The long trip back begins April 1st for Matt Sharp Shooter” Remillard, 12 years to the day from his professional debut, on the “New England’s Future 2” show at the Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Remillard (23-1, 13 KOs), fighting out of Manchester, Connecticut, hasn’t boxed for the six years, due to him serving a five-year prison sentence. He takes on Lawrence (MA) lightweight Augustine “Ruthless” Mauras (6-1-3, 3 KOs) in the eight-round co-feature. If their tense, near volatile stare-down at a recent press conference is a true indication, Remillard vs. Mauras is not going the distance, to put things mildly.
New England’s Future 2″ is presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), which is owned and operated by retired three-time, two division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera and his son, Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera.
“I am excited to have a boxer of Remillard’s caliber on our ‘New England’s Future 2’ boxing event,” promoter Jose Antonio Rivera remarked. “He has a tough match against August time Mauras for his first fight back. Knowing Remillard, though, he wouldn’t have it any other way. I want to thank Matt, Paul Cichon (head trainer) and their team for trusting Rivera Promotions Entertainment for Matt’s first boxing match back from his long layoff.”
Remillard is a former World Boxing Council (WBC) United States & Youth World, North American Boxing Federation (NABF) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight champion. His lone pro loss came in his last fight, March 23, 2011 in Atlantic City to then rising star Mikey Garcia (24-0), when Remillard retired after 11 rounds. He won’t make excuses; however, he never should have taken the fight with Garcia, facing the impending court case that sent him to prison and working with a new head trainer he’d only met two weeks prior to the fight.
“I’m confident I can get back to where I was in about a year,” the 30-year-old Remillard said. “A dream come true would be a rematch with Garcia, at any weight, but I have to earn that shot. Everybody wants a rematch with the guy who gave you the first loss. It seldom happens but, if not, in time I believe there will be other big fights out there for me.
“I’m fighting an opponent who fought by buddy, Chip Perez, three times (0-2-1), so I’m familiar with his style. He doesn’t back down. I don’t expect him to back down against me…until he feels my power. I’m going to take out those five years that I was away on him. I’ve been through so much the last six year but I’m most comfortable in the gym. The past is past and this is my last run. Paul and I have a lot of unfinished business to take care of.”
Seventeen years ago, Chicon first met Remillard at the Manchester PAL gym, but he made the 13-year-old aspiring boxer earn his opportunity to be trained. Paul made Matt clean the bathrooms, take care of spit buckets, etc. before he started training him.
“When he returned to the gym a few months back, I saw that his work ethic hadn’t faded,” Cichon commented. “I don’t believe he’s really that far away from where he was six years ago. He was idle five years but his first day back he sparred 12 rounds. He stayed in good physical shape and is hungrier than ever. He thinks he has something to prove after his last fight, but he really doesn’t have anything to prove to me or anybody else. He is fighting a tough kid but Matt’s going to be victorious. I think in four or five more fights he’ll be back where he was in boxing.”