Boxing returns to Enfield after 50 years
By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Thu., Oct. 4, 2012
Stars filled the night sky and stars were also out at ringside, when boxing returned to Enfield for the first time in more than 50 years on Sept. 29, as the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society alongside Hartford’s San Juan Center hosted "Boxing Under the Stars" at the Mt. Carmel grounds. The event card featured 14 bouts, showcasing 28 AAU Golden Glove Boxers from 12 different gyms throughout Connecticut and the western Massachusetts region.
“Considering it was the first time we’ve tried this in many decades, it far surpassed what we had expected,” said society president Carl Sferrazza. “We had over 500 people there. There seemed to be an excitement among the people that attended because boxing has been around a long time, but there is not a lot of opportunity in northern Connecticut to see a boxing show, let alone a boxing show under the stars like we did it.”
The venue lent itself perfectly for the event with the spacious grounds accommodating droves of cars, tents for the boxers to change in, concession stands, bleacher seats, ringside seats, and most importantly, the illuminated red, white and blue boxing ring.
The event pulled out all of the stops, as it featured guest ring announcer Jeffrey Dressler and ring girls who walked the ring between rounds carrying placards of local businesses that supported the event. Two former world title holders - welterweight Marlon Starling and cruiserweight Carlos "Sugar" De Leon - sat ringside, supporting and coaching the young boxers during their matches, taking a break between fights to chat with the fans.
The guests were treated to 14 amateur bouts that were all competitive; all but one fight went the distance. Izaih Melendez of Sweet Science Boxing in East Hartford was named "Fighter of the Evening" for his resilient 132-pound open division victory over Edgar Figueroa of Bright Futures in Hartford.
“For the first time out, this is a great blueprint for us,” Sferrazza said. “We are looking to do shows in 2013, possibly even moving up from amateurs to professional fights. We are planning something for early summer of next year, maybe even the spring.”