Nicky DeQuattro never really had a dream job growing up, but always knew he’d be on the big screen one of these days.
Which screen? Take your pick. From motion pictures and television pilots to the boxing ring, the Rhode Island-born DeQuattro (3-0, 1 KO) remains in the limelight as he prepares for his fourth professional bout Friday, May 11th, 2018 against Andy Aiello (0-1) at Twin River Casino.
Tickets are priced at $47.00, $102.00, $127.00 (VIP) and $152.00 (VIP) and can be purchased online at www.cesboxing.com, www.twinriver.com or www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 401-724-2253/2254 or at the Twin River Casino Players Club. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
The event begins with preliminary bouts at 7 p.m. ET with the main card streaming on Facebook via FIGHTNIGHT LIVE beginning at 8.
With a perfect 3-0 record entering next Friday, DeQuattro has emerged as a pleasant surprise on the regional boxing circuit, a flamboyant, affable personality who entertains both in and out of the ring and continues to get better with each fight.
The 36-year-old Johnston resident didn’t come from a big boxing background — only three amateur bouts, to be exact — and got a late start by most fighters’ standards. He didn’t step foot into a boxing gym until 2010 when he was 28, but was hooked from the get-go.
“I instantly knew I wanted to fight,” he said. “It was just deep inside me.”
Working with trainer Artie Artwell, whom he calls a “wealth of wisdom,” DeQuattro rushed through the amateur circuit with only three bouts, finishing his short-lived career with a knockout in his third and final bout before turning pro in 2017.
“I got an ancient start,” DeQuattro quipped. “I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself because I knew time was something I did not have a lot of, realistically.”
DeQuattro kicked off his pro career with a knockout win over Timothy Wheeler and hasn’t slowed down since. Next Friday’s bout will be his fourth in eight months and his second at Twin River since joining forces with CES Boxing.
“From Day 1, I always dreamed of working with CES and Jimmy [Burchfield] Sr., the whole team,” DeQuattro said. “To actually get there was, to me, a great thing. It still is.”
Boxing wasn’t always in the cards. DeQuattro and his family moved a lot when he was a kid, but he describes the Silver Lake section of Providence as the area that made he and his two brothers, 38-year-old Mario and 35-year-old Anthony, into the men they are today.
His father wasn’t a big part of his life — DeQuattro describes him as “distant” — so it was just the three boys and their mother, whom DeQuattro says was, and still is, the rock of the family. She’s the only person in his inner circle who has been to each of his fights. That doesn’t mean the DeQuattro brothers didn’t drive her nuts every now and then with their antics.
“You have no idea!” DeQuattro said with a laugh.
As the middle child in the family, DeQuattro described himself as a bit of a prankster growing up, always “messing around,” but in a lighthearted way. Truthfully, just wanted to make people laugh, and perhaps one day see his name in lights.
“When I was in high school, I actually saw myself being on a screen, but I never mentioned it to family,” he said. “You know how family is. ‘Get a good job.’ But I used to look at TV and think, ‘I can do that. I can be there.'”
DeQuattro chased that dream after high school and landed a few small roles in short films and television pilots, most of which he filmed in Los Angeles during separate trips out west. Guided by veteran Rhode Island actor Bobby Vigeant, whom he describes as a mentor, DeQuattro embraced the lifestyle and starred in a short film titled “Dirty Gun” alongside Michael Stone, the son of legendary screenwriter Oliver Stone.
But DeQuattro is never one to settle or stay in one place too long, so once he took up boxing, mainly as a way to stay, he realized turning pro and competing at the highest level was merely another hill to climb.
Seeing as though the New England boxing community is a tight-knit group, DeQuattro has heard his fair share of chatter from those who don’t think he’s ready or isn’t good enough to survive at this level, so each time he enters the ring he has not just one chip, but an entire “bag of chips” on his shoulder with the intention of silencing the doubters.
“I believe now they realize I am what I am and I do belong,” he said. “I have so much to prove.”
Along the way, he’ll make sure he’s equal parts technician and entertainer. In his debut fight at Twin River in February, DeQuattro dyed his hair purple. Next Friday? You’ll have to wait until fight night.
“I’ve been telling people I’m going to be the Dennis Rodman of boxing, a different hair color each fight,” DeQuattro said. “I haven’t even gotten started yet with that.”
Either way, DeQuattro will have a throng of supporters behind him when the bell rings May 11th. He has developed an incredibly loyal fan base, most of which he’s developed through the years simply by being outgoing and friendly to everyone he interacts with.
“I’m going to tell you in one word: love. My whole life, I’ve always shown love to people, everyone, everywhere I go,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a janitor or a CEO. I know that sound cliché, but it’s the truth. I smile at everyone and I’m just me. I walk in my own truth.”
DeQuattro is realistic when it comes to his long-term goals. He knows he doesn’t have 15 to 20 years ahead of him boxing, but will put everything he has into the sport as long as he can physically compete and, more importantly, have fun doing it. While some might lament the fact they didn’t start earlier, DeQuattro’s learned to embrace it.
“I’ve become very spiritual and I truly believe things happen in our lives all in divine timing,” he said.
What’s his purpose for fighting?
“To inspire,” he said. “I want people to say, ‘Oh, if Nicky can do it, so can I.'”
Next Friday, DeQuattro expects to be even sharper than he was in his Feb. 23rd fight against Carlos Galindo. Working with Artwell and getting himself more and more acclimated to the sport, DeQuattro is simply scratching the surface in terms of what he can bring to the table as a soon-to-be household name.
“I’ve grown immensely. I can’t stop evolving. I’m so much more of who I saw myself being. I’m so much more of that person now,” he said.
“I’m 36. I turned pro at 35, so at the end of the day I know I don’t have 20 years in the game, but I’m looking to go as far as I possibly can. The fight that I have inside of me, I could not walk away from this sport until I am, until I am done.”
Also on the May 11th card, Rhode Island’s Rich Gingras (15-5-1, 9 KOs) fights for the first time since 2015 when he battles Atlantic City’s Antowyan Aikens (12-4-1, 1 KO) in a six-round super middleweight bout. In addition, the May 11th extravaganza features a rematch between female welterweights Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes (18-4-3, 1 KO) of Marshfield, Mass., and Ontario’s Natasha Spence (8-3-2, 6 KOs), scheduled for six rounds. The two fought to a draw in December.
Undefeated super lightweight Anthony Marsella Jr. (8-0, 4 KOs) of Providence returns in his toughest to date, a six-round showdown against Arlington, Wash., native Ricardo Maldonado (8-7-1, 1 KO), and Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (14-1, 12 KOs) puts his 12-fight win streak on the line in a six-round bout against Bernardo Marquez (8-3-1, 5 KOs) of Riverside, Calif.
Also on the main card, unbeaten Worcester, Mass., native Jamaine Ortiz (8-0, 4 KOs) faces the dangerous Tyrone Luckey (9-8-3, 7 KOs) of Neptune, N.J., in a six-round lightweight bout and regional rivals Marqus Bates (3-2, 2 KOs) of Taunton, Mass., and Mohamad Allam (3-2, 1 KO) of Holyoke, Mass., battle one another in a six-round bout.
Featherweight Ricky Delossantos (4-0, 1 KO) of Pawtucket, R.I., puts his undefeated record on the line against Maryland’s James Early (3-2) in a four-round bout while cruiserweights Jake Paradise (0-1) of Worcester and Leandro Silva (0-1) of Sao Paolo, Brazil each search for their first career win when they face one another in a four-round preliminary bout. Derrick Whitley (3-0) of Springfield, Mass., makes his Rhode Island debut in a separate four-round welterweight bout.