True ‘Homecoming’ June 25 in Holyoke for seven boxers

HOLYOKE, Mass. (June 15, 2011) – The June 25th pro boxing show in Holyoke, only the second there in the last 50 years, is a true “Homecoming” for seven boxers scheduled to fight on the card, presented by American Fighting Organization, at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke.

Three fighters from Holyoke and four from bordering Springfield are set to participate in “Homecoming,” which is the first pro boxing show in Holyoke since 2000. Boxing in this western Massachusetts city dates back to 1896. Rocky Marciano made his pro debut there in 1947 and other Hall of Famers such as Willie Pep, Sandy Saddler, Beau Jack, Sixto Escobar and Fritzie Zivic, along with world champions Tony DeMarco, Paddy DeMarco, Lou Ambers and Lou Salica, fought in Holyoke. “Iron” Mike Tyson won a Golden Gloves title there in 1984.

Holyoke’s veteran boxer Derrick “Double Impact” Whitley (24-25-3, 11 KOs), who owns and operates Whitley’s Gym in Holyoke, returns to the ring for the first time in nearly four years. Never dropped in 52 pro fights, Whitley takes on Adam “Hitman” Harris (10-4, 7 KOs), of Worcester (MA), in the eight-round main event at a 190-pound catch-weight.

Holyoke favorite Joseph “Chip” Perez (5-1, 2 KOs), who learned to box at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke, faces lightweight Kristian “K Smooth” Vasquez (1-0, 1 KO in the four-round co-feature.

The other Holyoke boxer on the card is light heavyweight Pedro “Tyson” Gonzales, who makes his pro debut in a four-round bout versus Randy “The Rattler” Campbell (3-5, 2 KOs).

Also fighting on the undercard in four-round bouts is Springfield light heavyweight Reinaldo Graceski (1-0) vs. pro debuting Delvery Wofford, Springfield welterweights Jose Angel “KO” Ortiz (4-6-1, 1 KO) and Noel Garcia (2-9-1, 1 KO) battle for local bragging rights, Springfield cruiserweight Jose Torres and Covon Graham make their pro debuts, as do New Haven bantamweight Nate Green and Philadelphia’s John Lowery, and welterweight Jair “Da-Bully” Ramos, of Waterbury (CT), who meets Robert Dortch (0-2). All bouts and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets are priced at $40.00, $50.00 and $100.00 and are available at or by calling (413.534.7366) the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke (70 Nick Cosmos Way), as well as going on line at www.afomma.com. Doors open at 6 PM/ET, first bout at 7 PM/ET.