Cusumano & Ortiz Return To Twin River Aug. 9
Rivalries renew next Friday as CES Boxing returns to Twin
River Casino Hotel with a loaded championship doubleheader
to close out the summer season.
Reigning NBA Heavyweight World Champion Juiseppe Cusumano
(18-2, 16 KOs) of Sicily looks to add another belt to his
collection when he battles "The Gentle Giant" Steve Vukosa
(11-1, 4 KOs) of nearby Quincy, MA, in the eight-round main
event for the vacant WBC USNBC crown.
In the co-main event, WBC Youth World Lightweight Champion
Jamaine Ortiz (11-0, 6 KOs) of Worcester, MA, puts his
unbeaten record on the line in an eight-round showdown
against French challenger Romain Couture (8-1-1, 4 KOs), who
makes his United States debut.
"On Aug. 9, we're showcasing two peak performers at the top
of their game in what will be the event of the summer!" said
CES Boxing president Jimmy Burchfield Sr. "Juiseppe Cusumano
and Jamaine Ortiz belong on the sport's biggest stage and
we're thrilled to deliver two competitive bouts at Twin
River Casino Hotel, New England's premier boxing venue.
"The last time these two stepped into the ring on the same
night, we sold the arena out and we intend to do the same
The undercard features six undefeated prospects looking to
keep their perfect records intact in dangerous bouts against
worthy adversaries, including Pawtucket, RI, featherweight
Ricky De Los Santos (8-0, 1 KO), who battles Reading, PA,
vet and Dominican standout Yeuri Andujar (4-1, 3 KOs) in a
six-round featured bout. Lightweight Michael Valentin (6-0,
1 KO) of Providence, RI, also steps up in his toughest test
to date against Philadelphia's Lonnie Jackson Jr. (4-1-1, 1
KO), in a six-round special attraction.
Even with a stacked undercard, next weekend's headliners
will be tough to match. Cusumano enters fresh off a
thrilling win over Brendan Barrett in February, earning the
victory via sixth-round knockout. He has now won three in a
row and 16 out of 17 dating back to 2012 with 14 of those
wins coming by knockout as he continues to climb the ladder
in the wide-open heavyweight division, a weight class
officially put on notice with Andy Ruiz Jr. unseating
title-holder Anthony Joshua in June.
An accomplished amateur, Vukosa returns following a comeback
bout in July, which ended a four-year layoff. The slick,
6-foot-4 southpaw formerly trained under Freddie Roach at
the famed Wild Card Boxing Gym in Los Angeles before a knee
injury derailed his career. He came back in 2014 after 12
years away from boxing and dethroned former Olympian Jason
Estrada before earning a spot on the short-lived ESPN
Boxcino Tournament, where he battled Donovan Dennis.
The WBC USNBC title has been held by some of the best
heavyweights in boxing, past and present, including
world-title challengers Chris Arreola and Eric Molina,
former world champion Bermane Stiverne, and "Baby" Joe Mesi,
a contender under the guidance of CES Boxing who captured
the belt at Twin River with a win over Shannon Miller in
There's not much that hasn't been said already about the
ever-improving Ortiz, who followed up his masterpiece
against previously-unbeaten Ricardo Quiroz in February with
a crushing first-round knockout win over Vitor Jones in
April. As the accolades continue to pour in, Ortiz keeps
pushing himself to the limit, stepping up again next week
against the dangerous, relatively unknown Couture, who makes
his U.S. debut after launching his career on foreign soil.
Couture has won five in a row since a draw in October of
Another red-hot fighter, Marqus Bates (7-2, 5 KOs) of
Taunton, MA, aims for his sixth consecutive win in an
intriguing six-round welterweight bout against well-traveled
Lancaster, PA, vet Evincii Dixon (8-23-2, 3 KOs), who fights
for the 34th time in six years and returns to Rhode Island
for the first time since 2013.
Bates has gone on a tear of late, stopping Connecticut's
Jair Ramos in February and then handing Wilfredo Pagan of
Massachusetts his first career loss via knockout. Dixon
become a fixture in New England in 2013 when he battled CES
stablemates Nick DeLomba, Christian Lao and Jimmy Williams
in consecutive bouts and makes his way back to the Ocean
State following what might be his most impressive win, a
second-round knockout over previously-unbeaten Philadelphia
native Marcel Rivers in June.
Also facing a tall order on the undercard, Big Six Boxing
Academy super welterweights Victor Reynoso (4-0, 4 KOs) and
Lamont Powell (4-0, 1 KO), both of Providence, put their
identical records on the line in four-round featured bouts.
Reynoso battles Canadian Kenny Chery (2-2, 1 KO), whom
Powell faced in February, while Powell looks to build off
his impressive win in April in a major step-up against
Reading's Ricardo Garcia (14-7-1, 9 KOs), a Dominican
Republic native and veteran of 22 professional fights.
A potential showstopper between unbeaten super lightweight
prospects Elijah Peixoto (1-0, 1 KO) of East Providence, RI,
and 26-year-old "Slick Hands" Carlos Otero (2-0) of Tampa
highlights the preliminary card. Peixoto debuted earlier
this year in grand fashion with a knockout win over Carlos
Galindo. Otero, a decorated amateur much like Peixoto,
returns from a two-year layoff. Worcester, MA, welterweight
Nicholas Briggs (4-0, 3 KOs), also unbeaten, returns to face
Macon, GA, native Bryan Goldsby (5-13), a veteran of 18