“Oak Tree” Brown ready to chop down Grano again

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (March 8, 2010) – New Jersey heavyweight Mark “Oak Tree” Brown plans on proving to Tony “TNT” Grano that lightning can indeed strike twice when the two battle Friday night in the 10-round main event on the “Brace For Impact” pro boxing card, presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports, Inc. (CES), in Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn.

Brown-Grano is a rematch of their WBF All-Americas title bout Sept. 27, 2008, in which Brown (15-2, 7 KOs) overcame two knockdowns to stop Grano (16-1-1, 13 KOs) in the eighth round. A 2005 U.S. National Championships winner and National Golden Gloves Tournament runner-up, the Hartford-based Grano is coming off of a career-changing, nationally-televised knockout of previously-undefeated prospect Travis Kauffman (18-0) last September.

Due to what Brown describes as being a “problem child” growing up, the 41-year-old “Oak Tree” didn’t start boxing until he was 35, winning six of seven amateur bouts before turning pro at 37. “There were no jobs and I was fighting underground in the streets,” Brown explained. “I was always athletic – a good wrestler who can dance. There was only two ways out – dying or jail – so I tried boxing. I won the Diamond Belt and came within one fight of qualifying for The Regionals.

“He’s a boxer; I’m a hardcore street fighter trying to bring (Mike) Tyson’s style back. Strength is the last thing to go in older fighters, so I’ve been working on my stamina so I don’t tire after 3 or 4 rounds. Grano has some good pop and he’s a good counter-puncher. He knocked me down twice in he second round, but I came back to be the only fighter to beat him. They had hand-picked fighters, but they didn’t know who I was and just went by my age. I don’t have a regular gym or travel around for sparring. They picked the wrong guy. He had never fought anybody who put pressure on him.

“Grano’s saying our first fight was a fluke. How can that be a fluke? I’m the only one to knock him out. It wasn’t like I caught him with a lucky punch. The ref stopped the fight. He’s a better boxer, but I got up off the canvas, and he didn’t. They pulled the wrong rabbit out of the hat. I’ve been in training for four months because I usually get last-minute calls, like I did against Fres (Oquendo). I’m going to keep my hands up, fire some jabs, and work the body. If this fight goes into the fifth or sixth round, I’m guaranteeing a knockout. I’m going to show Grano that lightning can strike twice. I’m fighting him hard. Hey, I’m living a dream. I’m still like an amateur because of my background, but I’m fighting world-class fighters, and still learning to box. Give me two more years to learn and tell the world that ‘Oak Tree’ is coming.”

The 8-round co-feature pits Hartford super bantamweight Mike “Machine Gun” Oliver (22-2, 7 KOs), the reigning New England and EBA champion, against former 2-time world champion Kermin Guardia (37-11, 21 KOs) of Miami, Fla., in a non-title fight.

Also slated to fight in 4-round bouts are Long Island (NY) light heavyweight Joe “The Irish Bomber” Smith Jr. (2-0, 2 KOs), a 2008 New York Golden Gloves champion, vs. Dameon Marshall (1-2); Brooklyn (NY) welterweight Sadam “World Kid” Ali (5-0, 2 KOs), a 2008 U.S. Olympian, vs. Jose “Hands of Stone” Duran (6-4-2, 3 KOs); Marshfield (MA) super middleweight Manuel Antonio Lopes (5-0-1, 1 KO) vs. Greg McCoy (0-1); Hartford middleweight David Bauza (3-0, 3 KOs), who trains in New Haven, vs. Erix Quinteros (2-3, 1 KO), and New Haven super lightweight Edwin Soto (2-0, 1 KO) vs. 19-fight veteran Joey Ortega of Lowell (MA). All fights and fighters are subject to change.

Living legend, Hall of Fame trainer Angelo Dundee will be a special guest at the “Brace For Impact” pro boxing show. Dundee, 88, was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994, and he is best known as head trainer for Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard.

Tickets for “Brace For Impact,” priced at $40.00 (SOLD OUT), $60.00 and $100.00, are available to purchase by calling CES (401.724.2253/2254) or Foxwoods (800-200-2882), going online at www.cesboxing.com or www.foxwoods.com, or in person at Foxwood’s box office.

For more information contact CES (401.724.2253/2254/www.cesboxing.com) or Foxwoods Resort Casino (www.foxwoods.com). Doors open at 6:00 PM/ET, first bout at 7:00 PM/ET.

“Brace For Impact” will air live and then On Demand via www.GoFightLive.tv for $9.99. Pat Sullivan and Michael Parente will be ringside announcers.

Contact Pat Sullivan (Pat@CESBoxing.com/401.724.2253) for information about a special CES KO ticket value package.

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