Two-Time Champ Chad Dawson Returns June 29
Former two-time world champion "Bad" Chad Dawson, boxing's
preeminent light heavyweight for nearly a decade in the
early 2000s, ends a two-year layoff Saturday, June 29th,
2019 at Foxwoods Resort Casino to headline a loaded pro-am
show promoted by regional giant CES Boxing.
Born in South Carolina, but raised in New Haven, Conn.,
since the age of 6, Dawson (34-5, 19 KOs) joins fellow New
Haven boxer Tramaine Williams (17-0, 6 KOs) for a special
"Homecoming" as part of a stacked lineup featuring eight
professional bouts preceded by a preliminary amateur card at
the historic Fox Theater. Williams hasn't fought in his home
state since 2015. For Dawson, June 29th is his first
appearance in Connecticut since April of 2016.
"Our 'Homecoming Kings' will take center stage June 29th,"
said CES Boxing president and CEO Jimmy Burchfield Sr.
"Foxwoods Resort Casino is the only place you want to be
"This card has it all. Fight fans in Connecticut have waited
a long time to see Chad Dawson back in the ring, and
Tramaine Williams is one of the best-kept secrets in New
England, a future world champion who has done nothing but
win -- and win convincingly -- since he launched his career.
"Nowhere else in boxing will you find a fight card featuring
both the stars of today and the champions of tomorrow. The
amateurs you see on the preliminary portion of this card
will one day be headlining at venues throughout the world.
With so much talent assembled under one roof, June 29th will
set a new standard for professional and amateur boxing in
New England. You don't want to miss this!"
Fighting for the first time in more than two years, Dawson
faces Charlotte, N.C., southpaw Quinton Rankin (15-5-2, 12
KOs) in an eight-round bout while Williams, nicknamed "The
Mighty Midget," battles Filipino Neil John Tabanao (17-5, 11
KOs) in a 10-round featherweight showdown, a bout presented
in association with Roc Nation Sports.
Dawson's resume in the light heavyweight division is
unmatched, and his history with CES Boxing dates back to the
beginning of his career, including his second pro fight when
he shared the stage with Rhode Island icon Vinny Paz, who
recorded his 48th victory that night. Two years later, the
hard-hitting Dawson reached a major milestone of his own,
capturing the WBC World Youth Middleweight Title at Foxwoods
with a win over Dumont Welliver.
Dawson's rise to prominence continued with NABO and NABF
titles in 2005 and 2006, respectively, before he reached the
top of the mountain a year later by upending Tomasz Adamek
for the WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Dawson defended
the belt three times over the next year and a half,
including a win over two-time world champion Glen Johnson.
Six months later, he dominated three-time champ Antonio
Tarver in the first of their two championship bouts, winning
and subsequently defending the IBO and IFO world titles. In
2009, he returned to Connecticut and beat Johnson a second
time to capture the interim WBC title and then won the WBC
light heavyweight crown a second time in 2012 with a
majority-decision victory over the iconic Bernard Hopkins in
Rankin steps up to face Dawson in the midst of a three-fight
win streak dating back to November, highlighted by a
fourth-round knockout win over Columbian challenger Neller
Obregon in April. The 32-year-old southpaw handed light
heavyweight prospect Aaron Casper his first career loss in
December and also battled Russian prospect Medzhid
Bektemirov, Mike Gavronski and reigning NABA champion
Charles Foster of New Haven.
Seventeen years since his professional debut, Dawson has
come full circle as he reunites with the promoter who
launched his career nearly two decades ago. CES Boxing's
June 29th pro-am extravaganza is its 49th event at Foxwoods
since the casino began hosting combat sports in 1992. Event
No. 50 takes place in December as the second installment of
CES Boxing's two-fight series in 2019 and will feature a
celebration of some of the best fighters to compete on CES-promoted
cards at Foxwoods over the past 27 years.
"I'm glad to be back where it all started and I'm happy to
build stronger relationships with CES and collaborate on
bigger projects in the future," Dawson said. "CES is where
my professional career started, so I'm looking forward to
working with them again and working my way to the top.
Boxing is life for me and I'm grateful for this
The well-traveled Williams makes his Foxwoods debut June
29th in just his second pro fight in his home state.
Promoted by Roc Nation Sports, the 26-year-old southpaw has
fought everywhere from El Paso to Long Beach, including
stops in New Hampshire, Kansas and Pennsylvania.
Williams began his surge toward the top of the featherweight
division in 2017, obliterating 30-win vets Christopher
Martin and William Gonzalez via knockout in back-to-back
bouts. Later that year, he dominated Mexican journeyman
German Meraz, a veteran of 120 bouts, by unanimous decision,
and then opened 2019 with victories over Jose
AlfredoRodriguez and Ernesto Guerrero, who entered with 32
and 31 wins, respectively.
Tabanao may be the toughest test of Williams' career. The
25-year-old native of Mandaue, Philippines, boasts an
impressive resume that includes a knockout win over
Australian title-challenger Ibrahim Balla, plus a WBC youth
title showdown with former world champion Isaac Dogboe in
"I can't wait to fight at home again," Williams said. "I'm
especially excited to be fighting on the same card as Chad
Dawson, who I came up the ranks with. It's going to be a
great show so, Connecticut, be ready!"
"I'm extremely excited and pleased about Tramaine taking the
next step of his amazing journey on June 29 in his home
state of Connecticut at Foxwoods Resort Casino," said Dino
Duva of Roc Nation Sports. "Tramaine is on a mission, and
will not be stopped until he fights for, and wins the world
championship! I'm also very happy to be collaborating on
this event with my old friend, Jimmy Burchfield, and his CES
Boxing team -- a sincere thank you to them. I look forward
to doing many great things together with them in the
The June 29th undercard features New England fan-favorites,
beginning with Manchester, Conn., junior middleweight Jose
Rivera (7-4, 5 KOs) facing Miami's Luca Podda (7-3, 3 KOs)
in a six-round bout, along with Bridgeport, Conn.,
lightweight Oscar Bonilla (5-3-2, 1 KO) battling Julio Perez
(4-3) of Worcester, Mass. Super lightweight Wilson
Mascarenhas (1-1) of New Bedford, Mass., makes his Foxwoods
debut in a four-round bout against Jose Arzola (0-0) of
Hartford, Conn., and female bantamweight Marisa Messer-Belenchia
(0-0) of New Haven, an accomplished amateur who also
competes in mixed martial arts, makes her professional
boxing debut against Florida's Delaney Owen (0-2) in a
Undefeated featherweight Nathan Martinez (3-0, 1 KO) of New
Britain and Bridgeport super featherweight Jacob Marrero
(3-0, 2 KOs) will be featured in separate four-round bouts.
The 20-year-old Marrero debuted with CES Boxing in October,
stopping challenger Fierce Taylor at the 2:30-mark of the
The amateur preliminary card is the third installment of the
Jimmy Burchfield USA Boxing Amateur Classic. Ten bouts are
scheduled, including the amateur debut of Lennox Estrada,
the son of former U.S. Olympian and heavyweight contender
Jason Estrada of Providence; plus William Guilmette of
Coventry, R.I.; 2019 Southern New England Golden Gloves
Champion David Ribeiro of Brockton, Mass.; and 2019 New
England Golden Gloves Champion Mark Solis of New Haven.