TACOMA, Wash. – In addition to a 10-round main event between Andre Keys and Dannie Williams, Battle at the Boat 125 will also feature a 6-round semi main event between Niko McFarland and Antonio Neal.
Contested at 145 pounds, McFarland and Neal’s bout will be one of six fights on the Jan. 17 card at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash.
“Niko and Antonio have both fought several times on Emerald Queen and they never fail to put on entertaining fights. This fight just made too much sense,” promoter Brian Halquist said. “These two are warriors in the truest sense of the word. Expect a lot of punches to be thrown because neither fighter backs down. This is going to be an exciting fight.”
Tickets are available through the EQC box office and all Ticketmaster Outlets. Preliminary bouts will start at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.
The 26-year-old Neal is coming off a win on Oct. 26 against Clarence Brown and will look to put together his first winning streak since he opened his professional career 2-0.
“Antonio’s training has been very active heading into January,” said Julisa Graham, who has been training Neal for the last six months. “He’s been sparring about two to three times a week with teammates here in Yakima and we’ve taken a few trips to Seattle as well. He pays close attention to what he eats and even how he thinks. To Tony, mindset is the most important aspect of boxing; He would also say it is the most important aspect of life.”
Neal has gained a strong reputation for his willingness to step into the ring against any opponent. He has fought undefeated prospect Nick Jefferson and Keys, who brings an 11-fight winning streak into the main event, twice during his 18-fight professional career.
“What impresses me most about Tony as a boxer is his open-mindedness,” Graham said. “He will come back to the corner, look me in the eye, listen to my instruction, and head back in with complete trust and willingness to implement the instruction. Also, Tony’s power is insane. His power is incredibly impressive.”
McFarland will look to get back his winning ways as he saw his five-bout unbeaten streak come to an end in November when he dropped a unanimous decision against undefeated Chris Johnson (7-0).
“My thoughts on Niko McFarland are that I believe him and Tony are pretty well matched,” Graham said. “Niko seems to have some good experience under his belt so it should most definitely be a good fight. Fans should expect to not want to blink. Battle at the Boat 125 looks like an amazing and entertaining lineup. In boxing, nothing can be predictable.”
In addition to the main event, and semi main event, Battle at the Boat 125 will include an undercard bout between undefeated fighters Jose Cervantes and Cody Brown and a 170-pound fight between Juan Jackson and Joe Aguilar.
Battle at the Boat 125 is brought to you by Brian Halquist Productions. For more information, please visit the Battle at the Boat Facebook page and www.halquistproductions.com
Battle at the Boat 125 Card
Friday, Jan. 17, 2020
10 Round Main Event – Welterweight
Andre Keys (12-1) vs. Dannie Williams (23-3)
6 Round Semi-Main Event – Welterweight
145-pounds: Antonio Neal (5-12) vs. Niko McFarland (4-5-2)
4 Round Undercard Bouts
170-pounds: Juan Jackson (2-2) vs. Joe Aguilar (0-0)
136-pounds: Louis De Alba (0-3) vs. Marco Garcia (0-0-1)
144-pounds: Jose Cervantes (1-0) vs. Cody Brown (1-0)
Heavyweights: Nick Mills (2-0) vs. Michael Johnson (0-0)