Jimmy Burchfield has his territory of promoting boxing shows in the New England area as the promoter and head of Classic Entertainment & Sports. In the next month four shows are planned including two up in Mashantucket Connecticut at Foxwoods Resort Casino Fox Theatre and one up in Rhode Island.
Adding visibility to his promotion is national television coverage ESPN 2, “Friday Night Fights,” as was the case Friday evening at Foxwoods. To Burchfield shows like this keep boxing thriving in the New England area, and more importantly keep the fighters busy that enhances their careers.
So Friday night before an almost capacity crowd, at the 2,500 seat Fox Theatre, the crowd was buzzing. Not for the big names dominating the sport such as Manny Pacquiao or Miguel Cotto, however for fighters that hopefully will dominate the sport in years to come and for some trying to fight back to respectability.
In the ring between fights was Edwin Rodriquez the 18-0 super middleweight from Worcester Massachusetts. Rodriguez stood proud waving to the fans. They know him up here in these parts, as most of his early fights with the exception of a few down South have been in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. His next fight is scheduled on the Showtime “Super 6” card, June 4 in Atlantic City before Carl Frotch and Glen Johnson get in the ring in a semifinal bout of the tournament.
Photo: CES Sports
“There is nothing like it,” said Rodriguez later on a stage behind the ring. He was commenting about the Foxwoods show as Burchfield passed by with ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas.
Burchfield, a restaurant owner from Providence works the CES Promotion with his son Jimmy Jr. a prominent attorney. He has been involved with boxing for 30 years now and once involved with the “Pride of Providence” former welterweight champion Vinnie Pazienza and is also an active promoter of mixed martial arts also in the New England area.
It is good time boxing that isn’t seen often these days with a ring announcer plugging the local sponsor who helps the promoter make these types of shows possible. And though there is national television in the house it still reminds you of the old school venues. The regular shows often made a boxing fan, the manager, trainer and fighter happy because they came often
The difference is constant announcements regarding upcoming cage fights in the arena and vicinity. You see, boxing and mixed martial arts don’t mix, so why are more boxing promoters getting involved with a sport that is obviously hurting the sweet science?
Regardless shows like this keep the boxing industry busy at a time when the sport needs as much exposure as possible. There are fighters that need to keep trying to climb the ladder and those that need one or two more fights to get back on top.
Just a year ago Elvin Ayala from nearby New Haven was fighting for a title up in Montreal, Canada. David Lemieux won the vacant WBC International middleweight title recording a devastating first round knockout in a fight that headlined the ESPN Friday Night Fights card up in Lemieux’s backyard of Montreal. Ayala once a proud 12-round fighter was in a six-round super middleweight contest with Joe Gardner of Woonsocket Rhode Island.
It was a tough contest for Ayala but then he took control and put Gardner on the canvas twice in the fourth round. It was enough as referee Eddie Claudio put a stop to the contest after the round. Ayala, (22-5-1, 10 KO’s) is hoping to revive a career that diminished after the loss to Lemieux
You come to see fighters like Dominic DeSanto a promising undefeated welterweight from New Haven who lost his first pro fight, now 5-1 after a quick right hook from Bryan Abraham (3-5-2) put him on the canvas. And undefeated prospect Vladine Biosse once again looked impressive. Biosse, 11-0 of Providence used a quick right uppercut to TKO Tim Connors in the fifth round.
In the main event, “Hammerin” Hank Lundy of Philadelphia Pennsylvania put Patrick Lopez down for an eight count late in the second round in the 10-round main event for the vacant NABF lightweight championship. Another of the alphabet soup titles that dominate boxing but a win for Lundy by unanimous decision that makes him more known and with a championship to his resume
A fight of the night because after that second round Lopez made it interesting. He fought hard and came back using an effective jab and punches to the body of Lundy.
Yes it was one of those good cards of boxing. Not in a smoke hall arena but at one of those casino towns, in a theatre, where boxing has become prevalent. And for Burchfield another successful night with a return to the same venue on May 6th. Ayala will be looking for another comeback win, Biosse in the main event, and DeSanto looking to start all over.