New England Fights (NEF), the Northeast’s premier fight promotion, today announced that the company will bring the first professional boxing event to Lewiston, Maine since 2004. The show, which will mark the fight promotion’s sixteenth in the state of Maine, is scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee with a bell-time of 7:00 pm EDT. The NEF company came to prominence in 2012 when it began promoting mixed-martial arts (MMA) events in Maine, primarily in Lewiston. Known to attract massive crowds of 2,500-3,000 to its events, NEF is widely-recognized as one of the most popular and successful regional promotions in the entire country.
“This has always been the plan with NEF,” said NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo. “We always intended this promotion to be multi-faceted when it came to putting together different combat sporting events. With pro boxing once again legal in Maine, we felt this was the perfect time to make our move into the boxing arena as well. For the MMA fans, do not fear. We will still be doing just as many MMA events as we’ve always done, if not more.”
There exists a long and rich history of professional boxing in Lewiston. The first recorded event in the city took place in 1883. Regular pro boxing events were held in Lewiston from that time right through the mid-twentieth century. During several periods there were stretches where shows were being promoted in-town on a weekly basis. Perhaps the most famous bout in Lewiston history took place at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, then known as “Saint Dominic’s Arena,” on May 25, 1965. On that night, Muhammad Ali (56-5) successfully defended the World Boxing Council (WBC) Heavyweight Championship of the World against Sonny Liston (50-4) with a first-round knockout. The controversial finish, dubbed the “Phantom Punch,” was immortalized in an image snapped from ringside by world-renown photographer Neil Leifer. The still-image, showing Ali standing over a prone Liston on the canvas, taunting him with his glove, has become one of the most iconic and recognizable photographs in all of sports.
“It’s great to see the history of the facility come to life,” said current Androscoggin Bank Colisee General Manager Mike Cain on the return of pro boxing to the building. “I could only imagine boxing of this magnitude returning to the floor. What a great partnership we have with NEF.”
While the fight card has yet to be announced, and is subject to change and approval by the Combat Sports Authority of Maine, NEF officials have revealed that Stevie Gamache (4-0), son of Joey Gamache Jr. of the world-famous Gamache boxing family of Lewiston, will be featured on the fight card. The bout will mark Stevie’s first-ever boxing match in his hometown of Lewiston. Joey Gamache Jr. (55-4) holds the distinction of the only professional boxer to come out of Maine and capture a world title. He won the World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Featherweight Title in 1991, and then the WBA Lightweight Championship in 1992.
“I am excited to be part of the first pro boxing show in Lewiston in ten years,” said Stevie Gamache when reached for comment. “Especially fighting for NEF. Gamache is back.”
The main event of the evening will feature Brandon “The Cannon” Berry (6-0). Berry fights out of West Forks, Maine and is a member of Wyman’s Boxing Club in Stockton Springs, Maine.
“There hasn’t been pro boxing in Lewiston in nearly 11 years, so needless to say I am very excited to headline this event,” stated Berry when reached for comment. “I hope to bring a big crowd of people to help make this a successful ‘comeback’ of pro boxing to the Lewiston Area. I’ve been training very hard, and look forward to showing all of the locals that pro boxing is alive and well, and Brandon Berry is here to stay.”
Brandon “L-Jack” Brewer (11-0-1) from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada has also signed to fight on the card. Brewer is the reigning Canada Professional Boxing Council (CPBC) Light Middleweight Champion. Joel Bishop (0-0) will make his professional debut on the card. In addition, former NEF MMA fighter-turned boxer, Josh Parker (0-1), has also signed to appear on October 11 in Lewiston.
Tickets for “NEF Boxing” start at just $25 and will go on sale to the general public on Monday, August 4, 2014 at 10:00 am EDT. A special pre-sale will take place beginning on Friday, August 1 at 10:00 am EDT and run through the morning of Monday, August 4 for fans who use promo code NEFBOXING to unlock the sale. Tickets will be available online at www.TheColisee.com or by calling the Colisee box office at 207.783.2009 x 525. For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at www.NewEnglandFights.com. In addition, you can watch NEF MMA fight videos at www.youtube.com/NEFMMA, follow the promotion on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”