MANCHESTER, N.H. (September 15, 2011) – Popular light welterweight prospect Danny O’Connor returns to the ring Wednesday night (Sept. 21), fighting for the fourth consecutive year on the Fight To Educate (“FTE”) card, at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.
This trip, however, the crafty southpaw from Framingham, Mass. has a completely new look. He’s now a father who trains in Houston, home of his new trainer, former two-time world title challenger and past Trainer of the Year, Ronnie Shields.More significantly, though, O’Connor (14-1, 3 KOs) no longer has the word “unbeaten” associated with his name having lost his last fight this past April to undefeated Gabriel Bracero on ShoBox.
“It’s always good fighting on the Fight To Educate card,” the 26-year-old O’Connor said.“This year I pushed to get back on the card (10th annual FTE), especially coming off my last fight.I made my pro debut here.After surgery I have no health issues. I’m accustomed to the event and the people know me by name.Plus, it’s a great cause. What better place for my comeback? All good things have happened to me there and I’m absolutely thrilled to be fighting on this great show again.I’m also fighting for a charity, the ‘Doug Bolanes Jr. Organization.I’m going to have a lot of people from that group attending the show.”
O’Connor, who was a 2008 U.S. Olympic Team alternate, as well as the 2008 National Golden Gloves Tournament and U.S. Future Stars winner, faces dangerous Jamal Del Cid (7-5, 3 KOs) in a six-round bout.
Chief second Shields has worked with superstars such as Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker and the late Vernon Forrest. Today, Ronnie handles Danny’s close friend, world-rated, unbeaten super middleweight Edwin “La Bomba”Rodriguez, in addition to WBA Interim super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, Erislandy Lara, Kermit Cintron, Jermall Charlo and Mike Lee.
“I’m at a different level of experience,” the personable Irish-American remarked.“Ronnie Shields really understands what it takes because he was a top fighter.He’s not a coach, but more of a teacher, and I’ve learned from him.You can’t help to be a better fighter being in the gym with him very every day. He’s a nice guy, who is super nice outside of the gym.Inside, though, he is all focused.I’m more confident and going with Ronnie is the best move I’ve made in my boxing career.”
The 10-round main event showcases World Boxing Council (“WBC”) No. 14-rated and 2008 U.S. Olympian, Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (14-0, 9 KOs), who faces two-time world title challenger Saul “Baby” Duran (38-18-2, 31 KOs).
Upset specialist Jose “Stinger” Medina (14-9-1, 6 KOs), from Tilton (NH), will also be in action against Olympic Bronze Medalist Anibel Acevedo (13-7-1, 11 KOs), of Puerto Rico. Medina, a native of Mexico, is coming off a controversial eight-round draw against former world champion Joachim Alcine, in which most observers felt Medina deserved a victory.In January, Medina scored a shocking fourth-round knockout of 17-1 Isaac Rodrigues.As an amateur, Acevedo defeated future pro world champions Shane Moseley, Guillermo Jones and Harry Simon.
Fighting on the undercard in four-round matches are Claremont (NH) lightweight Dan Powers (3-0, 2 KOs) vs. Luis Rosario, and Windsor (VT) welterweight Chris Gilbert (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Joey “Mundo” Ortega.
Fight To Educate is a unique charity event that combines a love of sports with the vision of assisting children and seniors in need, who with fundraisers like this could be ‘down for the count.’During the past nine years, Fight To Educate has raised more than $500,000 in donations benefitting local New Hampshire non-profit organizations.
Proceeds from the 10th annual Fight To Educate will benefit SEE Science Center (www.see-sciencecenter.org), The Bobby Stephens Fund for Education (www.stepheneducationfund.com), and St. Joseph Community Services/Meals on Wheels (www.mealsonwheelsnh.org).
Tickets, priced at $50.00 and $25.00 (general admission), are available to purchase by going online at www.ticketmaster.com, calling Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000, or at the Verizon Wireless Arena Box Office or any Ticketmaster location.
Table tickets for a night of professional boxing and Black Tie dinner, as well as an auction and meet-and-greet with special boxing legends such as former world heavyweight title challenger “Gentleman” Gerry Cooney, as well as world champions and three of New England’s all-time greatest boxers – Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Paz,“Irish” Micky Ward and John “The Quietman” Ruiz – are available by calling Stephen Singer at 603.669.4100.
The dinner starts at 5:30 PM/ET, doors for boxing open at 7:30 PM/RT with the first bout scheduled for 8 PM/ET.
Go online to www.fight2educate.com or www.verizonwirelessarena.com for additional information.