The highly popular Boxcino tournaments are back in 2015 starting this week on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights with a junior middleweight eight man bracket on tap from the Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The opening quarterfinal bouts start this Friday the 13th and are all set for six rounds or less.The semifinals are scheduled for eight rounds on April 3rd with the final on May 22 scheduled for ten rounds.
These tournaments present opportunities for up and coming and next-gen fighters to showcase their talents on a platform that can ignite their career. The 2014 Boxcino tournament catapulted Willie Monroe Jr. (middleweight tournament champion) and Petr Petrov (lightweight tournament champion) into the spotlight with them both rated in the top three of at least one governing body.
Banner Promotions’ CEO Artie Pelullo is putting on the tourney with Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment and Sports (CES).
“Last year’s tournaments were very successful and we look forward to having the first round of junior middleweights at Mohegan Sun. There have been many classic fights at the Mohegan Sun and on Feb. 13, we plan on adding to the great tradition” said Pelullo
Said Burchfield of Pelullo and the Boxcino Tournament, “Artie is a dear friend of mine and a true gentlemen in the sport of boxing, few promoters work harder or go to such great lengths to nurture and develop talent from all over the world. In an era where the entertainment dollar is stretched thin and fighters are ducking challenges left and right, Artie remains old school building his foundation through hard fought, competitive fights that give the ticket buyers tremendous value for every dollar they spend.”
“What he has done in such tumultuous times for our sport is remarkable and it’s an incredible thrill to be working alongside him on what will be an epic event February 13. You will see the best of both worlds- boxing’s marquee talent along with the rising stars of the northeast. No one knows this market better than Banner Promotions and CES Boxing. This will be a must see event”
Here is a snapshot of the opening matchups-
Brandon Adams 15-1 (10 KO) vs. Alex Perez 18-1 (10 KO)
Los Angeles’ Adams will enter the ring on the strength of a 2nd round TKO over Lekan Byfield in January but more importantly on the experience he gained from the Boxcino middleweight tourney of 2014. Although Adams lost to to Monroe Jr. by unanimous decision, he has the edge in knowing what challenges the tournament posses and how to sustain effort through to the finals. Adams is dropping down in weight entering the bracket this time around but doesn’t seemed concerned and appears ready to go.
“Camp is good, better than I anticipated. I am still in shape from my last fight. Going down in weight is going real well. Better than anybody expected. I think Alex is coming to fight and so am I. I hope he is looking to wow the fans because I will.” said Adams
Newark’s Perez comes in on a two fight win streak having fought only once in 2014 and 2013, a TKO and UD respectively. Perez is a southpaw like Monroe Jr. so although he may not be as polished or posses the skill set, he will be the bigger man and may be able to create problems for Adams in this matchup if Adams is not able to adapt to his style.
Said Perez, “Everything is smooth. I am just focused on Brandon Adams and February 13 when everything will come together.”
Pro Rounds- Perez 88 , Adams 62.
Cleotis Pendarvis 17-4-2 (6 KO) vs. Ricardo Pinell 10-1-1 (6KO)
***Update 2/12- Pendarvis 3 lbs overweight and is out of the tourney, John Thompson is the replacement.****
A matchup of southpaws, one more experienced, one with a size advantage who have knuckled up before, albeit only in a sparring session.
Pendarvis, a Los Angeles native, has been inactive of late not having fought since May of 2013 when he was stopped by Dierry Jean in the fourth round of an IBF title eliminator. While he will be the smaller man in the ring, he does have more experience and has faced the better opposition such as Jean and the tough as nails Mauricio Herrera who Pendarvis took the eight round distance losing by unanimous decision back in 2009.
Pendarvis feels he has the advantage stating, “Training camp is going well. We are just toning it down and getting ready for action. Pinell is a pretty decent fighter but he is in over his head in this fight.”
San Francisco’s Pinell fought four times in 2014 with three wins by unanimous decision and one coming by way of knockout. Overall, Pinell comes in riding a five fight win streak and will be the bigger man in the ring as well as the more active one.
“Training is going good. I have been awake extra early and am the first person in the gym and the last to leave. I have been grinding. Cleotis is a southpaw as well. We were both in camp with Amir Khan. We both sparred him and at the end of the day we sparred each other. I got to have a little look at him. He is slick and has experience and is pretty crafty. ”John Thompson (14-1 5 KO) has not fought since January of 2014 when he was handed his first loss being KO’d by Frank Galarza in the second round. At just over 6′ he will match up a bit better in size than Pendarvis but the inactivity may hurt him against the active Pinell.
Pro Rounds- Pendarvis- 126, Pinell-43. Thompson- 64
Stanyslav Skorohod 8-0 (6 KO) vs. Michael Moore 13-0 (6 KO)
Ukrainian Skorohod fought twice in 2014 winning both by stoppage. This will only be Skorohod’s second fight outside of the Ukraine; however, he is in some pretty solid company while preparing for this bout and is confident in his chances.
“Training is going very well. I am getting very good sparring at the Wild Card Gym and am improving a lot with my new trainers and team in Los Angeles. Michael Moore is a good boxer but I don’t think he will be able to deal with my power.” said Skorohod
Moore of Cleveland, Ohio hasn’t fought since October of 2013 but in spite of the layoff, he believes he not only is ready for this fight but could become a bracket buster.
“Things have been great as far as training. We have had some great sparring with Demetrius Andrade and Edwin Rodriguez. There is no reason why we should not win Boxcino. We just hope my opponent is ready and game to put on a good show. This is his second bout in the United States but now he is going up against quality opposition.”
Pro Rounds- Moore 52, Skorohod 27.
Vito Gasparyan 14-3-5 (8 KO) vs. Simeon Hardy 13-0 (10 KO)
Gasparyan of Armenia now living in Glendale, CA., hasn’t fought since 2012 when he lost by unanimous decision to Jessie Vargas (current WBA world super lightweight champion). Another notable loss on his resume was Jermell Charlo (current WBC Continental America’s Champion) by unanimous decision in 2009. Gasparyan is eager to return to the ring after a long layoff.
“Everything is perfect. I have the best sparring partners. I can’t wait for the fight. I haven’t seen much of Hardy. I do know he is from Guyana. I have boxed taller guys and they are top level. I am experienced enough to handle anything he can bring.”
Hardy, a Guyana born Brooklynite, fought three times in 2014 and won all three by stoppage. He will be the taller man in the ring and none of his first three fights in the US have gone to the judges cards. Gasparyan will be the more experienced fighter but Hardy does not seem concerned.
“Everything is great. I am in great shape. I just hope he comes in great shape and we fight like true sportsmen because I will be ready to fight and win.
Pro Rounds- Gasparyan 90, Hardy, 55.
Banner Promotions is making the tournament fan friendly and interactive introducing “The 2015 Boxcino Brackets Challenge Contest”. It’s March Madness for the boxing throng alike. The Grand Prize is an all expenses paid trip to the Boxcino finals. Go to Banner-Promotions.com for more details.
The Boxcino junior middleweight tournament is just the start, a heavyweight tournament starts a week later on February 20 from the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York. A report on the heavies will be posted on Standing-8 soon.
Boxcino- competitive matchups, hungry fighters, and non-stop action, what’s not to love?
**Quotes from Boxcino Press Release and Banner-Promotions.com**