Danny “Boy” O’Connor (22-1, 7 KOs) headlines the 12th annual Fight To Educate (FTE) Pro-Am charity boxing event in an eight-round bout against welterweight Raul Tovar (11-7-1, 4 KOs), Thursday night, September 12 at Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester, New Hampshire.
O’Connor will be fighting in his record-setting fifth FTE event. The southpaw, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Warriors Boxing, was a 2008 U.S. Olympic Team alternate. He made his professional debut on the 2008 FTE card, participated in it the following three years, and has a perfect 4-0 (4 KOs) record in FTE fights.
The 28-year-old Irish-American from Framingham (MA) is riding an eight-fight win streak, which started at the 2011 FTE, since two-time world title challenger Ronnie Shields joined his corner as head trainer. O’Connor’s popularity has sky-rocketed since Kenny Casey, founder of the world-renown Dropkick Murphys band, became his manager last year.
Tovar, 24, has upset previously unbeaten prospects John David Charles and New Englander Simeon Dunwell, as well as fought the distance against undefeated prospects such as Jessie Vargas and Chris Algieri during his six-year professional career. Tovar has been stopped only once in 19 pro fights.
Undefeated welterweight Chris Gilbert (9-0, 7 KOs), fighting out of Windsor, Vermont, is no stranger to the FTE. He will be fighting in his third straight FTE event having won his two previous FTE fights by stoppage. Gilbert faces the toughest test of his young career in Anthony “The Candyman” Chase (11-1, 4 KOs), of Providence, in the eight-round co-feature.
West Forks, Maine light welterweight Brandon Berry (2-0, 2 KOs), who fought on last year’s FTE card as an amateur, meets Springfield’s (MA) Jesus Javier Cintron (1-3-2) in a four-round bout.
Three amateur matches are also on tap: 2013 New England Golden Gloves champion Dominic Lessier (22-2), fighting out of Lowell (MA), vs. three-time Golden Gloves titlist Josh Bickford (50+ amateur bouts), of Mount Holly, Vermont; local light heavyweight favorite Joel Felix (4-1), of Manchester (NH), vs. undefeated James Perkins (4-0), of Saugus (MA); Lawrence (MA) super welterweight Jose Vargas (11-3) vs. Jalen Renaud (25+ amateur bouts), of Springfield (MA).
All fights and fighters are subject to change. All bouts are sanctioned by the New Hampshire Boxing & Wrestling Commission.
Fight To Educate, presented in part this year by Alrich Cabinet, 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 11 years, Fight To Educate has raised more than $500,000 in donations benefitting local New Hampshire non-profit organizations.
This year’s attending Boxing Legends are two-time world light welterweight champion and International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee, Aaron “Hawk” Pryor (39-1, 25 KOs), former World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini (29-5, 23 KOs), and two-division (welterweight & light welterweight) world champion James “Buddy” McGirt (73-6-1, 48 KOs).