Balletto-Vargas headline Oct. 31 ESPN2 show in Providence

28.10.03 – There will be plenty of heroes and villains, possibly a few goblins and ghosts, entering the ring Halloween night (Oct. 31) in “Haunted Homecoming,” promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports, Inc., live on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence.

“Haunted Homecoming” is presented by CES in association with Mohegan Sun, Corona, 94 WHJY, Westin Hotel and Gansett Juice. The fan with the best Halloween costume will win a two-night stay at Mohegan Sun.

Three hundred additional tickets go on sale Friday, starting at 9 a.m., in the R.I. Convention Center.

Promoter Jimmy Burchfield has announced “Haunted Homecoming” is being dedicated to the memory of fallen CES stablemate Jamar “Silk” Carter, who recently perished in a New Jersey house fire.

Hometown hero Gary “Tiger” Balletto (29-1-2, 25 KOs), born in Providence’s historic Federal Hill, defends his International Boxing Union World lightweight title against Mexican invader, Gregorio “Goyo” Vargas (43-7-1, 30 KOs), in the 12-round main event.

Balletto, 28, is coming off impressive back-to-back ESPN2 co-feature triumphs against Luis Lizarraga (WDEC10) and Frank Houghtaling (WKO4). “Tiger,” considered by many to be the hardest punching lightweight in the world, will be fighting in his first main event on national television. Vargas, former World Boxing Council super featherweight champion and present No. 16 rated contender, reminds some fans of great Mexican fighters from the past such as Julio Cesar Chavez, Salvador Sanchez, and Carlos Zarate.

In the 10-round co-feature, 21-year-old middleweight prospects “Bad” Chad Dawson (13-0, 9 KOs), of New Haven (CT), and Dumont “Dewey” Welliver (14-5-1, 4 KOs), of Snoqualmie (WA), will fight for the vacant WBC Youth title. Welliver, who holds a victory against former world champion Livingstone Bramble, defeated Dawson, rated No. 14 by the NABF and No. 15 by the NABA, in the 1998 U.S. Junior Olympics championship final

Present WBC Youth champions (must be 23 or younger) include lightweight Juan Diaz and flyweight Brian Viloria. Francisco “Pancho” Bojado is a former WBC Youth title-holder.

The third world championship match on “Haunted Homecoming” is a 10-round special attraction between reigning EBA champion Jaime “Hurricane” Clampitt (11-2, 4 KOs), of Narragansett (RI), and Michelle “Amazing Grace” Linden (6-3, 6 KOs), of Pompano Beach (FL), for the vacant International Women’s Boxing Federation light welterweight crown.

Manchester’s (CT) hot featherweight prospect, Angel “Gee Roc” Torres (13-2, 5 KOs), Flash Update’s 2002 Most Improved New England Fighter, has a nine-fight win steak going into his six-round bout against (no relations) Angelo Torres (7-6-1, 3 KOs), of Lakewood (WA).

Cranston featherweight Missy “The Fury” Fiorentino (7-0, 5 KOs) puts her unbeaten record on line against another undefeated fighter, Ohio-invader Talia Smith (3-0, 3 KOs), in a six-round bout.

In four-round matches, Providence’s undefeated light heavyweight Joey “KO Kid” Spina (9-0, 6 KOs), fresh off of his ESPN2 victory in Las Vegas, faces Anterio Vines, of Columbus (OH), Providence’s unbeaten middleweight Bobo “The Bull” Starnino (6-0, 1 KO) battles Martin “The Irish Assassin” Thornton (5-1, 1 KO), of South Boston (MA), and middleweight Joe Gardner (3-0-1, 1 KO), of Bellingham (MA), squares-off against Keith Collier, of Philadelphia (PA).

All matches and fighters are subject to change.

Available tickets are priced at $75.00 ringside, $50.00 reserved and limited $25.00 general admission. For more information or to order tickets call CES corporate headquarters (now open 24 hours a day) at 401.724.2253/2254 or visit its Web site at

Doors open at 7 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 8 p.m. The first ESPN2 fight will be Dawson-Welliver at 10 p.m.; followed by Balletto-Vargas at 11 p.m. Torres-Torres is the first swing bout.

Latest Boxing News

From The Boxing Forums

Latest Boxing Results: