Big-Time Pro Boxing Returns to the Paradise Theater on May 5 • Latino Sports


Big-Time Pro Boxing Returns to the Paradise Theater on May 5


A half-century ago there were fight clubs sprinkled throughout the boroughs of New York City where boxing fans could gather to watch and support talented youngsters on their way up to contender and even championship status. Those arenas in New York City have vanished. One of the few remaining venues in the city where young fighters, especially ones from the metropolitan area, can obtain the opportunity to gain experience and improve their skills within the ring is the Paradise Theater in the Bronx. It is also a blessing to fight fans as they can attend a well-staged and planned program of bouts without paying a price equal to the downpayment of purchasing a house.

Boxing promoter Joe DeGuardia, a Bronx native, has ensured boxers and fans will have such a place to go in the Bronx. Star Boxing, the promotion he founded as currently heads as CEO, has during the past five years used the recently reopened and refurbished movie palace as a home for top-notch professional boxing in the Bronx.

The 11th edition of the popular pro boxing series, Punchin’ at the Paradise, promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing will return to the Paradise Theater located on the Grand Concourse on Thursday evening, May 5. Although Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday, boxers and fans of all backgrounds will take part in the festivities at the landmark theater in the Bronx that night.

The 8 round feature bout is a welterweight encounter between Edgar Santana (24-3, 15 KO’s) vs. Robert “Wolf” Jones (8-8-1, 3 KO’s). Santana is making a comeback after an absence of more than three years because of serious legal difficulties. The native of Manati, Puerto Rico won 19 of his last 20 bouts and was considered a legitimate title contender before having to terminate his career. At the age of 32, Santana is attempting to continue where he left off. Jones is hoping to end a difficult streak in his career as he has lost seven of his last nine fights.

Several undefeated young fighters will be attempting to keep their records unblemished. Another exciting Puerto Rican fighter, Jason “Monstruo” Escalera (10-0, 9 KO’s) is stepping into a ring outside his native state of New Jersey for the first time in his pro career. The super middleweight has won all of his bouts via stoppage or knockout. DeGuardia welcomed the 26 year-old to his promotion and advised the fans of his exciting ring style, “This will be Jason’s first fight in New York, and for those who haven’t seen him fight before, you are going to be in for a real treat. In addition to him being an up and coming prospect, he has an extremely fan-friendly style, which we feel will make him an instant hit with our fans at the Theater.”

Two undefeated Bronxites are looking forward to performing in front of their family, friends and neighbors on Thursday. Cruiserweight Stivens Bujaj (3-0, 2 KO’s) expects to have the support of a large Albanian contingent as the 20 year-old faces Chuck Dillard (4-7-1, 1 KO) in a 6 round bout. Emmanuel Gonzalez (7-0, 6 KO’s) will attempt to stop his opponent Jacob Thornton (2-3, 1 KO) early in a 6 round affair. The hard hitting super featherweight has ended six of his seven pro bouts early. 

Steven Owusu (6-6, 2 KO’s) of the Bronx will attempt to bring his recent winning ways to the Paradise. Owusu, who has won six of his latest seven bouts, is hoping to spoil the pro debut of Juan Perez. The lightweight bout is scheduled for four rounds.

Issouf Kinda (9-0, 4 KO’s) of Bukina Faso is making his New York City debut against Jorge Ruiz (7-13-1) in a scheduled six rounder.

For those who like seeing the fights, Cinco de Mayo will be the first of five shows DeGuardia and Star Boxing will be promoting at the Paradise in 2011. The next is scheduled to take place on July 7. Those interested in obtaining tickets to any and/or all of the shows should call star Boxing at 1-718-823-2000 or go to the Paradise Theater box Office at 2417 Grand Concourse.

  Posted by WGR

About William Gerena-Rochet

William Gerena Rochet, is the former Latino Sports baseball editor. He is a retired NYC teacher who divides his time living between New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He started writing for Latino Sports during the inaugural World Baseball Classic when a series was played in Puerto Rico in 2006. On of his favorite moments was covering the 2006 MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. During his time with Latino Sports, he covered several divisional and League championship series games and the 2009 World Series. He also covered the last game at the old Yankee stadium and the first game of the current one. In closing, William has covered multiples Latino Sports MVP Awards ceremonies and Spanish Language Press Conferences including the Jorge Posada retirement one. Now a contributor, Willie will occasionally cover the Yankees.