Worcester Prospects Looking to Take Over Boxing
A new hub for boxing is in the makings, as the central Massachusetts city of Worcester looks to take over. In the New England city of nearly 200,000, a flock of young, hungry fighters are emerging from the amateurs, looking to make a splash in the pros.
Kendrick Ball Jr., a Worcester prospect, is excited to see Worcester boxing on the rise.
“It’s getting bigger. It’s actually getting real big now. Everyone is turning pro now, so it’s exciting,” said the young Worcester native.
Ball Jr. trains out of the Camp Get Right Boxing Gym, one of three gyms within the city, including the New England Boxing Academy and the Boys and Girls Club of Worcester. Ball Jr. is trained by his father, Kendrick Ball Sr., who is also owner and head trainer of Camp Get Right.
“We got a lot of up and coming fighters,” claims Ball Sr. “At least seven or eight pro guys out of Worcester right now that are active.”
Kendrick Ball Sr. talks of big plans at a press conference
From fighters ranging from featherweight to cruiserweight, Worcester’s fighting collegian has been putting on exciting shows across the east coast, drawing in large, passionate crowds.
With all the fresh talent ready to explode onto the fight scene, Worcester is steadily catching the attention of fight fans. Last July, Worcester’s own Khiary Gray made his Showtime professional debut, appearing on a ShoBox card at the Foxwoods Casino and Resort.
Although he didn’t come away with the win, Gray’s performance, skills and heart have all been praised by the media. Ball Sr. speaks highly of his fighter.
“I think he’s the next promising one. Between him and Edwin (Rodriguez), I think those two are the most promising. I think he gets one or two fights, and I think he’ll get the call and be on another major show,” said Ball Sr.
CES President Jimmy Burchfield (right) has high hopes for Khiary Gray (left)
While Gray awaits his next big showing, three Worcester fighters are scheduled to fight on September 16 at the Twin Rivers Casino and Resort on a CES promoted card. Kendrick Ball Jr., Jamaine Ortiz, and Irvin Gonzalez Jr. are all eager to put on a show for their fans and the boxing media.
Finally, the top dog of Worcester boxing is Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez. He was last seen on Premier Boxing Champions in April, suffering a loss on the undercard of Andre Berto vs. Victor Ortiz.
Rodriguez expects to be back in the ring this January, after sitting some time out due to an ACL injury.
Got to say, the sweet science is looking pretty sweet in Worcester.
All photos by Jack O’Connell/RBRBoxing