U.S. Olympian Jason “Big Six” Estrada returns to the ring April 1 in the “Homecoming” Pro-Am boxing show, co-promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports, Inc. (CES) and Guilty Boxing, at the New Haven Athletic Center. Hometown hero “Bad” Chad Dawson (16-0, 11 KOs), World Boxing Council Youth middleweight champion and rated No. 14 in the world, headlines the card.
Estrada (1-0) fights for the second time since turning pro after representing the U.S. as its super heavyweight in the 2004 Olympics in Greece. He’s matched against Florida’s Jerry Lee “Ruff House” Simpson (2-1), trained by former world heavyweight champion Tony “TNT” Tubbs, in a four-round Special Heavyweight Attraction. Estrada’s stablemate and childhood friend, unbeaten cruiserweight Matt Godfrey (6-0, 4 KOs), is in a six-round bout versus Tony De La Garza (3-2-2, 1 KO), of Texas.
Estrada, 24, and Godfrey, 23, have been friends for 17 years and the Providence natives have been boxing together since 1993. “It’s like in the amateurs when we fought together a lot,” Jason spoke about appearing on the same card with Matt. “We feed off each other and get hyped. I’m glad it’s finally happening as pros.
“I’m taking each fight one at a time and I’m going to be ready no matter who I fight. I have something to prove to doubters who feel I can’t punch and won’t be as good a pro as I was an amateur. I am going to be a force to reckoned with in the pros. I’m a boxer-puncher who can punch and bang.”
“An Olympian always adds excitement to a card, especially a heavyweight with the credentials that Jason Estrada has,” promoter Jimmy Burchfield said. “I’m excited to show the world the future of the heavyweight division. On top of that one of my dreams has been to have two of the best prospects in the country, fighters and good friends, Jason Estrada and Matt Godfrey on the same card like we do April 1. Matt is a former four-time National amateur champ who just missed making the Olympic team (second alternate).”
The 22-year-old Dawson defends his WBC Youth title against upset-minded Efrain Garcia (17-4-1, 11 KOs), of Texas, in the 10-round main event.
Unbeaten super middleweight Joey “KO Kid” Spina (14-0, 11 KOs), fighting out of Providence and training in Las Vegas, is in his first eight-round match against the toughest opponent of his young career, four-time Muay Tai world champion Manu Ntoh (15-9-1, 9 KOs), from Atlanta via Cameroon. Former world light heavyweight champion Eddie Mustafa Muhammad trains Spina.
Manchester featherweight Matt Remillard, managed by Jackie Kallen, makes his pro debut against Arlington Pandy (0-1), of Brooklyn, and Irish super middleweight Joe “Sugar” Rea (2-0, 1 KO, 1 NC), now fighting out of South Boston, will make his CES debut. All matches and fighters are subject to change.
CES also plans to present several amateur matches, one featuring New Haven’s Ring One 65-pound National Silver Mittens champion Tramaine Williams, the 12-year-old affectionately known as the “Mighty Midget.” Other Connecticut amateurs scheduled to box include New Haven’s 10-year-old Georgie Nacierio, USA rated No. 4; New London’s Ricky Ledesma.
Three of New England’s all-time greatest and most popular fighters will be the first inductees into the CES Ring of Honor: Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Paz, Marlon “Magic Man” Starling and “Irish” Micky Ward. Also expected to be in attendance are past and present boxers such as former five-time world featherweight champion Manuel Medina, ex-WBC welterweight champion Carlos Palomino, WBC No. 1 rated super middleweight contender Scott “The Sandman” Pemberton, former world junior welterweight champion Jaime “Hurricane” Clampitt, Gary “Tiger” Balletto, and Israel “Pito” Cardona.
“Homecoming” will be taped live and air on “Guilty Fight Night” (check television listings) and CN8, The Comcast Network will broadcast “Homecoming” on Saturday, April 9 at 7:00 PM/ET to 6.4 million homes from Maine to Maryland. CN8’s coverage of “Homecoming” will also be available on Comcast Digital Cable’s ‘ON DEMAND” service and online at www.cn8.tv
“Guilty Fight Night” is shown in more than 100-million households worldwide via America One and The Urban Network in the U.S., Fox Sports International in the Middle East and portions of Africa, BEN Television in Great Britain and Ireland, and other cable outlets.
Available tickets are priced at $100 (Platinum), $60 (Gold), $40 (Silver Reserved), $25 (General Admission) and $15 (high school and college students). Tickets my be purchased by calling CES’ corporate headquarters (401.724.2253/2254) or its Connecticut office (860.432.4253), Greater New Haven Convention & Visitors Office (203.777.8550), Ring One Boxing Gym (203.787.1200), Manchester PAL (860.645.6261), and Taino Boxing (860.645.6261), New Haven police and fire fighters receive $5.00 off any tickets they purchase.
For additional information visit CES’ web site at www.cesboxing.com
. Doors open at 6 pm, first bout at 7 pm. Call TransMedia Entertainment Group at 610.627.0606 or 203.288.7111 for television advertising or broadcasting opportunities.