New Hampshire native Richard Gingras, star of The Contender IV television reality television series, will be fighting in New Hampshire for only the third time as a pro when he enters the ring September 23rd in the 8th annual “Fight To Educate” charity event at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester.
The 8th annual “Fight To Educate,” presented by MB Tractor & Equipment, in association with Cedric Kushner’s Gotham Boxing, will benefit the SEE Science Center, Bobby Stephen Fund for Education, and The Veterans Count Club.
Three-time world title challenger Omar Sheika (27-9, 18 KOs) takes on unbeaten Czech Republic light heavyweight sensation Adam Hubinger (13-0, 10 KOs) in the 10-round main event.
Gingras (9-2, 5 KOs), former World Ringside heavyweight amateur champion, fights Robert Davis in an 8-round Special Light Heavyweight Attraction. “It’s a little nerve-racking but the best place for me to fight,” the Claremont (NH) fighter said about fighting in front of so many fans in nearby Manchester.
“It’s great for my fans, family and friends to follow me as I grow as a fighter. They inspire me, leading up to the fight, but once I step into the ring I block them out and then it’s only me, Peter Manfredo, Sr. (his head trainer) and the guy standing in front of me (his opponent).”
Fighting his entire pro career as a ( very light) cruiserweight, Gingras will be fighting at his natural 175-pound weight for the first time on Sept. 23rd, his first fight since he participated in The Contender IV.
“I learned from fighting on The Contender that it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you look like,” Richard explained, “but that it’s all about right hands and left hooks. Fighters are given a chance to be just as good, or better, than their opponent. You just have to go out and get ‘em.
“I’ve always had a what-if attitude about fighting at the weight I’m supposed to be: light heavyweight. It feels more professional instead of just fighting somebody and I’m much more comfortable. All of the amateur titles I won – World Ringside, 2-time New England Golden Gloves and Rocky Marciano Tournament -- were at heavyweight. I’ve fought guys over 225 pounds and I only weighed 188-190 as a cruiserweight.
"This will be my first fight as a light heavyweight. The weight came off easy when I started working so hard with Peter. I still eat the same but this is my natural fighting weight. I’m chiseled; I was carrying a lot of water weight around. I’m still an aggressive, strong, power puncher, but now I’m lighter on my feet and I throw more punches.”
Unbeaten Worcester (MA) prospect Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (11-0, 8 KOs), a 2-time U.S. national amateur champion, battles veteran super middleweight Robbie Tovar (15-4-1, 5 KOs), former NABC Latino title-holder, in the 8-round co-feature.
2008 U.S. Olympic Team alternate Danny O’Connor (8-0. 2 KOs), who made his pro debut at last year’s “Fight To Educate” show, meets an opponent to be determined in a 6-rounder. O’Connor, a Framingham (MA) native, captured gold medals at last U.S. Future Stars, in which, he was selected Outstanding Boxer of the tournament, and National Golden Gloves Championships.
Also in the undercard, undefeated heavyweight Faruq “The Dream” Saleem (38-0, 32 KOs) faces an opponent to be determined, while Bronx (NY) super middleweight Hajro Sujak (3-0, 1 KO) fights Eric Clinton in six and four round bouts, respectively.
Tickets are priced at $10 (seniors, veterans and students only), $25 and $50 and available to purchase at the Verizon Wireless Arena Box Office, any TicketMaster location, on line at www.ticketmaster.com, or call 603.868.7300 to charge. For more information go to www.fight2educate.com . First bout will be at 8 PM/ET.