Return to square circle
This past Friday, Classic Entertainment & Sports Fights announced an upcoming professional and amateur boxing event to be held at Cranston Stadium on Saturday, June 19. It will be the first outdoor boxing event in Rhode Island in 60 years and features a card filled with local talent.
As you might expect, the main reason this event was planned outside was the ongoing pandemic. CES could have hosted an indoor card, but the state still urges sports organizations to stay outdoors if possible.
After a few months of throwing out some ideas and figuring out the logistics, ETUC President Jimmy Burchfield, along with Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins, and a few other notable RI boxing figures were able to put it together.
What an exciting concept.
First of all, the show will be something to see. Outdoor boxing cards are always a pleasure to watch, but seeing one in our own backyard at such a beloved stadium in the city? Should be a sight to see.
I don’t understand why there isn’t more pressure to have more outdoor boxing events. The only thing I can find is the obvious over time. However, is it really that hard to put an awning in the ring if the worst-case scenario happens?
It’s far from ideal, but my point is that outdoor boxing should definitely be embraced more than it already has. The weather is a risk for sure, but isn’t that the case with just about any other outdoor sport? Even the NFL will call for delays if there is lightning or extreme weather conditions.
Plus, this is a special event as it almost feels like a kickoff for the summer. It should hold between 4,000 and 5,000 spectators, so it will be a fun way to bring the state together for fun while still getting closer to normal. We’re on the home stretch of the pandemic, so this will be a great way to celebrate the progress we’ve made.
As for the map itself, there are a few scenarios to watch out for.
Perhaps most important is the return of Jaime “Hurricane” Clampitt, who just retired from eight years old at 44. We all know what the job of the promoters is, but if the buzz around her is true, maybe we are seeing a great local comeback story.
After enjoying a career as one of the best female boxers in the country, Clampitt hung up the gloves, focused on her family and started working at On the Ropes Boxing in Warwick as a coach and business partner. .
She’s ready to step back into the square circle and put on the show. Let’s see if age is really just a number.
The next story to watch is Gary “Batman” Balletto III.
Balletto III, the son of local boxing legend Gary “Tiger” Balletto, will make his second professional appearance after winning by knockout in 2019. Balletto III has spent most of his career practicing mixed martial arts but is expected to represent his hometown. in a stadium he knows well.
Long bloodlines are common in boxing and combat sports. Balletto III, 26, has shown talent and skill in both MMA and boxing and will look to build on the momentum he has built.
There is nothing quite like a father-son team in sports, it’s always such an easy story to take root. A big win here could mean big stakes for the future of Balletto III.
The third storyline that intrigues me is the main event which features Irwin Gonzalez Jr from Worcester.
Gonzalez Jr. was the WBC Youth Featherweight World Champion and recently fought on the same card as Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. in November. As a native of Worcester I’ve heard a bit about him, especially since he fought under Tyson, so it will be interesting to see his next fight.
Gonzalez lost in November, but is still seen as a bright young prospect in his division. This event could be a decisive fight for him to move forward.
What I like most about this map is its commitment to highlighting the talents of this region. New England have great boxing that tends to get overlooked… it always seems like fighters here don’t start to shine until they’ve spent a lot of time competing.
This map will be a nice showcase of what the area has to offer and the exterior element is sure to grab some attention. It will also air on UFC Fight Pass, which is just another great platform to promote it.
It doesn’t matter whether you are from RI or not, there is enough talent and curiosity for this event to deliver. Hope the weather isn’t a problem, the fighters stay healthy to compete, we see a great show and have a fun evening.
The impact of this event on the local sports community is far greater than usual. It will be run by locals, star locals, and bring the community together. It’s been over a year since the state saw any live boxing, what a way for her to come back.
Considering the limited number of seats, I urge fans to purchase tickets as soon as possible. Again, we all know what a promoter’s job is, but Burchfield has claimed to have received calls for tickets even before the show was finalized.
Let’s be ready to scold.