Hartford blue-chip prospect “The Special One” Sharad Collier returns to action October 20, on a show presented by CES Boxing, at Foxwood Resort Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The two-time New England Golden Gloves champion made his professional debut this past June 16, on his promoter’s Hartford Boxing Promotions’ inaugural event, “Fight Night at The Capital”, in which he registered a sensational first-round knockout of Antonio Castillo Jr. (1-1), at Xfinity Centre in Hartford.
Collier will step-up in competition, fighting in to his first scheduled six-round bout Oct, 20, against undefeated Springfield, MA welterweight Derrick Whitley, Jr. (4-0, 0 KOs), the son and uncle of well-known retired New England fighters.
“I feel the same as I did in my pro debut, maybe less pressure, but I’m more familiar with the guy I’m fighting October 20th,” Collier said. “I fought and beat his cousin and brother in the amateurs. I feel like he’s out for revenge for them.
“I’m motivated to be fighting at Foxwoods. I feel like that’s fighting under the big lights, where I fought once as an amateur. I signed my contract the first day, I’ve been training hard in the gym every day. My pro debut was against a 1-0 guy, my second is against another undefeated fighter. I believe in my skills. I want to separate myself to show people that I am special.”
The 21-year-Collier has dedicated his boxing career to his uncle and father. His uncle was murdered three years ago, outside of a venue in which Sharad was boxing and his father has been in and out of prison. Collier grew up in toughest part of (south) Hartford, spent time in a detention center and, at times, lived in and out of foster homes.
“It was my idea to move up now to six rounds,” Collier noted. “I’m familiar with my opponent. I’m not sleeping on this kid but, if I don’t get him out early, it will just mean there are more rounds for me to beat him up.”
“We’re excited,” Collier’s promoter Tony Blanco added. “In his pro debut, he was up against a 1-0 opponent, and now he’s stepping up to fight a 4-0 opponent in his first six-round fight. That’s why they call him’ The Special One.'”
Here’s what ‘Special’ stands for: S = speed, P = power, E = enthusiasm, C = charisma, I = intelligence, A = athleticism, L = looks.