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Julien Baptiste vs. Ricky Ford could steal the show

PhilBoxing.com




“Granite Chin Box Off” to Headline 4-fighter, 1-night super middleweight tournament May 11, “Rumble at the Rink” at Quincy Youth Arena in Quincy, MA

QUINCY, Mass. (April 11, 2024) – A title fight between USBF Middleweight Champion Julien “Black Dragon” Baptiste (6-4, 3 KOs) and Ricky Ford (5-1-2, 3 KOs) could very well steal the show on May 11th as Granite Chin Promotions (GCP) presents “Rumble at the Rink” at Quincy Youth Arena in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Baptiste vs. Ford has all the makings for a potential “Fight of the Night,” matching a pair of New England 160-pounders who promise to have fans standing and yelling from the opening bell until the eventual end.

“What a fight this is going to be,” GCP president Chris Traietti predicted. “I knew all along I wanted to get Julien on this show and after competing at Madison Square Garden, I didn’t want to take a step back and do a ‘fluff’ fight. I wanted to challenge Julien and see what he has learned from that experience. I reached out to Ricky ,and he jumped on the chance. Ricky looked way better than I expected back in February in Bridgewater, you can tell while he might have been inactive competing, it was obvious he stayed in the gym. This fight alone will be worth the price of admission.”

Baptiste, fighting out of Woburn (MA), is coming off a solid fight at Madison Square Garden Theater, in which he lost a six-round decision to undefeated Isaah Flaherty (7-0, 3 KOs).

“I learned that I had a lot more in the tank than I had thought,” Baptiste said. “It was scheduled for eight rounds, but it was changed to six, but I had trained to fight eight. He won the fight within the limits, credit to Isaah. It was a great fight and I felt that I was turning things around, but that’s been my Achilles heel, I didn’t let loose until it was late.”

The reigning Massachusetts Middleweight Champion in addition to wearing the USBF crown, Baptiste respects Ford and is preparing for a memorable fight, which could catapult him into another high-impact fight like he recently had in MSG.

“It’s going to be a good fight,” he predicted. “He’s a good opponent. We both fought Ryan Clark in the amateurs, and each went 1-1. I wasn’t there live, but he fought Travis Gambardella to a draw when I was still an amateur, and I watched it afterwards. I’m sure that he’s going to bring it. He was out the past few years, but I do respect him as a game fighter, and for stepping up to fight me. He’s a great technical fighter who keeps distance and knows how to box.”

Fighting out of Claremont (NH), Ford was a 2012 New England Golden Gloves silver medalist who was inactive from late 2019 to his ring return this past February, when he knocked out Erick Matheus Alves in round three. After the fight, in the middle of the ring, Clark dropped to one knee and proposed marriage to his longtime girlfriend, Katie, who also boxed. Ford was undecided in terms of retiring or continuing to fight, explaining at the time that he’d likely fight again if the offer was good enough.

“There was a lot of emotion in my last fight, and I did look good,” Ford remembered. “People thought I was away from boxing for years, but I was always in the gym, and I do love boxing. I took time off because I have a family with kids, and a good job. I met Katie through boxing, and I thought my last fight was the perfect way to propose,

because boxing is how it all started for us. I was out of the ring 4 ½ years and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy shaking off the rust. Nobody has ever pushed me to reach my full potential. I thought my last fight was a good way to end my career, but Chris (Traietti) called and asked if I’d fight Julien for his title. Let’s see how it goes, If I win, I’ll defend my title, and if it ends in a draw, we’ll have to do it again. This is boxing and one punch can change everything.”

Ford noted that he’s a relatively small middleweight who should really be fighting at junior middleweight or even welterweight. He’s excited to fight Baptiste and believes they may steal the show.

“It’s going to be one of those fights,” Ricky concluded. We have two different styles. He boxes more than me. I’ll give him that and in power, but I have better hand speed. I have a lot more to show to people who haven’t seen it in me, and a lot have forgotten that I had a lot of amateur fights. I was a four-time Northern New England champion and runner-up at the 2015 Ringside Tournament in Kansas. I’ve seen Julien fight and I respect him. I took the fight and I’m stepping up. He’s the perfect guy for me to fight because we both come forward. Right now, I’m at my strongest point.”

In an equally compelling match. undefeated Irish boxer Thomas “The Kid” O’Toole (9-0, 6 KOs) meets dangerous Russell Kimber (2-1, 1 KO) in a six-round bout for the vacant Massachusetts Light Heavyweight Championship.

The innovative one-night tournament, “Granite Chin Box Off,” is the event headliner that features a quartet of New England super middleweight fighters – Lynn’s (MA) James “Pitbull” Perkins (13-1-1, 9 KOs), Swansea’s (MA) Anthony “The Gentle Savage” Andreozzi (5-3, 2 KOs), Dorchester’s (MA) Bernard Joseph (6-1, 4 KOs), and Barrington’s (ME) Ryan Clark (4-5, 2 KOs) – who will be matched (in a blind draw at the weigh in) in three-round bouts (4th round of sudden death if needed in case of a draw) early in the evening with the two winners advancing to the five-round main event (6th round of sudden death in the event of a draw) to determine the inaugural champion.

Additional matches will soon be announced.

Card subject to change.

Tickets are on sale to purchase at www.granite-chin-promotions.ticketleap.com.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. ET, first bout at 7 p.m. ET.

INFORMATION:
Facebook.com/GraniteChin




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