SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The MassMutual Center is hosting ‘Springfield Championship Boxing’ featuring a pair of 8-round title fights.
According to a news release sent to 22News from the promoter Chris Traietti, president of Granite Chin, a pair of 8-round title fights for vacant Massachusetts State Championships, both featuring local favorites. Tickets are available online at MassMutualCenter.com for Saturday, November 19th, doors open at 6 p.m.
Undefeated Holyoke welterweight prospect Denzel “Double Impact” Whitley (9-0, 5 KOs) against Kris Jacobs (5-2-1, 2 KOs), of Fall River.
Unbeaten Pittsfield light heavyweight Steve Sumpter (6-0, 6 KOs) against Edet “Papito” Mkpanam (8-0, 7 KOs), of New Bedford.
Completing the Western Mass. talent tripleheader is Pittsfield super welterweight Carlos Castillo (5-0, 3 KOs), 24, against Travis “Gambi” Gambardella (7-2-2, 3 KOs), of Revere, in a 6-round super welterweight bout.
Undefeated lightweight prospect RayJay “The Destroyer” Bermudez (16-0, 11 KOs) against gatekeeper Tyrone “Hands of Stone” Luckey (15-18-4, 11 KOs) in an 8-round match.
Fighting on the undercard in 4-rounders:
Springfield super featherweight Isiah Cruz (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. Mexican challenger Pablo Batres (10-22-1, 3 KOs).
Springfield lightweight Carlos Gonzalez (2-0, 2 KOs) vs. pro-debuting Mathew McGee, of Fairfield, Maine.
“The Springfield area is loaded with talent and passionate boxing fans,” Traietti said.” I am excited to be finally putting on a huge event in the area. It took a little longer than I wanted to, but I had to make sure all the pieces were in place and now they are. This card is going to be loaded with both professional and amateur talent from the area in tough matchups. There’s no ‘fluff’ on this card. From top to bottom, amateur to professional, all of these fights are tough matchups. I can’t wait to come back to do more events, so far this show has been a blast putting together. The plan is by the end of 2023, I want Granite Chin to be in the forefront of the boxing scene in Western Massachusetts.”
“I’m excited,” Whitley said. “I fought there as an amateur in the semifinals and final of the Western New England Golden Gloves. This will be my first time fighting there as a pro. I know I’m packing Mass Mutual with all my people. I’m fighting close to home, basically in my hometown. I love the support I get from my city. I’ve been asking to fight on a bigger card and now I am. My people followed me on the road. Imagine what it’s going to be like so close to home? I look forward to fighting at home; it makes me feel good.”
“I had no reservations about fighting there (in his opponent’s home base), because I’m used to it,” Jacobs explained. “It’s not an issue. I fought two other guys in their backyards – Harry Gigliotti and Brandon Higgins — and beat them. I’m not worried about fighting him in his backyard, I’m going there to win the fight.”
“This is my first time fighting at Mass Mutual,” Sumpter commented. “I’m excited about that but it’s just another fight. I’ll have a lot of people there supporting me. I love that. There’s nothing better than having a bunch of support. It’s not a big deal for me to move up to light heavyweight after fighting as a super middleweight, but my first two pro fights were at light heavyweight. Super middleweight is probably where I’m going to make my home.”
“I’m not concerned about fighting in his backyard,” Mkpanam commented. “Honestly, it’s part of boxing and I’ve got to do it. I’m an old-school fighter and boxers need to fight on the road. Now, it’s my time. I felt it was time to take a step up like in the old days. Today a lot of guys fight guys with losing records, no tests, and people know who will win before the fight starts. I accepted this test to fight another undefeated fighter. Steve’s undefeated and we are going to put on a great fight for the fans.”
“I’m really excited for this one,” Castillo admitted. It’s going to be a pretty good fight. I really want to put on a show for the city. I fought there as an amateur a few times at the Western New England Golden Gloves. I reached the finals in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Every year there was a sold-out crowd. It’s only 10 minutes away from Holyoke. This will be my first fight there as a pro and I’m sure it is going to be crazy. I don’t feel any pressure fighting at home. It’s my job and I will do what I got to do. I’m just excited to put on a show for the people.”
“Not at all,” Gambardella answered a question about being concerned about fighting in his opponent’s backyard. “It’s part of boxing and I understand what I’m getting into. I don’t talk about it, just fight my fight. I’m an active fighter who keeps moving forward; Mexican style but I move my head a lot.”