March 19 show at Twin River Event Center, RI
Appropriately-named Danny O’Connor, 2008 U.S. Olympic Team alternate, headlines his first show March 19 on the post-St. Patrick’s Day card, “Shamrock’d,” presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc. (CES), at Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, R.I.
Two other popular, Irish-American boxers, “Irish” Joey McCreedy and 4-time world champion Jaime “Hurricane” Clampitt, are also scheduled to be in action on “Shamrock’d,” the first of several shows (May 7, July 9, Sept. 3 and Nov. 12) being promoted by CES this year at Twin River.
Unbeaten junior welterweight prospect O’Connor (10-0, 3 KOs), fighting out of Framingham (MA), recently returned from Tampa, where he served as a sparring partner for IBF junior welterweight champion Juan Urango at the famous Fight Factory Gym.
“It was a great, new experience for me,” O’Connor said. “I was able to see what others do at training camp. I know what I’ve done to prepare for a fight, but it’s always nice to see how others do, especially a world champion. I was there as a sparring partner for Juan, but I got myself ready for my fight. Juan’s a real pro. We get along very well. I went there to be like a sponge, soaking everything up, and I did. He’s already accomplished what my goal is in boxing – to be world champion.
“I keep moving forward. I’ve come a long way, trained hard and remain focused and serious. I’ve settled down and now feel like a real pro. I’ve improved in some areas, but keep working in other areas. Fighting eight rounds for the first time is not a concern for me. I’m always in shape. If this fight goes eight rounds, I’ll use it as ring experience, gaining that sooner, rather than later.”
O’Connor faces the toughest test of his young pro career in Franklin Gonzalez (13-3, 9 KOs), the dangerous Dominican puncher now living in Brooklyn. “I can’t worry about how good my opponent is,” Danny noted. “As long as I keep getting better (in training), all I have to be concerned with is doing what I need to do to win the fight.
“It’s nice fighting close at home and around St. Patrick’s Day again. Last year, I fought a few days before St. Patrick’s Day and this year it’s a few days after. I’ve sharpened my skills in the past year and I’m really looking forward to my first main event. It’s going to be an exciting show.”
McCreedy (11-4-1, 6 KOs), fighting out of Lowell (MA), is the reigning EBA and New England super middleweight champion, but he’s dropping down to middleweight to fight an opponent to be determined in a 6-round bout.
Clampitt (20-4-1, 7 KOs) returned to the ring last November after taking 1 ½ years off to have her first baby, taking a 6-round decision from Rachel Clark. The Canadian-born, Warwick (RI) resident faces TBA in a 6-round fight.
A 6-round rematch for the EBA New England lightweight title will be held between unbeaten, defending champion Eddie “The Puerto Rican Sensation” Soto (12-0, 4 KOs) and challenger Sean Eklund (6-4, 1 KO). This inter-state rivalry pits Pawtucket’s (RI) Soto against Lowell’s Eklund, who is trained by his uncle, “Irish” Micky Ward, in a rematch of their controversial, split-decision last February won by Soto, who overcame two knockdowns, at Twin River.
New Bedford (MA) welterweight Jason “School Boy” Pires (22-3, 9 KOs), the former USBA super bantamweight champion and active New Bedford police officer, takes on hot Louisiana prospect Jason “Renegade” Revish (10-1-1, 8 KOs) in a 6-round bout.
Also fighting on the undercard in 4-rounders is Warwick (RI) super middleweight Keith Kozlin (4-0, 2 KOs) versus Roberto Burgess (4-2, 2 KOs), while Philadelphia lightweight Frankie Trader (6-0, 2 KOs) fights an opponent to be determined. The newest member of Team CES, Barnstable (MA) heavyweight prospect Jesse Barboza (2-0, 2 KOs), a 3-time New England Golden Gloves champion, battles Tyyab Beale (2-2, 1 KO). All bouts and boxers are subject to change.