On Saturday, November 19, DiBella Entertainment will return to the Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino, in Mashantucket, CT, for the latest installment of Broadway Boxing. New Haven’s undefeated Luis Rosa Jr. (22-0, 10 KOs) will headline the card facing Japan’s Ryosuke Iwasa (22-2, 14 KOs), in an IBF junior featherweight title eliminator scheduled for 12 rounds.
This event will also feature amateur bouts with boxers representing West Point, the United States Coast Guard Academy, UMass, UConn, and Trinity College.
“Fans will not want to miss Broadway Boxing at Foxwoods Resort Casino on November 19,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “New Haven’s Luis Rosa Jr. is set for the toughest and most important challenge of his career against Iwasa. The winner will become the mandatory challenger for the IBF junior featherweight world championship. The stacked undercard will also include local New England favorites Alexis Santos, Mykquan Williams, and Christopher Davis-Fogg, the popular Irish Noel Murphy, West Point graduate Boyd Melson and Russian future world champion Radzhab Butaev.”
Trained by his father Luis Sr. and managed by his mother Marilyn and Mike Criscio, 25-year-old Puerto Rican Luis Rosa Jr. was an accomplished amateur who quickly built a local fan base upon turning pro. After establishing himself as a formidable prospect, Rosa burst onto the national scene in 2014 with signature victories over the highly regarded Jorge Diaz on ESPN and the top-rated Orlando Del Valle on HBO Latino. A perfect 4-0 last year, including a fifth-round stoppage over Jonathan Perez on ESPN, Rosa, now ranked no. 7 by the IBF, is determined to prove against Iwasa that he is ready to win a world title and conquer the junior featherweight division.
“I know Iwasa has faced some good competition, but I’m looking to do damage quick and end the fight early,” said Rosa. “I’m going for the knockout, but I’m going to be smart about it. I know he’s a southpaw and he’s a little tall, he’s slick and fast, but he throws basic combinations and we’re going to work around that. The world title is within my reach and there’s nothing that’s going to stop me from going out there and grabbing it. On November 19, I’m going to show the world that I’m coming to take over the junior featherweight division.”
Japanese southpaw Ryosuke Iwasa, from Kashiwa, Chiba, rated no. 3 by the IBF, turned pro in 2008 at age 18 following a successful 60-6 amateur career that included winning the High School, Interscholastic and National Festival titles. As a pro, he has won the Japanese and OPBF bantamweight belts. After losing to Englishman Lee Haskins for the interim IBF world bantamweight championship in his only fight outside of Japan, Iwasa moved up to junior featherweight. He has earned three impressive wins since then and will be making his US debut against Rosa.
“I would like to thank DiBella Entertainment and Teiken Promotions for making this fight happen,” said Iwasa. “This is a great opportunity to put me back in line for an IBF championship. This will be my first fight in the United States and I know that I will be in Rosa’s backyard, but that will not bother me. Rosa is skilled with good power, but I will prove that I am the better fighter.”
Middleweight Boyd Melson (15-1-1, 4 KOs), of White Plains, NY, is an alumnus of West Point, graduating as a Lieutenant. He made it to the Olympic trials in 2004 and 2008, and won the 2004 World Military Boxing Championships as well. Turning pro in 2010, Melson’s only loss came in a 2012 war against the unbeaten Delen Parsley, in which both boxers hit the canvas. In his last bout, Melson won the WBC USNBC junior middleweight title with a 10-round unanimous decision over Mike Ruiz. Currently an Army Reserve Captain, Melson, who regularly donates his fight purses to stem cell research, will appear on the card in an eight-rounder.
Alexis Santos (16-1, 14 KOs) is a popular heavyweight prospect from Lawrence, MA, whose brief amateur career ended with an 18-2 record and two New England Golden Gloves titles. With a style better suited for the professional ranks, six of Santos’ 14 knockouts since his 2009 debut have come the first round. His only loss came to Daniel Martz, having suffered an ankle injury in the opening round. However, Santos avenged that defeat on April 9 with a seventh-round knockout of Martz to win the IBO International heavyweight crown. He will compete in an eight-round contest.
Debuting in April, 18-year-old local favorite Mykquan Williams (4-0, 3 KOs), of East Hartford, CT, will seek his fifth straight victory at Foxwoods, in a four-round welterweight bout. Williams was a decorated amateur with a 45-13 record, highlighted by three gold-medal performances at the Ringside World Championships, in addition to winning the PAL Tournament and Silver Gloves Championships.
A native of County Cork, Ireland, former Irish National champion Noel Murphy (6-0, 2 KOs), now living and training in Yonkers, NY, will box in a junior middleweight bout scheduled for six rounds.
Russian welterweight Radzhab Butaev (2-0, 2 KOs), co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc. and now living in Brooklyn, NY, will compete in a six-round welterweight contest. The 22-year-old Butaev was a highly accomplished amateur, having compiled an incredible 304-12 record, with 164 knockouts. He participated in the World Series of Boxing as well, finishing at 9-1.
Following a first-round stoppage victory in his July pro debut, middleweight Christopher Davis-Fogg (1-0, 1 KO), of Framingham, MA, will also be on the card in a four-round bout. Davis-Fogg was a three-time Rocky Marciano Tournament winner and a Lowell Golden Gloves champion as an amateur.