Home Boxing News Police officers Neal Sullivan & Melanie Costa in action on “Punch-Out at...

Police officers Neal Sullivan & Melanie Costa in action on “Punch-Out at Polar Park” card

Blue Power will be in the ring on the “Punch-Out at Polar Park” Pro-Am card, presented by Shearns Boxing Promotions (SBP) in conjunction with Kenrick Ball’s Camp Get Right Boxing, Friday, August 4 (rain date Aug. 5), on the first boxing event ever held at Polar Park in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Polar Park is the home of the Boston Red Sox Triple-A affiliate Worcester Red Sox (WooSox), voted as the best minor league baseball park in America. A share of the proceeds will be donated to local charities from what is believed to be the first outdoor boxing show in Worcester history.

Two police officers, Worcester (MA) light heavyweight Neal Sullivan (0-0-1) and Norton (MA) super bantamweight Melanie “Pitbull” Costa (1-0, 1 KO), will be fighting on the pro card, respectively, with the full support of their fellow police officers. Sullivan vs. Michael Medeiros (0-4), Costa against Sarah “Switch Kick” Click (1-5-1).

Sullivan, 30, is a Worcester native who works for the city’s police department as a police patrol officer who answers 911 calls. He started boxing in 2007, after realizing there wasn’t a real future in football for a 6’ 0”, 130-pound running back. Sullivan started boxing at a gym operated by local boxer Sean Fitzgerald, switching to the Worcester Boys and Girls Club when Fitzy’s gym closed.

Sullivan had 40 amateur fights, starting in 2014, and three years later he made his professional debut at Worcester’s DCU Center, fighting to a draw. Boxing then was put on hold as Sullivan was in the Worcester police hiring process in 2019. He didn’t want to continue boxing and risk his new job. He continued training at various gyms and jumped at the opportunity to fight at home at Polar Park.

“It was like a perfect storm,” Sullivan explained why he’s fighting again. “I just turned 30 and this is like a storybook for me. I’m really excited; I’ve been shelved for four years. I love boxing and I love my city.

“I have a great job and I’m boxing. Boxers are from all walks of life, including police, and it doesn’t really matter what boxers do for jobs. My opponent may want to take my head off, but that has nothing to do with me being a police officer. There’s nothing but respect between us.”

Costa, on the other hand (or glove), was a celebrated amateur boxer who was nearly a U.S. Olympian. She is a four-time National Golden Gloves Champion, as well as a multiple New England Golden Gloves champion, Costa was also a winner at the 2016 Olympic Trials, but she failed to qualify for the Team USA Olympic Boxing Team. She was offered an opportunity to be the Olympic alternate in 2020, but the COVID pandemic delayed the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo for a year, and she respectively passed on the offer.

During a three-year period, in which boxing was restricted during the pandemic, Costa was caught between remaining an amateur boxer and possibly becoming a 2024 Olympian in Paris or making her pro debut. She eventually decided to go pro, winning her debut this past May by way of second-round knockout.

Melanie is a Norton patrol officer who is on the road in a car answering calls.

“I feel great and can’t wait to fight in such a beautiful place to box,” commented Costa, who trains at Big Six Academy in Providence, under the guidance of Dr. Roland Estrada and his son, Jason, a 2004 USA Olympian boxer. “I expect my opponent to bring her A game, which has nothing to do with me being a police officer.

“I expect to have a lot of my brothers and sisters (Norton police) there supporting me. Not everybody who wants to go to watch me fight can because of the different shifts we work. But I had a huge crowd at my first fight. It was awesome. I plan to box for a few more years. I’m still young enough (30) and we’ll see where this takes me. My goal is to win a championship.”

The eight-round main event showcases Worcester light heavyweight Kendrick “Peppa” Ball, Jr. (20-1-3, 12 KOs), a former New England middleweight champion and WBC USA Silver super middleweight champion, against Mexican southpaw Oscar “Moustro” Riojas (28-16-3, 16 KOs).

Undefeated Providence heavyweight Sean Bey (7-0, 7 KOs) will battle Pittsfield’s (MA) Quintin Sumpter (6-1, 4 KOs) in the eight-round co-featured event in a classic New England confrontation.

On the undercard, Brockton’s undefeated super featherweight “King” Kevin Walsh (9-0, 4 KOs) meets Philip Davis (3-5-2), of Worcester, while Puerto Rican welterweight prospect Josniel “TG” Castro (9-1, 7 KOs) will be matched against an opponent to be determined, in a pair of six-rounders.

In two other four-round fights, pro-debuting Native American Robert Degaetano, of Douglas (MA), makes his pro-debut versus welterweight Michael “Titan” Taylor (1-5), and Newton lightweight Tevin Regis will make his pro debut.

The pro card will start after amateur boxers from throughout New England compete in the inaugural Carlos Garcia Tournament, named after the National Golden Gloves Hall of Fame trainer who founded and operated the highly successful boxing program at the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester for four decades.

Doors open at 5 p.m. ET with the first amateur match starting then (6 p.m. ET), the pro card starts at 7 p.m. ET.

Tickets are priced at $205.00 (Field VIP – rows 1-4, all padded seats), $155.00 (VIP), $75.00 (Homeplate Reserved – rows 5 and beyond, not padded seats) and $45.00 (Reserved), and available for purchase at Polar Park’s box office (508.500.8888), and online at www.polarpark.com/boxing.