Hartford Boxing Promotions has announced its inaugural event, “Fight Night at the Capital”, to take place Saturday night, June 16, at Xfinity Centre in Hartford, Connecticut.
Boxing trainer Tony Blanco and his Hartford Boxing Center gym partner, Michael Tran, have teamed with their undefeated light heavyweight prospect, Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera (7-0, 6 KOs), to form Hartford Boxing Promotions.
“I’m excited about the entire card and providing a platform for some of the best amateurs in recent Connecticut boxing history to fight,” Blanco said. “‘Popeye’ is in the main event. He’s sparred against world champions and each experience has given him more confidence. He’s on his way to greatness. We’re also showcasing (‘The Special One’) Sharad Collier in his pro debut. This kid is something special. Richard is exactly what Hartford needs, somebody youngster can look up to as a role model. ‘Popeye’ is exciting to watch and very popular. Sharad is going to be like that, too.
“I’m thrilled to partner with Richard and Michael to bring boxing back to Hartford, which is a hotbed for boxing, and it has a rich boxing history. There’s a lot of talent here right now and fans will see that June 16th.”
Boxing’s roots in the Hartford market dates back nearly a full century, headlined by International Hall of Famers Willie “Will o’ the Wisp” Pep and Christopher “Battling” Battalino. Other top-area boxers include world champion Marlon “Magic Man” Starling, world title challengers Gaspar “El Indio” Ortega and Israel “Pito” Cardona, and 1996 USA Olympic Boxing Team captain Lawrence Clay-Bey.
The hardest hitter in New England, rising star Rivera will defend his Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) New England light heavyweight title in the eight-round main event versus an opponent to be determined.
“I’m blessed to help bring boxing back to Hartford,” Rivera commented. “I’m honored to headline our first show, Fans will see good boxing and be entertained. I’m going to put on a good performance on an exciting night. I can’t wait!”
The 21-yer-old Collard, fighting out of Hartford like Rivera, will be competing in the National Golden Gloves Championships, starting May 14th in Omaha, Nebraska, before returning home to turn pro in a four-round Special Junior Welterweight Attraction versus Carlos Galindo (0-2), of Woburn, Massachusetts.
“Tony is like my second father and I’m grateful to him for allowing me to make my pro debut in my hometown,” Collier remarked. “I’m bringing a big fan-base and I’m going to put on a show. I’m familiar with a lot of fighters on this card. ‘Popeye’ is like my big brother. We train and have traveled together as amateurs. We motivate each other. I’m going to try and get a faster knockout than him June 16th.”
Undefeated Danbury, CT lightweight Omar “The Beast” Bordoy, Jr. (5-0, 1 KO) in his first scheduled six-rounder vs. Alexander “El Bravo” Picot (2-5-1), fighting out of Hartford by way of Puerto Rico.
Also fighting on the undercard, all in four-round bouts, are Hartford featherweight Luis “Lobito” Rivera (4-3) vs. Phillip Davis (1-1-1), of Worcester, MA; pro-debuting New Haven, CT lightweight Anuel Rosa vs. Cleveland’s Roger Blankenship (1-3), New Britain, CT featherweight Nathan Martinez in his professional debut vs. New Bedford’s (MA) Henry Garcia (1-0), Hartford lightweight Jose Maysonette vs. Justin Morales, of New Bedford, in a battle of pro-debut fighters, and another pair of pro debut fighters, Bridgeport, CT featherweight Jacob Marrero vs. Jimmy Santiago, of New York City.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets, priced at $80.00, $60.00 and $40.00, are on sale and available to purchase, as well as $125.00 VIP tickets that include food and soft drinks), at Ticket Master outlets or at the Hartford Boxing Center gym.
Doors open at 6 p.m. ET, first bout starts at 7 p.m. ET.
Sponsors include Hot 93.7 FM, Hartford Boxing Center, Foster Buddies Network and HBC ProShop.