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Two Fall Riverites fighting for titles; one in MMA, another in boxing



QUINCY, Mass. – Undefeated welterweight prospect Denzel “Double Impact” Whitley is looking to capture his first boxing title, but Fall River’s Kris Jacobs (5-2-1, 2 KOs) has other ideas as the pair co-headline the “Springfield Championship Boxing,” presented by Granite Chin Promotions, at Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.

“Denzel has been a rising star on the local boxing scene,” Granite Chin Promotions president Chris Traietti said. “Since turning pro, he has been competing at a rapid pace and continuously stepping up in competition. Kris Jacobs represents a real test for Denzel to show he is ready for the next level. Thank you to Boston Boxing Promotions for working with me to make this fight happen. With a win over Jacobs, the next one in line for Denzel would be Bryan Urday. Urday was the original opponent but, due to family obligations, November 19th didn’t work out. But putting the cart before the horse in this situation would be foolish, nobody is underestimating the ability of Kris Jacobs. Kris has a ton of experience and comes to fight. With that said, I have all the faith that Denzel will show up ready to go.”

Whitley (9-0, 5 KOs), fighting out of Holyoke, is a legacy boxer, trained by former pro fighters and brothers, his father Derrick and Uncle Darrin. His showdown with Jacobs is a slated 8-rounder for the vacant Massachusetts State Welterweight title.

“My father has a New England title belt in the gym, I want to add my Massachusetts title belt,” Whitley said. I don’t know much about him (Jacobs). I saw him fight once, but they can give me anybody and I’ll still be ready. I have to do my job. I’ve trained my body to do everything, whether I’m fighting a boxer or puncher. I’ll use all my skills to adapt in the ring.”

Jacobs, who is also the owner of Stay Ready Boxing & Fitness in Fall River, has defeated three previously undefeated opponents, including 2-0 Ryan Thomas Clark in his last fight by way of a 6-round split decision.

“I’ve seen him fight on the same card I’ve fought on or my friend’s card,” Jacobs remarked. “He (Whitley) fought my friend David Riberio in the amateurs. I expect to beat him (Whitley). I’ve trained even more seriously because he is undefeated. He has to be perfect. I’ve lost and understand it. Expect to see my A game there. It’s all on him!”

The 8-round co-featured event pits a pair of undefeated fighters, Pittsfield’s Steve Sumpter (6-0, 6 KOs) and Edet “Papito” Mkpanam (8-0, 7 KOs), for the vacant Massachusetts State Light Heavyweight Championship.

The tripleheader of Western Massachusetts’ top prospects, in Granite Chin’s inaugural show in Springfield, also features Holyoke super welterweight Carlos Castillo (5-0, 3 KOs) versus Travis “Gambi” Gambardella (7-2-2, 3 KOs), of Revere (MA).

The Western Mass. tripleheader showcase also includes a 6-round throwdown between 24-year-old Castillo and Revere welterweight Travis Gambardella (7-2-2, 3 KOs). Castillo is a skilled boxer who is stepping up in competition to fight Gambardella, who has won 5 of his last 7 fights and his two draws could have easily been victories.

The undercard is topped by undefeated lightweight prospect RayJay “The Destroyer” Bermudez (16-0, 11 KOs), of Albany (NY), against battle-tested gatekeeper Tyrone “Hands of Stone” Luckey (15-18-4, 11 KOs) in an 8-round match. Bermudez is trained by his uncle Hector Bermudez, who owns and operates a gym in Springfield.

Also fighting on the undercard in 4-rounders is Springfield super featherweight Isiah Cruz (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. TBA, as well as Springfield lightweight Carlos Gonzalez (2-0, 2 KOs) vs. pro-debuting Mathew McGee, of Fairfield, Maine.

“Springfield Championship Boxing” will be streamed live on and tickets can also be purchased online. Doors open at 6 p.m. ET, with first bout at 7 p.m.

In the MMA world, Fall River’s Mitch Raposo (6-1) will be facing Brazil’s Flavio Carvalho (7-4-1) for the CES Flyweight Championship on November 17 at Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort.

Raposo, who fights out of the Regiment Training Center, graduated from Durfee High School and nearly achieved his dream last year of securing a UFC deal when he competed in Dana White’s Contender Series. Raposo started training at 12 years old and has won multiple championships in kickboxing, wrestling, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. At 18 he started fighting in MMA where he won the Cage Titans Flyweight Championship on April 14, 2018.

Raposo also previously fought in the UFC series The Return of The Ultimate Fighter®.

Nathan Ghareeb of Southampton, MA, will step up in class to face Antonio Castillo of Ohio for the promotion’s vacant World Lightweight Championship in a five-round bout.

Tonight’s event also features unbeaten prospects Dion Rubio of Providence, RI, competing in the lightweight division and light heavyweight Yuri Panferov of New Haven, CT. Also tonight, Providence’s Shane Dillehay and Massachusetts’ Jon Ciampa make their professional debuts in separate welterweight bouts.

The lightweight title scrap was originally supposed to be held between Eddy George and Angel Alvarez, but weight issues forced the postponement of the bout. Instead, Ghareeb will now make his second attempt at a CES MMA world title against “The Mexican Muscle” Castillo, with 13 pro wins under his belt making his fourth appearance with the promotion.

The MMA card will start at 6:45 p.m. and can be seen with UFC Fightpass.

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