Ready to rumble | Cranston’s Herald
By ALEX SPONSELLER After suspending boxing for more than a year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Rhode Islanders will finally have the chance to attend a live event on Saturday, June 19 at Cranston Stadium when Classic Sports and Entertainment will host the state’s first outdoor game in 60 years.
The news broke on Friday afternoon when CES hosted a stadium press conference that included President and CEO Jimmy Burchfield, as well as some of the featured fighters and other local boxing figures.
The card will be headlined by Irwin Gonzalez Jr. of Worcester, who recently competed on the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. card in November.
The event will also mark the return of four-time champion Jaime “Hurricane” Clampitt, who will return to the ring after an eight-year retirement. Cranston fighter Gary Balletto III, son of legend Gary “Tiger” Balletto, will also make his second professional appearance after competing primarily in mixed martial arts.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time and have never been so excited for an event like this here,” said Burchfield. “The new word in American business is ‘reimagine’. This is what we do. (The fans) drool. People are waiting for ticket orders everywhere, people we have never even heard of. For the state of Rhode Island, all of New England, the Northeast, it’s magnificent. I get chills just talking about it.
While talks about the return of boxing and a potential event at Cranston have been going on for a few months, things happened at the last minute. The map was not finalized until late Thursday night as CES waited to receive the required permits from the city. Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins was also in attendance and played a key role in overcoming the remaining hurdles in the process.
“It all happened so fast. We are doing everything we can to make this event happen. I just can’t believe this is happening here in Cranston, ”said“ Tiger ”Balletto, who worked alongside Burchfield to vouch for Cranston as the host city.
Balletto III is thrilled to compete at Cranston Stadium, a place he knows well from years of participating in organized sports in the city.
“It’s going to be great, I’ve played on this field several times. Just having something like this in our hometown is pretty spectacular. How could I not (participate), ”Balletto III said.
Clampitt has been one of the best fighters in women’s boxing during her career, finishing 22-5-1 with wins over Mia St. John and Jane Couch. Upon retiring eight years ago, Clampitt took the time to focus on her family and worked at On the Ropes in Warwick, where she is also a trainer.
Clampitt can’t wait to return and is looking to make a statement at 44.
“I’m excited, I think I’m just at a different point in my life. I obviously train differently, but I think age is just a number. I have been doing sports regularly for a long time, so I am ready to go back. Women’s boxing has changed and I really want to be a part of the sport again, ”Clampitt said. “I am delighted to be here, it is a beautiful place. I just think it’s good for the state. It’s good for the fighters, they have been sitting and waiting for this for a very long time.
Gonzalez Jr. will be serving the main event and is the WBC Youth Featherweight World Champion. Clampitt will be the co-headliner.
The rest of the map will be completed by Balletto III, as well as Providence natives Michael Valentin, Victor Reynoso and Ricky Delossantos from Pawtucket. An amateur card will also take place before the main training. The event will be broadcast on UFC Fight Pass.
For more information visit www.CESFights.com or follow CES on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.