Unbreakable in its quest to continue bringing quality championship boxing to New England and beyond, CES kicks off the new year Saturday, Jan. 17th, 2015 with two dynamic title bouts at Mohegan Sun Arena, including what might be the final chapter of one of the region’s most intense rivalries.
After fighting to a draw twice in 2014, Hartford, Conn., super featherweight Joseph “Chip” Perez (10-3-2, 3 KOs) will battle Agustine Mauras (6-0-3, 3 KOs) of Lawrence, Mass., in an eight-round bout for the vacant N.E. title while Josh Crespo (3-1-2, 1 KO) of New Haven, Conn., faces Portland, Maine’s Jorge Abiague (7-0-1, 1 KO) in an eight-round bout for the vacant N.E. super bantamweight crown.
This unique, dual main event headlines one of the most action-packed regional cards in years. The event also features a star-studded amateur undercard in addition to the professional debuts of two standout Chinese boxers, in association with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports, among them a former Olympian and six-time national champion.
Tickets for the event are priced at $40, $65 and $125 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling 401-724-2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com or www.ticketmaster.com, or at the Mohegan Sun Box Office. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
The Mauras-Perez trilogy ends Jan. 17th in anticipation of a winner finally being crowned following two highly entertaining draws in 2014. The two rivals first faced one another in July in Boston with all three judges scoring the six-round bout 57-57. The rematch took place two months later in Connecticut, also a six-rounder. Judge Robert Paolino scored the bout 58-56 in favor of Perez while Glenn Feldman gave the edge to Mauras by the same score. Don Trella scored it 57-57, resulting in another draw.
The announcement of the third — and perhaps final — installment of the Mauras-Perez saga has sparked tremendous excitement via social media, with fans of both sides weighing in on the predicted outcome.
Crespo-Abiague is another evenly-matched bout between two of the region’s top fighters in the 122-pound division, one looking to build another winning streak with the other hoping to take another step forward following the biggest victory of his young career.
The 34-year-old Cuban-born Abiague is no stranger to success in the northeast, having won four times on New England soil since relocating in 2013. Following a close loss to unbeaten prospect Nate Green in October, Abiague returned to the ring a month later to beat 19-fight veteran Eduardo Melendez. For Crespo, this upcoming title bout is another chance to strike down another established fighter after dominating Xian Wei Qian, the reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) Asian Featherweight Champion, in October.
Jan. 17th also features the return of New Haven super middleweight Elvin Ayala (26-6-1, 12 KOs), a former five-time title challenger and WBC U.S. National Boxing Council (USNBC) champion, who faces Hyannis, Mass., veteran Paul Gonsalves (7-5-1, 3 KOs) in a six-round bout. Ayala pieced together an impressive six-fight win streak before a stunning loss to Curtis Stevens in January of 2014 and has his hands full with Gonsalves, who went the distance last year with unbeaten contenders Mike Lee and Angel Camacho Jr., two opponents with a combined 26-0 record.
Also back in action is unbeaten Hartford light heavyweight prospect David Bauza (6-0, 3 KOs), who ends a four-year layoff when he faces Jose Torres (2-2, 2 KOs) of Springfield, Mass. Bauza rose to prominence between 2009 and 2010 with six consecutive wins in an 11-month span. Torres is best known for his stunning fourth-round knockout win over dangerous cruiserweight slugger Josh Harris in 2011. New Haven junior middleweight Jimmy Williams (7-0-1, 3 KOs) will put his unbeaten record on the line in a six-round bout against an opponent to be determined.
Not to be outdone, New Bedford, Mass., lightweight Briam Granado makes his professional debut against Willie Carville (1-0) of Lewiston, Maine, while unbeaten Worcester, Mass., prospect Khiary Gray-Pitts (3-0, 1 KO) returns to face hard-hitting veteran Emmanuel Medina (3-4-1, 3 KOs) of Tilton, N.H.
A five-time Northern New England Golden Gloves champion, the 29-year-old Carville looks to build off his win over Paulo Souza in October while Granado makes his highly anticipated debut following a brief amateur career. Fighting for the fourth time since June, Gray-Pitts attempts to extend his unbeaten strike to four fights against the crafty Medina, who has never faced a fighter with a losing record since turning pro in 2009.
Also featured on the undercard, light heavyweight southpaw Meng Fanlong and junior welterweight Wang Zhimin debut after successful amateur careers. Signed to Roc Nation Sports in 2014, Fanlong competed in the 2012 London Olympics and also advanced to the finals of World Amateur Boxing Championships in 2011 in addition to winning the Chinese National Championship for six consecutive years between 2008 and 2013. He faces Marcellus Yates (0-1) of Washington, D.C., in a four-round bout. Zhimin won the gold medal in the 2011 World Series of Boxing and also reached the finals of the Chinese National Championships in 2010, one year after earning a bronze medal. Zhimin also debuts Jan. 17th in a four-round bout.