“Irish” Micky Ward, the beloved former WBU champion whose story was immortalized in the Academy Award-winning film “The Fighter”, will be feted for his 50th birthday when live championship boxing returns to Rockingham Park with the New England Heavyweight title on the line Saturday, October 3.
“It will be a great event, especially because these will be terrific fights and the night honors Micky Ward,” said Bobby Stephen, the longtime chairman of the New Hampshire Boxing Commission. “Micky fought three times in New Hampshire between 1999 and 2001 and two of them were classics that were named ‘The Fight of the Year’. I’ve been on the boxing commission for over 40 years and I watch boxing all over the world. I rate Micky as one of the best fighters, pound for pound, ever. Micky brought so much vitality and excitement to our state.”
The now-retired fighter, who was known as much for his heart and courage as his talent and devastating left hook, notched 27 KO’s during his 38-13 career. As part of what will be a spectacular event, Governor Maggie Hassan will declare October 3 as “Micky Ward Day” in New Hampshire.
The stacked card of eight highly-competitive professional fights is highlighted by the main event for the vacant New England Heavyweight championship between rising star Alexis Santos, (14-1, 13 KO’s) from nearby Lawrence, MA and Boston’s Tracey Johnson (3-2-3).
The title bout marks Santos’ eagerly-awaited return to the ring for the first time in 16 months after knee surgery and he looks to avenge his first and only loss in his last fight. Johnson is riding a two-fight win streak and hopes to bring the belt home to Boston.
The under card features some of the top local talent with fighters from Massachusetts and New Hampshire battling in different weight divisions.
Doors to the Rockingham Park Sports Club open at 6 PM and the first fight will get underway at 7 PM. Tickets are $35, $45 and $75 for ringside seating, and parking at the racetrack is free.
Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased by calling 617-312-5059, and more information may be found at facebook.com/groups/bigsixentertainment. Tickets are also available for cash-only purchase at Rockingham Park beginning Friday, August 14.
The fight card, subject to change is:
MAIN EVENT 8 rounds heavyweight
Alexis Santos (14-1, 13 KO’s) vs. Tracey Johnson (3-2-3)
Lawrence, MA Boston, MA
6 rounds light welterweight 140 lbs
Carlos Candelario (6-1, 3 KO’s vs. TBA
6 rounds middleweight 160 lbs
Greg Vendetti (6-2-1, 4 KO’s) vs. Brian Walsh (1-1)
Stoneham, MA Dorchester, MA
6 rounds light middleweight 154 lbs
Eddie Caminero (7-9, 7 KO’s) vs. Antonio Chaves Fernandez (5-22-2)
Lawrence, MA Brockton, MA
4 rounds light heavyweight 180 lbs
Kevin Cobbs (9-1, 3 KO’s) vs. Ralph Johnson (2-5, 1 KO)
Burlington, VT Worcester, MA 4 rounds super middleweight 168 lbs
Mical Weisberg (3-2, 2 KO’s) vs. Connor Barry (0-1)
Stoughton, MA Lowell, MA
4 rounds heavyweight
O’Jayland Brown (1-1, 1 KO) vs. Perry Filkins (0-2)
Sacramento, CA Hooksett, NH
4 rounds bantamweight 118 lbs
Mike Martin (0-1) vs. TBA