Boxing Returns to Portland, Maine

Take your dad to the fights! The newly renovated Cross Insurance Arena will be hosting a father’s day weekend pro-am boxing show on Saturday, June 15 featuring top-ten bantamweight Dylan Price, 18-0 (12 KOs) facing Louisiana’s tough Ernesto Irias in a 10 round bout.

The last time the venue hosted professional boxing was the third and final appearance of Maine’s Joey Gamache in a failed bid for the WBA World Lightweight championship in December of 1994. Previously known as the Cumberland County Civic Center, Marvelous Marvin Hagler also appeared in a Wide World of Sports televised bout in 1980, knocking out Loucif Hamani in 2 rounds. Also on the show was a young, undefeated heavyweight from Ireland who went on to be the last man to defeat Mike Tyson – Kevin McBride.

Art Pelullo’s Banner Promotions, in association with Portland Boxing Club, will be presenting the event. Cross Arena general manager Michael LoConte is delighted to be hosting the event. “Reception of the fights has been great,” he stated. “We’ve had television and newspaper coverage several times a week. I’m so happy to see such a buzz about this event. The fights are going to be great, not only local talent but championship bouts. Tickets are going great, we are really hoping for a sellout crowd.”

The co-feature will showcase light-heavyweight Kendrick Ball, Jr defending his north American title against Las Vegas’s Britton Norwood.

In a perfectly evenly matched fight, Austin’s Destiny Jones will face New York’s Feifilmai Faiva in a 6 round female lightweight bout.

Portland’s Casey Streeter defends his New England super welterweight title against Connecticut’s Jimmy Williams while teammate Wade Faria, multi-time New England amateur champ makes his pro debut.

Maine’s favorite boxer, West Fork’s Brandon Berry will also appear in his 37th professional bout. Always exciting, Berry’s following makes all of his fights fun to see.

A special added bout will feature one of the youngest National Amateur Champions ever to the pro ranks. Kansas City’s Marco Romero, at just 18 and coming off back to back wins of the National Golden Gloves and USA Open Championships, to compliment over a dozen national junior titles, will step in against very tough Jonathan Gary of Oklahoma City, 2-1.

Manager and coach John Brown is delighted to have his protégé in a real fight for his pro debut. “So many fighters turn pro against a series of 0-something guys. Marco is the real deal. He doesn’t need that level of opponent. He’s fought the best amateurs in the country, I’m happy to have him face a real opponent in his debut. This is history, this young man will be a world champion.”

Tickets are available at the Cross Insurance Arena, 1 Civic Center Square, Portland. Doors open at 530, first bout at 6:30. 3 amateur bouts will precede the pro fights.

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