New England Boxers Reign Supreme!
By Jeremy Jones
27 Sep 2011
NEW ENGLAND BOXERS REIGN SUPREME
MANCHESTER, NH - The competitors came from as far away as Ciudad Juarez and Sonora, Mexico and the island of Puerto Rico looking for their next big win. But, when the five bouts of the 10th Annual Fight To Educate charity boxing event were over, it was two New Hampshire fighters, one Vermont fighter, one Massachusetts fighter and one Rhode Island fighter standing tall - each with one more coveted "W" added to their records. And for New Hampshire trainer Ed Farris and the team at the Claremont Boxing Club, this meant another round of smiles and a continued winning streak.
Headlining this annual fundraiser was 2008 Olympian and undefeated professional knockout artist Demetrius "The Cape Verdean Assassin" Andrade (15-0 w/10KO) who took on former two-time World Title Challenger Saul "Baby" Duran (38-18-2 w/31KO). The excitement for their match has been ongoing since its announcement and, when the official weigh-in took place, the tension between the fighters was thick. Despite a contractual agreement that neither fighter would weigh more than 126 +1 pounds, Duran weighed in at nearly three pounds over. Immediately after he stepped off the scale, he started eating (fighters tend to starve themselves to get in under weight). For Andrade and trainer Rob Valle, this was the ultimate disrespect. Said Valle, "The fighter knows he needs to make weight. When you got a fighter [points to Andrade] who works hard to make weight and the other guy's over and then starts munching on a Snicker's bar, that's disrespect." Andrade had his own thoughts on the matter: "How long you been fighting?" he asked Duran. "And you don't know the rules?" After a flurry of conferences with Farris, Valle and Duran's team, it was decided that Duran would head over to the local gym and spend a couple hours working off the extra weight which he successfully did.
By the time they met in the ring, Andrade immediately took control of the crowd's affection, lightly dancing around the mat and, at one point, aiming his right gloved fist at Duran and yanking it back like a gun. When the bell finally rang, Andrade snapped out of his corner and immediately took charge of the fight. After three full rounds, Duran was left stunned, weakened and unable to answer the bell for the start of the fourth round. Surrounded by his team and a cadre of friends and well-wishers, Andrade left the ring one fight better then he came in.
Last year, Danial Powers (4-0) made his professional boxing debut under the training of Farris and the staff at the Claremont Boxing Club. Powers handily won his match with a 2nd-round technical knockout. Since then, Powers has fought twice more and went into last week's bout with a 3-0 record including two knockouts. Something of a local boxing sensation, Powers did not disappoint during his four-round battle against Luis Rosario (4-15-0) of Springfield, MA, improving his record to 4-0 via unanimous decision. An aggressive puncher, Powers devastated his opponent with flurry after flurry of blows that forced his opponent to assume a near non-stop gloves-up protecting of his head and face. Unable to overpower Rosario completely, Powers still walked away with a judges' decision and another notch in his gloves.
Framingham, MA native Danny O'Connor 15-1-0 (4KO) competed in the Fight To Educate for his fourth year. O'Connor made his professional debut at the event and says it is an event he looks forward to participating in each year. For 2011, he contacted the event's promoters and specifically asked to be put on the card and, following his easy 1st round defeat of Mexico's Jamal Del Cid 7-6-0 (3KO), he was glad he did. Utilizing a new set of skills gleaned from his new trainer, the renowned Ronnie Shields, O'Connor went after his opponent with a furious display of technical skill. A right-uppercut/left-cross/right-hook/left-cross combination stunned Del Cid who then crumpled under a well-placed left cross that caught him square in the chest.
Fighting out of Tilton, NH, Jose Medina 15-9-1 (7KO) stunned 1992 Olympic Bronze Medalist Anibel Acevedo 13-8-1 (11KO) of Mexico. The young Medina danced his way around the ring with Acevedo punishing the 36-year-old veteran with a combination of head and body shots that forced Acevedo's corner to stop the fight before the start of the 3rd round.
For the welterweight division, Chris Gilbert of Windsor, VT came into the event with a 1-0 (1KO) record and left with his undefeated record intact after connecting with a powerful right uppercut against opponent Noel Garcia of Springfield, MA. Gilbert dominated his fight from the bell with a series of well-placed blows that culminated with Garcia being left hanging from the ropes in the 2nd round.
The annual Fight To Educate charity boxing event is held at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester and raises funds that help support various New Hampshire youth educational programs, senior assistance efforts and the Meals On Wheels program. A pre-fight auction was attended by boxing legends "Gentleman" Gerry Cooney, Vinny "The Pazmanian Devil" Paz and Jon "The Quietman" Ruiz.