Reigning WBC USNBC Silver Super Middleweight Champion Kendrick Ball Jr. of Worcester, MA, who headlines CES Boxing’s Saturday, August 7 championship boxing spectacular at MGM Springfield, kicks off the press tour tomorrow night when he joins fellow Worcester fighters Khiary Gray, Jamaine Ortiz, and Irvin Gonzalez Jr. to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Polar Park in Worcester as the Worcester Red Sox host the Buffalo Bisons at 6:35 pm ET.
On Monday, August 6, the tour concludes with a live press conference featuring all fighters participating in the event at 2 pm at Villa Napoletana, located at 664 North Main St., East Longmeadow, MA, just a stone’s throw from MGM Springfield. Monday’s press conference is free and open to the public. All fighters will be available for photo opportunities and media interviews. Tickets for the August 7 event are available online at CESFights.com.
“What an exciting time for combat sports in New England!” said CES Boxing and CES MMA President Jimmy Burchfield Sr. “We’ve weathered the storm over the past year and a half and emerged stronger than ever. We are thrilled to bring live mixed martial arts and live championship boxing back to full-capacity crowds and we’re equally excited to enter a new partnership with MGM Springfield. We’re back to doing what we do best, which is bringing you the best fighters in the most important matchups on combat sports’ biggest stage.”
664 North Main St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
*Open to public and press
CES’ August 7 event features Ball Jr. (16-1-2, 11 KOs), the hard-hitting, 6-foot-2 right-hander, defending his crown for the first time against Meridian, MS, challenger Tyi Edmonds (14-3, 9 KOs) in the eight-round main event. Ball Jr. captured the title in April with a thrilling win over former world-title challenger Brian Vera in New Hampshire.
In a bout that could steal the show, unbeaten welterweight Josh Wagner (7-0, 5 KOs) of Ontario puts his perfect record on the line against fellow unbeaten Jeffrey Torres (7-0, 3 KOs) in the six-round co-main event. Manchester, CT, super welterweight Jose Rivera (8-4-1, 5 KOs), fights in New England – and with CES – for the first time in more than two years when he takes on Mitch Louis Charles (6-2-2, 3 KOs) of Quebec, who now lives and trains in Boston, in a six-round special attraction.
Springfield super welterweight Jalen Renaud (5-0, 1 KO) puts his unbeaten record on the line against Hartford, CT, native Joe Wilson Jr. (3-4, 3 KOs), returning for the first time in five years, in the “Route 91 Rumble,” a six-round showdown between two regional fighters separated by less than 30 miles along Interstate 91 in western New England.
The August 7 event also features the return of Springfield featherweight Joshua Orta (6-0, 2 KOs), who makes his second appearance with CES and first since inking a long-term agreement with the promotion in June. Orta faces veteran Esteban Aquino (12-8, 7 KOs) in a six-round bout; born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Aquino now fights out of New York City following a two-year layoff.
Female welterweight Stevie Jane Coleman (0-1), a Columbia, CT, native, makes both her CES and New England debut in a four-round bout against Georgia’s Deseree Jamison (1-0), and Springfield super featherweight Isaiah Cruz makes his professional debut in a four-round bout against Ohio native Eddie Hines (1-3), now living and training out of Tampa, FL. Lynn, MA, welterweight Khiry Todd (10-1, 8 KOs) also returns from a two-year layoff in a separate six-round bout against an opponent to be determined.
Born and raised in Worcester, MA, 28-year-old Kendrick Ball Jr. (@kendrick.92) is on the doorstep of greatness in the super middleweight division. The hard-hitting, 6-foot-2 right-hander won 9 of his first 11 fights under the promotional guidance of CES Boxing and recently scored his biggest win in April, a unanimous decision win over former world-title challenger Brian Vera to capture the WBC USNBC Silver Super Middleweight Title. Trained by his father, Kendrick Ball Sr., Ball Jr. boasts an impressive 16-1-2 record with 11 wins by knockout. On August 7, he defends his title for the first time in the main event at MGM Springfield.
Few fighters can boast an amateur and professional record as impressive as Jamaine Ortiz (@jamaineortiz). The 25-year-old Worcester native amassed an outstanding record of 100 wins and 14 losses in the amateurs, including a trip to the semifinals of the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2016. After turning pro a year later, the talented lightweight quickly climbed the ladder, winning his first 14 fights and capturing both the WBC World Youth and WBC USNBC Silver lightweight titles between 2019 and 2020. At 14-0-1 with 8 wins by knockout, the sky’s the limit for one of the world’s most talented lightweights. A licensed union carpenter by day, the lightning-quick Ortiz possesses the rare combination of power, speed, and ring savvy that will soon carry him to a world title.
One of Worcester’s most talented fighters, hard-hitting junior middleweight Khiary Gray (@toosharpgray3) is must-see TV. After debuting in 2014, Gray quickly burst onto the regional scene, winning 11 fights in just under a year and a half, a remarkable work rate for a fighter with incredible punching power and tenacity. In 2015, Gray captured his first title with a first-round knockout win over Kenton Sippio-Cook and a year later thrilled the crowd at Twin River Casino Hotel with a devastating knockout against veteran Chris Chatman. Fresh off his long-awaited return to the ring in July, the 28-year-old Gray is ready to prove that the best is yet to come as he makes another climb to the top of his weight class.
With lightning-fast hand speed and a ferocious win-at-all-costs mentality in the ring, Worcester’s Irvin Gonzalez Jr. (@irvgotti421) is on the fast track to stardom in the featherweight division. After competing at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2016, Gonzalez wasted no time making his presence known in the professional ranks, winning his first 12 fights and capturing the UBF Featherweight Title in 2017. At 25 years of age, Gonzalez continues to excel. Trained by his father, Irvin Gonzalez Sr., the fast-rising featherweight earned his impressive win to date in 2020, defeating the dangerous Yeuri Andujar by knockout to earn the WBC World Youth Featherweight title, the first of many to come for one of Worcester’s finest young fighters.
CES Boxing is one of the top promotions in the northeast and one of the few to successfully promote both mixed martial arts and professional boxing. Launched in 1992 by longtime boxing judge Jimmy Burchfield Sr., the promotion is the only in professional boxing to boast two reigning WBC Youth world champions in lightweight Jamaine Ortiz and featherweight Irvin Gonzalez. CES Boxing recently teamed with UFC FIGHT PASS, the world’s No. 1 streaming platform for combat sports, to showcase its events to a worldwide audience, and worked as a promotional consultant for the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. pay-per-view event in November of 2020.
MGM Springfield covers three city blocks in the heart of downtown Springfield, Mass. As the world’s first LEED™ Platinum-certified gaming resort, MGM Springfield ignites a cultural and economic renaissance in a historic New England city by seamlessly blending new design with restored historic buildings. The resort offers more than 125,000 square feet of gaming space, a 240-room boutique hotel on Main Street, superior spa services, diverse retail and inspired dining headlined by Costa and The Chandler Steakhouse. MGM Springfield also features a seven-screen Regal luxury cinema complex, bowling lanes, a seasonal skating rink and outdoor marketplace displaying local art, events and talent. For more information, visit the MGM Springfield Newsroom or mgmspringfield.com.