Lynn Gravedigger James Perkins Digging His
Way To Top In New England Boxing Circles
Unbeaten Lynn super middleweight prospect James “Pitbull”
Perkins (11-0-1, 8 KOs) is a powerful fighter who has
developed his upper body strength in an unusual manner as a
The 30-year-old Perkins faces Texas veteran Larry “Slo Mo”
Smith (13-53-2. 9 KOs) Saturday night, June 10th, in a
six-round bout on the “Fight Night at the Vets Club” card,
presented by Granite Chin Promotions’ (GCP), at the Veterans
Club in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
Perkins, who has worked the past three years at Lynn’s St.
Joseph’s Cemetery, agrees that his job has indeed helped him
as a prizefighter.
“It definitely works for sure,” Perkins said. “It’s not all
digging like it was in the past in cemeteries. We use a
backhoe now, but there are places it can’t be used, so we
still dig a lot.”
A hockey player at St. Mary’s High School in Lynn, Perkins
turned to boxing when he graduated in 2011 when he didn’t
receive a hockey scholarship from any college he was
interested in playing for.
“I got into another intensive labor job working on a lobster
boat,” he explained. “But I needed to get back into a sport.
When I was 19, Stu Randall – he now works my corner –
brought me to a gym in Saugus. I met Joe Ricciardi and he
became my head trainer. I was 5-1 as an amateur and figured
I’d go pro.”
Lynn is experiencing a boxing rebirth, of sorts. Danny Avery
was a gifted Lynn fighter back in the early 1980s who
trained under the famed Petronelli brothers in Brockton
(they trained Marvelous Marvin Hagler), but the Ellis family
presently rules Lynn boxing today with top 10 ranked
welterweight “Speedy” Rashidi Ellis (24-1, 15 KOs), Ronald
“Akeem” Ellis (18-3-2, 12 KOs) and their sister, Rashida, a
2020 U.S. Olympian boxer. Perkins represents the latest wave
of promising boxers from the city located north of Boston.
“There’s also a 16-year-old from Lynn, Malik Johnson, who
trains where I do at Broadway Boxing Club in Everett,”
Perkins added. “He’s going to be a good fighter. I know
about the Ellis family, and I do feel a little pressure
coming from Lynn. But I’m up to the task!
“I’m lucky to have the support I have, mostly from Lynn,”
Perkins concluded. “They’ve traveled all over to my fights
and I suspect they’ll travel to Bridgewater as well,”
From a hockey rink to a lobster boat, Perkins is now digging
his way to the top of the New England Boxing rankings.
“James is a great guy, and he always makes for an exciting
fight,” GSP president Chris Traietti commented. “”We are
honored to have him on another one of our cards. He is
stepping in with an experienced guy on June 10th who I
anticipate will test him a bit. On top of being an exciting
fighter watch, he brings a passionate fanbase that will be
loud and proud in Bridgewater.”
Julien “Black Dragon” Baptiste (4-2, 2 KOs), of Woburn (MA),
takes on New Hampshire’s Ryan Thomas Clark (2-3. 1 KO) in
the six-round main event for the vacant United States Boxing
Federation (USBF) middleweight title.
Also slated to fight on the “Fight Night at the Vets Club”
are former New England Welterweight Champion Mike “Bad Man”
Ohan, Jr. (17-2, 9 KOs), of Holbrook (MA), vs. William Parra
Smith (4-14-1, 3 KOs) in an eight-round bout; Boston
lightweight Arika Skoog (1-0-1, 1 KO), the 2020 USA Boxing
Elite National and multiple New England Golden Gloves
champion, vs. Sarah “Switch Kick” Click (1-4-1 in a
six-rounder), and Scituate heavyweight Kevin Nagle (1-0, 1
KO) vs. Reinaldo Souza (0-1) in a four-round match.
Card subject to change.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. ET, first bout at 7 p.m. ET.