnuckleHeadz gym in Ventura, California. Janik also trains current WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Andrew Cancio and world-rated contender Francisco “Chia” Santana.

“I recently met Sully through a mutual friend. We hit it off immediately,” said Joe “Hoss” Janik, a world class trainer who is 2-0 working corners in world title fights in 2019. “I was impressed with Sully’s knowledge and passion for boxing. I spoke with David and we agreed that it would be great for him to join us to share some knowledge in the locker room and in the corner.”

“Anyone who knows me, knows what a passion I have for boxing,” said Sully Erna when reached for comment. “I’ve spent the last 19 years training and learning from so many great coaches from Freddie Roach’s camp, to one of New England’s best boxing coaches, Julio Peña right here in Londonderry, NH. So I’m extremely honored to have been asked to work this corner with Joe Janik. He’s the real deal, and so is his fighter David Tubbs. Wait ’til you see this dude fight. It is going to be a phenomenal night of pro boxing!”

Dibartolomeo Scheduled to Compete for Third Time as a Pro Boxer on Nashua Card


Nashua, NH [June 25, 2019] – Boston Boxing Promotions has announced that welterweight Ryan Dibartolomeo (1-0-1, 1 KO), fresh off his record setting 18-second TKO of Maine’s Llamar Kelly last month, will return to the ring on Friday, August 16, 2019 at Nashua Community College in Nashua, New Hampshire. He will take on Fernando Perez in a four-round fight. The fight will be part of “Scars for Scars” – an evening of professional boxing to benefit The Scars Foundation, a charity established by Sully Erna of Godsmack.

Dibartolomeo, while hailing from Leominster, Massachusetts, has plenty of ties to Nashua. He currently trains with Muhammad Brooks at the Nashua PAL boxing gym and has worked at the Nashua Title Boxing Club. His 18-second win last month was the quickest knockout in the history of Boston Boxing Promotions.

“I’m very excited to be fighting in front of the home crowd in Nashua. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m so glad we can make it happen,” said Dibartolomeo. “My last fight went well and we were lucky to get in and out with a quick KO, but that’s already a thing of the past. I’m focused on August 16th.”

While Dibartolomeo gained combat sports experience originally by competing in mixed-martial-arts prior to transitioning to pro boxing, the same can be said of his opponent for August 16th Fernando Perez. Perez, hailing from Cape Cod, is a well-traveled competitor who has fought everywhere from New England to Peru.

“This is going to be fun, and we will both be pushing forward,” said Perez. “I don’t have to worry about anyone trying to take me down, and my striking technique is good. I predict a third-round TKO.”

Haverhill’s Harry Gigliotti Looks to Bounce Back on Nashua Boxing Event

Nashua, NH [June 21, 2019] – Boston Boxing Promotions has announced that Haverhill, Massachusetts’ Harry “The Hitman” Gigliotti will return to the ring on Friday, August 16, 2019 at Nashua Community College in Nashua, New Hampshire to take on Bennington, Vermont’s Andre Belcarris in a four-round welterweight fight. The fight will be a part of “Scars for Scars” – an evening of professional boxing to benefit The Scars Foundation, a charity established by Sully Erna of Godsmack.

Gigliotti made his pro debut this past January in Windham, New Hampshire with a first round TKO over Rhode Island’s Theo Desjardin. In his most recent outing, he lost a majority decision to Fall River’s Kris Jacobs in the “fight of the night” last month. After getting off to a terrific start, Gigliotti faded down the stretch and Jacobs earned the majority decision win.

“I’m really excited to be back in the ring on August 16th,” said Gigliotti. “In my last fight, I feel I got over anxious and searched for a knockout early rather than letting it come naturally. Lesson learned. I plan on out-boxing Andre Belcarris and breaking him down over the course of four rounds if it goes that far.”

Andre Belcarris is a veteran of both the boxing ring and mixed martial arts cage. He trains with Team Northeast Assasins in his hometown of Bennington, Vermont.

“It’s put up or shut up time for this man,” said Belcarris. “Let’s get it!”

Chelmsford’s Higgins Returns to the Boxing Ring at Scars for Scars Event Against New York’s Beatease

Boston Boxing Promotions has announced that Chelmsford, Massachusetts’ Brandon Higgins (1-0) will return to the ring on Friday, August 16, 2019 at Nashua Community College in Nashua, New Hampshire to take on Schuylerville, New York’s Ian Beatease in a four-round welterweight fight as part of “Scars for Scars” – an evening of professional boxing to benefit The Scars Foundation, a charity established by Sully Erna of Godsmack.

Higgins is fresh off a unanimous decision victory over Philadelphia’s Demetris Williams in his pro debut last month in Windham, New Hampshire. On that same show, Ian Beatease put forth a memorable performance going the four-round distance in an entertaining and competitive fight with veteran Tolan Tascoe of New Jersey.

“My pro debut was a great experience,” said Higgins. “I was grateful to get the experience of going four rounds in my debut under my belt and very much look forward to fighting Ian Beatease who I have plenty of respect for. However, I’m here to make a statement, and I don’t think he’ll be able to handle my pressure or my power.”

Beatease, a former regional Mixed Martial Arts Champion, has proven to be quite the entertainer in the boxing ring. He raised eyebrows in his most recent fight by backing up his more experienced opponent against the ropes and landing a succession of punches in bunches to begin every round of the fight, while throwing caution to the wind and taking a punch himself to land one at times.

“My prediction is simple – Pain! I’ll be putting in the work and winning by any means necessary,” said Beatease.

Boston Boxing Promotions has announced its first fight for the “Scars for Scars” event on Friday August 16, 2019 at Nashua Community College in Nashua, New Hampshire. Revere, Massachusetts’ Kimberly “The Machine” Wabik (1-0-2) takes on Wakefield, Massachusetts’ Fernanda Araujo (pro debut) in a four-round Super Lightweight bout.

Wabik is coming off a four-round unanimous decision over Ohio’s Crystal Byers last month, picking up her first win as a professional. Previously, she had fought to two draws to begin her pro boxing career.

“I feel like I am coming into my own as a pro boxer,” said Wabik. “I’m excited to be fighting at a new venue at an event benefiting The Scars Foundation. Fernanda Araujo looks like a strong and talented opponent and I look forward to sharing the ring with her.”

Fernanda Araujo, originally from Brazil but now making her home in Massachusetts, is a combat sports veteran, having competed in both the boxing ring and mixed martial arts cage. As an amateur boxer, she competed in the Golden Gloves. She currently works as a judo and striking coach at Defensive Edge Martial Arts in Wakefield.

“I am very thankful for this opportunity,” said Araujo. “Although most of my fighting background is in Judo and Mixed Martial Arts, boxing has always been an integral part of my training regimen. I wish my opponent luck, but she should be ready for a tough fight.”

“Scars for Scars” is an evening of professional boxing to benefit The Scars Foundation, a charity established by Godsmack lead singer Sully Erna to raise awareness of mental health issues and provide resources and tools to educate and empower people on a global level that struggle with burdens such as bullying, addiction, abuse, depression and more. Sully Erna will be in attendance as a special guest that evening.

Tickets for the August 16, 2019 “Scars for Scars” fight night event in Nashua, NH are on sale now at www.BoxingNH.com.

Boston Boxing Promotions was founded in 2013 and is dedicated to the resurgence of professional boxing at the regional level, particularly in the New England area. Since that time, it has presented professional boxing events in places like Boston, Cape Cod, New Hampshire and New Bedford. To learn more about the promotion, you can follow them on Twitter @BostonProBoxing, join the promotion’s official Facebook page “Boston Boxing Promotions,” and visit the promotion’s website www.BostonBoxingPromotions.com.

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