Home Boxing News Kendrick Ball, Jr. hits it out of Ballpark as hometown headliner

Kendrick Ball, Jr. hits it out of Ballpark as hometown headliner

“Punch-Out at Polar Park”

History was made last night at Polar Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox Triple-A affiliate Worcester Red Sox (WooSox), which hosted its first boxing event, “Punch-Out at Polar Park,” under the stars at its award-winning minor league ballpark.

The “Punch-Out at Polar Park” Pro Am card was presented by Shearns Boxing Promotions (SBP) in conjunction with Kendrick Ball’s Camp Get Right.

“It certainly took a lot of hard work from a lot of good people, including my partner (Kendrick Ball, Sr.) and my family,” SBP president Chuck Shearns said. “It was a historical event and I hope everybody had a good time.”

Hometown hero Kendrick “Peppa” Ball, Jr. (21-1-3, 12 KOs) sent the fans home happy, pitching a shutout in the main event versus Oscar “Moustro” Riojas (28-17-3, 16 KOs), winning by scores of 80-72 three times.

Ball had in a workmanlike strategy, out-boxing his Mexican opponent, and then breaking him down in the final two rounds. Riojas proved to be a crafty southpaw with invaluable experience having fought world champion Carlos Gongara, Irish Olympian Joseph Ward, and top contender Diego Pacheco.

“Leading up to the fight, that (fighting at home in the first boxing event at Polar Park) wasn’t my focus,” Ball, Jr. commented after the fight. “Now, it means a lot to me for me to accomplish what I wanted to and have my fans watch. I made some new fans, too.

“My opponent was getting tired (in the last 2 rounds), He’s very tough, I couldn’t get him out. He’s a lefty and I kept stepping on his foot.”

In the co-featured event, heavyweight “Don’t Play” Sean Bey (8-0, 7 KOs) kept his undefeated record intact, albeit under controversial scoring against Quintin Sumpter (6-2, 4 KOs). In the fourth round, Sumpter lulled Bey in and caught him with a left-right combination that decked Bey for the first time in his pro career. Bey was penalized a point in the fifth round for pushing Sumpter.

A cancer survivor, Bey had never fought more than two rounds and Sumpter was more than happy to take his opponent into deep water. When the decision was announced after eight rounds, Bey was awarded a majority decision, which drew a chorus of boos from the non-partisan fans.

Brockton lightweight “King” Kevin Walsh (10-0, 4 KOs) improved to 10-0 with a hard fought six-round unanimous decision victory over Philip Davis (3-6-2, 0 KOs), who fights out of Worcester. The pace picked up dramatically in the second half of the fight and at times it looked like each fighter was on the edge of registering a knockout. Neither fighter went down on the canvas, though, and their aggressiveness had fans roaring down the stretch.

Norton police officer Melanie “Pitbull” Costa (2-0, 1 KO, a North (MA) police officer, stole the show in the Fight of the Night with her scintillating, non-stop performance against Brazilian super bantamweight Kalindra Walkiria De Carvalho Faria (1-1, 0 KOs), a standout mixed martial arts fighter. The much shorter Costa, who was a four-time National Golden Gloves champion as an amateur, fought inside effectively from start to finish, throwing punches in bunches, much to the delight of the aroused crowd.

Junior middleweight Josniel “TG” Castro (10-1, 8 KOs), a promising prospect from Boca Raton (FL), bounced back convincingly from his first loss as a pro this past January, blasting out Jorge “Tomatito” Martin (13-12-1, KOs) with a powerful right hook early in the third round.

Worcester police officer Neal Sullivan (1-0-1) had the hometown fans on their collective feet with a brutal knockout of light heavyweight Michael Medeiros (0-5) at the 54-seconds mark of round two.

Pro-debuting junior welterweight Tevin “The Hitman” Regis stopped journeyman Joshua Zimmerman (0-11) midway through the opening round.

In the opening bout of the evening, James Maner (4-0, 3 KOs), 2019 New England Golden Gloves Champion, remained undefeated, defeated veteran cruiserweight Saul “The Spider” Almedia (1-18-4 (1 KO) by way of a dominant four-round unanimous decision, winning each round on all three judges’ scorecards for a shutout.

The pro card followed three amateur matches in the inaugural Carlos Garcia Tournament. Garcia, who is inducted in the National Golden Gloves Hall of Fame, was honored (see the picture below) during the event for his 40 years of service heading the boxing program at the Worcester Boys and Girls Club.