Hartford boxing prospect "The Special One"Sharad Collier has overcome tougher obstacles in life than he may ever face in the ring.
The two-time New England Golden Gloves champion will make his professional debut Saturday night, June 16, on Hartford Boxing Promotions' inaugural event, "Fight Night at The Capital", at Xfinity Centre in Hartford.
"I'm excited to make my pro debut at home in Hartford," Collier said. "Fans are going to see a whole new beast: more power, speed and I'm not just in the ring to fight. I'm going to put on a show. Here's what 'Special' stands for: S is for speed, P for power, E for enthusiasm, C for charisma, I for intelligence, A for - athleticism, L is for the looks."
Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) All America light heavyweight champion Richard "Popeye The Sailor Man" Rivera (7-0, 6 KOs) will defend his title and fight Mexican challenger Jaime "Zarco" Solorio (12-3-2, 9 KOs) in the eight-round main event. They will also fight for the vacant ABF Continental Americas Championship.
The 21-year-Collier, who will fight Ohio's Antonio Castillo, Jr. (1-0) in a four-round Special Welterweight Attraction, has dedicated his boxing career to his uncle and father. His uncle was murdered three years outside of a venue in which Sharad was boxing and, sadly, his father has been in and out of prison. Collier grew up in toughest part of (south) Hartford, spent time in a detention center and, at times, lived in and out of foster homes.
"I've been through a lot in life," the charismatic Collier admitted. "I've had to fight my whole life. My goals include becoming world champion, making good money, and buying a house. I have two kids and I want them to have a better life than I did. I love boxing and it's my way out."
Undefeated Danbury, CT lightweight Omar "The Beast" Bordoy, Jr. (5-0, 1 KO) will fight in his first scheduled six-round bout versus. Alexander "El Bravo" Picot (2-5-1), fighting out of Hartford by way of Puerto Rico.
Also fighting on the undercard, all in four-round bouts, are Hartford featherweight Luis "Lobito" Rivera (4-3) vs. Phillip Davis (1-1-1), of Worcester, MA; pro-debuting New Haven, CT lightweight Anuel Rosa vs. Cleveland's Roger Blankenship (1-3), New Britain, CT featherweight Nathan Martinez in his professional debut vs. New Bedford's (MA) Henry Garcia (0-1), Hartford lightweight Jose Maysonet vs. Justin Morales, of New Bedford, MA, in a battle of pro-debut fighters, and another pair of pro debut fighters, Bridgeport, CT featherweight Jacob Marrero vs. Jimmy Santiago, of New York City, and New Haven junior welterweight prospect Jeffrey Torres (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. TBA..
Boxing's rich roots in the Hartford market dates back nearly a full century, headlined by International Hall of Famers Willie "Will o' the Wisp" Pep and Christopher "Battling" Battalino. Other top-area boxers include world champion Marlon "Magic Man" Starling, world title challengers Gaspar "El Indio" Ortega, and Israel "Pito" Cardona, and 1996 USA Olympic Boxing Team captain Lawrence Clay-Bey.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets, priced at $80.00, $60.00 and $40.00, are on sale and available to purchase, as well as $125.00 VIP tickets that include food and soft drinks), at Ticket Master outlets or at the Hartford Boxing Center gym.
Doors open at 6 p.m. ET, first bout starts at 7 p.m. ET.