QUINCY, Mass. – “Springfield Championship Boxing,” presented by Granite Chin Promotions, will showcase the top Western Massachusetts pro boxing prospects in legitimate fights, on November 19th, at Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Granite Chin’s inaugural show in Springfield, “Springfield Championship Boxing at Mass Mutual Center, will feature a Tripleheader of undefeated prospects such as Holyoke’s Denzel “Double Impact” Whitley (9-0, 6 KOs) Pittsfield’s Steve Sumpter (6-0, 6 KOs), and Carlos Castillo (5-0, 3 KOs).
“This is the kind of show that will not only draw-in fight fans from Western Massachusetts, but from all over New England as well,” Granite Chin president Chris Traietti remarked. “From top to bottom, all of these fights are evenly matched and are going to bring non-stop action. I want to congratulate all of the fighters for being eager to step up and put on a great show for local boxing fans.”
Whitley, the latest pugilist from Holyoke’s fightin’ Whitley family, meets his toughest opponent to date in Fall River (MA) welterweight Kris Jacobs (5-2-1, 2 KOs). Whitley is a red-hot prospect trained by former pro fighters and brothers, father Derrick and Uncle Darrin. Jacobs has defeated three previously undefeated opponents, including 2-0 Ryan Thomas Clark in his last fight by way of a 6-round split decision.
“I’m excited,” Whitley said. “I fought there as an amateur in the semifinals and final of the Western New England Golden Gloves. This will be my first time fighting there as a pro. I know I’m packing Mass Mutual with all my people. I’m fighting close to home, basically in my hometown. I love the support I get from my city. I’ve been asking to fight on a bigger card and now I am. My people followed me on the road. Imagine what it’s going to be like so close to home? I look forward to fighting at home; it makes me feel good.”
“I had no reservations about fighting there (in his opponent’s home base), because I’m used to it,” Jacobs explained. “It’s not an issue. I fought two other guys in their backyards – Harry Gigliotti and Brandon Higgins — and beat them. I’m not worried about fighting him in his backyard, I’m going there to win the fight.”
Granite Chin’s best overall show pits a pair of undefeated prospects in an 8-round bout for the vacant Massachusetts Light Heavyweight Championship, Sumpter vs. New Bedford’s Edet “Papito” Mkpanam (8-0, 7 KOs).
Sumpter has stopped all six of his professional opponents to date campaigning as a super middleweight, while Mkpanam was a 2018 New England Golden Gloves silver medalist.
“This is my first time fighting at Mass Mutual,” Sumpter commented. “I’m excited about that but it’s just another fight. I’ll have a lot of people there supporting me. I love that. There’s nothing better than having a bunch of support. It’s not a big deal for me to move up to light heavyweight after fighting as a super middleweight, but my first two pro fights were at light heavyweight. Super middleweight is probably where I’m going to make my home.”
“I’m not concerned about fighting in his backyard,” Mkpanam commented. “Honestly, it’s part of boxing and I’ve got to do it. I’m an old-school fighter and boxers need to fight on the road. Now, it’s my time. I felt it was time to take a step up like in the old days. Today a lot of guys fight guys with losing records, no tests, and people know who will win before the fight starts. I accepted this test to fight another undefeated fighter. Steve’s undefeated and we are going to put on a great fight for the fans.”
Rounding out the tripleheader of the Western Mass. power base in a 6-round bout is 24-year-old Castillo against Revere (MA) welterweight Travis Gambardella (7-2-2, 3 KOs). Castillo is a skilled boxer who is stepping up to fight Gambardella, who has won 5 of his last 7 fights and his two draws could have easily been victories.
“I’m really excited for this one,” Castillo admitted. It’s going to be a pretty good fight. I really want to put on a show for the city. I fought there as an amateur a few times at the Western New England Golden Gloves. I reached the finals in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Every year there was a sold-out crowd. It’s only 10 minutes away from Holyoke. This will be my first fight there as a pro and I’m sure it is going to be crazy. I don’t feel any pressure fighting at home. It’s my job and I will do what I got to do. I’m just excited to put on a show for the people.”
“Not at all,” Gambardella answered a question about being concerned about fighting in his opponent’s backyard. “It’s part of boxing and I understand what I’m getting into. I don’t talk about it, just fight my fight. I’m an active fighter who keeps moving forward; Mexican style but I move my head a lot.”
Topping the undercard is an 8-rounder between undefeated lightweight prospect RayJay “The Destroyer” Bermudez (16-0, 11 KOs) and gatekeeper Tyrone “Hands of Stone” Luckey (15-18-4, 11 KOs) in an 8-round match. Bermudez is trained by his uncle Hector Bermudez, who owns and operates a gym in Springfield.
Also fighting on the undercard in 4-rounders is Springfield super featherweight Isiah Cruz (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. TBA, as well as Springfield lightweight Carlos Gonzalez (2-0, 2 KOs) vs. pro-debuting Mathew McGee, of Fairfield, Maine.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.