The great Rocky Marciano will be posthumously inducted into the CES Ring of Honor in a special ceremony during the April 4th “Heavy Hitters” pro boxing show, airing on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights live from Twin River Events Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
2004 U.S. Olympian Jason “Big Six” Estrada fights former NABO/NABA/WBC Continental Americas champion Lance “Mount” Whitaker in the 10-round main event on “Heavy Hitters,” promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment, Inc. (CES).
CES president Burchfield established the CES Ring of Honor in 2005 in order to pay respect to inductees for their special accomplishments and contributions to New England boxing. Charter members were 5-time world champion Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Paz, former WBA and WBC welterweight title-holder Marlon “Magic Man” Starling, and 3-time The Ring Fighter of the Year (2001-2003) participant “Irish” Micky Ward.
Other CES Ring of Honor members include former 3-time world champion “El Gallo” Jose Antonio Rivera, Ray “Sucra” Oliveira, world light heavyweight contender “Iceman” John Scully, famed Connecticut trainer Johnny Dukes, and 2008 U.S. Olympian Demetrious “Boo Boo” Andrade.
Marciano retired unbeaten and fought 28 of his 49 pro fights in Providence, winning 24 by knockout, and his legend lives, especially in his native New England. “Rocky was one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all-time,” Burchfield said. “Providence is the boxing capital of New England today.
Fans here loved and respected Rocky as much as he was in Brockton. We’re thrilled that Rocky’s brother, Peter, and other members of the Marciano family will be attending the CES Ring of Honor induction ceremony on April 4. It’s our way of remembering Rocky and thanking his family for all of the great memories he gave us.”
Burchfield is sending two of his young lions, Estrada (11-1, 2 KOs), and unbeaten cruiserweight sensation “Awesome” Aaron Williams (16-0-1, 11 KOs), out into their stiffest tests to date against the massive 6’ 8” Whitaker (32-4-1, 27) and former NABO title-holder Andre “Tombstone” Purlette (40-2, 35 KOs), respectively.
Estrada completed his amateur career in the U.S. with an amazing 261-14 record. TheProvidence-native became the first boxer to win both the U.S. Nationals and U.S. Challenge three years (2001-2003) in a row. “Big Six” won a unanimous 10-round decision versus former world title challenger Charles Shufford in his last fight on January 25.
Whitaker, however, has beaten former world champions Oleg Maskaev (KOs) and Al “Ice” Cole, as well as previously undefeated Robert Davis (22-0), and 2-time world title challenger Monte Barrett.
Williams, fighting out of Las Vegas but making Providence his second home, takes on 40-fight winner Purlette (40-2, 35 KOs) in the 10-round co-feature.
Former Brown University star football player Zak DeOssie, who was a linebacker/special team player last year for the Super Bowl-winning New York Giants, will be a special guest at “Heavy Hitters.” DeOssie will be available to meet fans along with his father, former NFL player Steve DeOssie, who co-owns (with former Buffalo Bills lineman Fred Smerlas) Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse at Twin River.
Power punching Providence super middleweight Joey “KO Kid” Spina (21-1-1, 15 KOs) provides chief support on the undercard versus TBA.
Lowell (MA) light heavyweight “Irish” Joey McCreedy (7-1, 5 KOs) meets “Hurricane” Henry Mayes (6-5-1, 4 KOs), while Lynn (MA) flyweight Isander Beachamp (4-0, 1 KO) faces pro debuting Rob Bell.
Also slated to fight against opponents to be determined are popular undefeated Providence light heavyweight Jarrod Tillinghast (9-0, 3 KOs), as well as Iraqi War veteran and Westfield State College graduate, Quincy (MA) super middleweight Chris Traietti (7-1, 4 KOs), and Providence junior welterweight Diego Pereira (1-0, 1 KO). All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets for “Heavy Hitters” are priced at $35.00 (ADA stage seating only), $40.00, $50.00, (Bronze), $75.00 (Silver), $100.00 (Gold) and $150.00 (Jimmy’s Platinum Club) and will soon be available to purchase by calling CES (401.724.2253/2254), going on line at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, at the Twin River Event Center (100 Twin River Road, Lincoln, RI), or any TicketMaster location. CES is accepting ticket orders now at 401.724.2253/2254. Contact CES (401.724.2253/2254/www.cesboxing.com) or Twin River Events Center (877.82.RIVER/ www.twinriver.com) for more information. Doors open at 6 PM/ET, first bout at 7 PM/ET.
(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “Heavy Hitters.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied at all times by an adult and they must enter through the West entrance.)