Local prospect Bobby “BH3” Harris III is ready to breakout of the shadows cast by his father, retired pro boxer Bobby Harris, starting Saturday night, October 28, in the fourth and final 2017 installment of the popular professional boxing series, “New England’s Future”, at the DCU Center (Exhibition Hall) in Worcester, Massachusetts.
“New England’s Future 4” is presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), which is owned and operated by retired three-time, two division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera and his son, Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera.
“BH3” and A.J. grew-up together in gyms as sons of pro fighters. They had dreams of making it in boxing, which has come to fruition with “BH3” the rising prospect, A.J. the president and matchmaker for RPE. At times, though, what’s transpired may be somewhat surreal for both young men.
“I grew up in boxing,” Bobby Harris III explained. “My father always brought me to the gym and his fights. My uncle, Adam Harris, was also a pro boxer. My father and Jose were super close, me and A.J. grew-up as brothers. The same blood couldn’t make us any closer. It’s me and AJ. My first amateur fight was when I was 13. A.J. used to run and workout with me. I’d go to his house after school and sleep over on weekends. We planned our lives together in boxing; my job is to fight and A.J. promotes and makes matches.”
“I remember growing up with Bobby as my brother,” A.J. added. “We did everything together: ran, trained, sparred and pushed each other to our greatest limits. He’s grown so much over the years. His natural ability, mixed with years of experience, and Bobby growing into a man will surely lead to him being world champion one day. I’m truly proud and excited to see our childhood plan unfold.”
“BH3” only had about 40 amateur matches but the large majority were at the national level. He is a two-time national amateur champion, including a gold-medal performance in the USA National Championships, and as a member of Team USA, he was rated No. 1 in the U.S, and No. 2 in the world.
The 21-year-old decided to turn pro earlier this year, rather than wait for a shot at the Olympics, after discussing his options with his father, as well as Jose and A.J. Rivera, plus his head trainer, Rocky Gonzalez. Worcester boxers such as Jermaine Ortiz and Irvin Gonzalez turning pro, along with the arrival of now 8-month-old Bobby Harris IV, were key factors in his decision to become a professional boxer. “I didn’t want to waste another year,” Bobby admitted. “Turning pro now will get me into rankings earlier. The time was right”
Bobby’s father was a 4-time national amateur champion as a super heavyweight who compiled a 20-2-1 (13 KOs) pro record between 1993 and 1999. Today, he is an important member of his son’s corner, but he did leave a shadow cast over his son, especially across New England.
“People will always compare me with my dad, in the ring, but, as good as he was, it’s a great honor to be his son,” Bobby Harris III remarked. “It’s been nothing but good for me. He trained with fighters like (Oscar) De La Hoya, (Shane) Mosley, (Evander) Holyfield and so many other great fighters. We are different, though. and now I’m establishing my own identity. The sport has changed so much since he fought. Back then it was mostly two guys beating each other up, not as much of a performance. I like to put on a good performance and have people say, ‘He’s cool, and when does he fight again. My dad has told me how different boxing is today compared to when he fought. Now, marketing is so important for fighters, and a lot of exposure is through social media.
“My father was a heavyweight, I’m going to go down to 154 (junior middleweight. He is so much bigger, taller and heavier than I am, so fighting in different weight classes separates us. I’m a different style fighter, too. I’m more active than him. So that people don’t confuse us when talking, I came up with ‘BH3’ as my persona. We are different in and out of the ring.”
“I have known Little Bobby (as I call him) since he was born,” Jose Rivera noted. “He calls me, Tio (uncle) Jose, and I love him like a member of my family. I am happy and proud to see little Bobby go after his dreams and goals his way and on his terms. I wouldn’t want it any other way. My son, A.J., and I are happy that we can use our RPE company to be able to help little Bobby pursue his dreams and goals. Worcester – and soon enough the rest of the world – will know it’s BH3 Time!”
“BH3” turned pro this past June 10, in his Worcester hometown, taking a four-round unanimous decision (40-36 X 3) over an awkward opponent, Rodrigo Almeida, who seemed more interested in survival, often frustrating “BH3” with his constant holding.
“I’m happy with the way that fight went because I learned so much,” Bobby commented. “I was so excited with all the hype about my pro debut, and I was into the crowd trying for the knockout. I learned that I need to take my time, have fun, throw combinations and that the knockout will come. Dad liked to jab, I like to hit and run like ‘Sugar’ Ray (Leonard). My first pro fight wasn’t really me. I’m the matador but I can fight like a bull if the opportunity comes to me. I can change things around but I forgot to have fun in my pro debut.”
“BH3” plans to breakout from his father’s shadow in his Oct. 28th fight against New Yorker Troy Omer “KO Artist” Artis (3-7-1, 2 KOs), contested at a 164-pound catchweight, in a four-round bout.
Former WBU Americans and IBU North American cruiserweight champion Vinnie “American Nightmare” Carita (16-1-1, 15 KOs), fighting out of Pembroke (MA), will face an opponent to be determined in the eight-round main event.
Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga will make his pro boxing debut in a four-round match against Washington D.C. heavyweight Alando Pugh (1-10-1, 1 KO).
The “New England’s Future 4” undercard features many of the best and most popular N.E. fighters, including 2016 N.E. Golden Gloves champion Anthony Laureano (4-0, 2 KOs), a promising welterweight from East Hartford (CT), who faces Clifton Rashad Thames (3-2-1), of Oklahoma City, in a six-round match.
Other undercard fights, all four-rounders, include 2014 N.E. Golden Gloves champion Adrian “Tonka” Sosa (4-0, 3 KOs), fighting out of nearby Lawrence (MA), vs. veteran Norwalk (CT) welterweight Shakha Moore (12-23-3, 2 KOs), New Haven (CT) Edwin Soto (10-2-2, 4 KOs) vs. Anthony Everett (1-6). of Lawrence, at a 150-pounds catch-weight, three-time USA Boxing Nationals champion Elvis Figueroa (2-0, 1 KO), of New Haven (CT), vs. Anthony Bowman (11-63-2, 3 KOs). Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera (3-0, 2 KOs), of Hartford (CT), vs. Hansen Castillo (0-2), at a 180-pounds catch-weight, Southbridge (MA) junior welterweight Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan (2-0) vs. Oscar Diaz (0-12), of Hartford, and Danbury (CT) junior welterweight Omar Bordoy, Jr. (2-0) vs. Alan Beeman (0-15), of Providence.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets, priced at $75.00 (ringside) and $45.00 (general admission), are on sale and available to purchase at the DCU Center box office, www.dcu.centerworcester.com, by contacting Jose Rivera (firstname.lastname@example.org/508.864.6954), AJ Rivera
(email@example.com/774.272.2269) or any of the fighters
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., first bout 7:00 p.m. ET.