Next week your Providence Boxing Examiner is going to spend a lot of time talking about Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports second card in March. However, before we talk about the March 19th show at Twin Rivers I wanted to take a moment to discuss the March 12th card at Foxwoods a little more. As you already know March 12th will feature a heavyweight main event between Tony “TNT” Grano (16-1-1, 13KO) and Mark “Oak Tree” Brown (15-2, 7KO). Also at “Brace for Impact” will be special guest of Jimmy Burchfield Hall of Fame trainer Angelo Dundee. As the card draws near the undercard has started to come into focus, and I wanted to take a moment to talk real quick about the fighters who will be featured at “Brace for Impact” on the undercard (note: undercard is still subject to change).
David Bauza (3-0, 3KO) [middleweight] – At the press conference for the CES show dubbed “School’s In” I was introduced to David Bauza the Puerto Rican born middleweight who makes his home in Hartford, CT. When I first saw Bauza I wrote that I wasn’t sure how he would perform in the ring but his appearance was that of a boxing prototype, like Dr. Frankenstein has created what he would think the most perfect middleweight would be. Since his debut I’ve seen all three of Bauza’s fights and he has not failed to disappoint. If anything Bauza’s skill level is too advanced for his experience. Of all the young CES fighters (under five professional bouts) David Bauza is the one that I expect to have the biggest impact on a national level. The kid is quick, slick and has very good power.
Manuel Antonio Lopes (5-0-1, 1KO) [super middleweight] – I must confess that I’ve yet to see Manny Lopes in the ring. However, I’ve seen his brother Arturo fight and I’ve met Manny a few times. He’s a really good kid, who has a very nice family, no seriously everyone from his brother to his father to his grandmother are all very nice people, so you root for them to be successful. Manny is a tall kid with long arms and I have to admit that I’m very interested to see him perform in the ring. He hasn’t fought since March 6, 2009 so this fight will be his return to the ring and it’ll be interested to see if he suffers from any ring rust when the opening bell rings.
Joe Smith Jr. (2-0, 2KO) [light heavyweight] – I’ve seen the “Irish Bomber” fight twice, and I’ve seen him almost send his opponent out of the ring both times. The first I saw Smith he fought at Mohegan Sun on the Spina/Del Valle undercard and as his opponent who had just been knocked out walked past press row he could be heard saying “that guy hits f**king hard.” Smith is an incredibly explosive light heavyweight with great power – of everyone on the card Joe Smith Jr. will bring the fireworks at Foxwoods.
Mike Oliver (22-2, 7KO) [super bantamweight] – The EBA and New England super bantamweight champion has his best days in his rear view mirror. Oliver has victories over Gary Stark Jr. and Al Seeger and has been in the ring with Antonio Escalante. Recently Oliver is coming off back to back fights with Castulo Gonzalez which didn’t do much for the perception that Oliver has transitioned to the next phase of his professional career. Oliver is a light punching fighter even for someone who fights at 122 pounds. However, I’m willing to give Oliver another chance as he has to know that this might be the last chance he gets to advance his career beyond fighting on undercards for CES.
So there’s your undercard run-down. It’s a bit of a mixed bag but I promise David Bauza and Joe Smith Jr. are worth the price of admission, plus the main event will be a hard hitting heavyweight clash between two guys who honestly do not like one another. Hopefully you’ll all turn out on March 12th at Foxwoods and who knows maybe you’ll meet up with the Providence Boxing Examiner at the craps tables before the fights.