The connection between Worcester Strong’s rich boxing tradition and today’s new generational hometown boxers is none other than three-time, two-division world champion “El Gallo” Jose Antonio Rivera, who will be headlining “Quest For 50,” presented by Shearns Boxing Promotions (SBP) and Rivera Promotions Entertainment, Friday night, June 14, at the Worcester Palladium..
In his 50th professional fight, 46-year-old Rivera (42-6-1, 25 KOs) takes on former WFC champion Travis “Sweet Feet” Scott (19-5, 5 KOs), of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in the eight-round main event at The Palladium in Worcester.
Worcester’s rich boxing history dates back to nearly a full century and includes Canadian import, world welterweight and middleweight world champion Lou Brouillard (100-31-2, 57 KOs – 1928-1940). 1928 Olympic bronze medalist Harry Devine (39-17-4, 6 KOs – 1928-1943), and New England welterweight titlist Leo Sawicki (42-53-8, 16 KOs – 1939-1949).
Rivera represents the 1992-2011 Worcester Wave in which he captured the IBO and WBA welterweight and WBA super welterweight championships. Others top local fighters in this era includes four-time national amateur champion and heavyweight prospect Bobby Harris (20-2-1, 13 KOs / 1993-1999) and Rivera’s current head trainer, New England middleweight champion Sean “The Irish Express” Fitzgerald (29-2-2, 11 KOs).
In addition to Rivera, Worcester will be represented by four new-age fighters on the electric “Quest For 50” card: New England middleweight champion Kendrick “Peppa” Ball, Jr. (12-1-2, 8 KOs), Massachusetts’ top heavyweight prospect of the 21st century, Owen Minor (1-0, 1 KO), welterweight prospect Eslih Owusu (1-0) and featherweight Philip Davis (1-1-1).
Other top contemporary Worcester boxers who are not fighting on the “Quest For 50” card include veteran cruiserweight Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (31-2, 20 KOs), WBC Youth World lightweight champion Jamaine Ortiz (11-0, 6 KOs), and super featherweight Irvin Gonzalez (12-1, 9 KOs).
“Worcester can be and is becoming one of the most active boxing areas in the country,” co-promoter Chuck Shearns said. “There are no less than four boxing gyms here within 5 miles of each other and many professional and amateur boxers throughout our city. Many of them have developed into world-class talents. As the city continues to support shows like June 14th, which features five local fighters, Worcester will continue to be known for boxing and its boxers.”
Ball has been added to an already solid card vs. Honduran Juan Celin Zapata (6-14-2, 4 KOs) in a six-round, super middleweight bout. In four-round bouts, Minor meets Alejandro Santiago (0-4), Owusu squares off with Springfield, MA veteran Jose Angel “KO” Ortiz (5-13-1, 2 KOs), and Davis is matched against Henry Garcia (0-2-1), of New Bedford, MA.
In an All-Massachusetts showdown finds Boston welterweight Gabriel DuLuc (14-3, 4 KOs) has replaced injured Khiry “TNT” Todd (8-1, 6 KOs) versus New Bedford’s Ray Oliveira, Jr. (8-2, 1 KO), the son of New England boxing favorite “Sucra” Ray Oliveira, in the six-round, co-featured event, that could easily steal the show.
Danbury, CT welterweight Omar “The Beast” Bordoy, Jr. (7-1, 2 KOs) plans to bounce back from his first pro loss versus Tyrone “Hands of Stone” Luckey (9-10-3, 7 KOs) in a six-round bout.
Brooklyn’s Sidney “Keelo” Mccow (6-8, 3 KOs) and Augustine “Ruthless” Mauras (6-5-3, 3 KOs), of Lawrence, MA, throw-down in a potentially explosive six-rounder for the vacant New England junior welterweight title.
Other four-round undercard bouts include the much anticipated pro-debut of Providence lightweight Elijah Peixoto vs. Bronx lightweight Danny Morales (0-8); Hartford junior welterweight “The Special One” Sharad Collier (1-0-1, 1 KO), a two-time N.E, Golden Gloves champion, vs. Anthony Everett (1-7), of Lawrence, MA, and the pro debut of Methuen, MA lightweight Luka Lannuccilli vs. Peruvian Carlos Galindo (1-10).
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets, priced at $70.00 (ringside), $55.00 (mezzanine) and $40.00 (general admission), are on sale and available to purchase at www.ThePalladium.net, the Palladium box office, or by contacting Jose Rivera (firstname.lastname@example.org/508.864.6954), AJ Rivera
(email@example.com/774.272.2269) or any of the fighters.
Doors open at 6 p.m. ET, first bout 7 p.m. ET.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Worcester Boys’ and Girls’ Club. Donations may be sent to the Worcester Boys & Girls Club by going online at www.bgcworcester.org and proceed to “Be a donor” page, mail a check (payable to the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester, Attention: Liz Hamilton, 65 Tainter St., Worcester, MA 01610), or drop-off donations at its new clubhouse.
Event sponsors include Lundgren Honda, Championsofhealth.usana.com, Raindrop Liquor, Michelob Ultra, Bay State Savings Bank, Vocero Hispano, Massachusetts Pirates, Office Mac, Chieftain Liquors, realtor Pamela LaPorte, Atty. Maria M. Rivera-Cotto, and Grille 57.