FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lewiston, Maine (May 19, 2017) – It was once rare for two athletes from different combat sports disciplines to compete against one another. In 1963, legendary catch wrestler and judo practitioner Gene Lebell took on journeyman boxer Milo Savage in a match credited as the grandfather of modern mixed-martial-arts (MMA). Later, in 1976, boxing world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali faced Japanese wrestler and martial artist Antonio Inoki in an exhibition bout in Tokyo broadcast globally on closed-circuit television, a precursor to pay-per-view.
Recent years have seen more and more MMA fighters and boxers transition between the two sports. For some time now, rumors have swirled over a potential meeting of boxing mega-star Floyd Mayweather and reigning UFC lightweight kingpin Conor McGregor. Should the bout happen, it will undoubtedly be one of the highest-ever grossing matchups financially. And while both sides work out the details for that contest, Maine fight fans will get their own superfight on Saturday, June 17 in Lewiston when Russell “The Haitian Sensation” Lamour, Jr. (15-2, 7 KOs – boxing record) meets Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington (14-9 – MMA record) in a six-round middleweight boxing match. It will be the boxing headliner of a hybrid MMA and boxing event presented by New England Fights (NEF) at the venerable Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
It is not that boxers and MMA fighters have never met each other in Maine in the past. They do often in NEF, which promotes both sports. What makes this a “superfight” is the status of each athlete in the state. Indeed, Lamour and Boyington are to the current local fight scene what Mayweather and McGregor are to the global scene. They are both mega-stars in-state, each with his own army of loyal fans.
“With all the talk of McGregor versus Mayweather, it’s an interesting match,” said Lamour’s coach and head of the Portland Boxing Club Bob Russo. “One of the best middleweights in New England in boxing versus one of the best lightweights in New England in MMA . I was pleasantly surprised when we were called out by Boyington. We had been offered a few different opponents that we agreed to and I guess they had second thoughts. Then we got the call that this challenge was on the table. This is something that will create a real buzz among boxing and MMA fans.”
Lamour is the face of present-day professional boxing in Maine. He won more than 100 amateur bouts and is an eight-time regional Golden Gloves champion, a five-time New England regional champion and a Bronze Medalist in the 2009 USA Boxing championships among numerous other accomplishments. Lamour competed in the semi-pro World Series of Boxing where he was ranked number-one in the North American middleweight conference. As a professional, Lamour has been outstanding. He captured the New England Middleweight Title in 2014. Lamour has competed on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights boxing series before a national audience.
“I will fight anyone that ends up in front of me,” said Lamour. “I respect the MMA fighters, they are all tough guys, but to challenge in the boxing ring is a major mistake. I’ll be in great shape and ready. He better be too!”
Bruce Boyington, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps (USMC), is no stranger to the boxing ring. He won his professional boxing debut in 2014 on an NEF card. Boyington is a world-class striker. He is a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo, an eight-time Maine state champion and a two-time national champion with countless tournament championships and medals to his credit in the traditional martial art.
It is Boyington’s success in the MMA cage, however, for which he is most well known. His flashy striking and knockout prowess earned him a reputation as the “human highlight-reel” of NEF. He captured the NEF MMA Pro Lightweight Title in 2014 and defended it successfully three times before relinquishing the belt to sign with the global World Series of Fighting (WSOF) promotion in 2016.
Since signing with WSOF, Boyington has fought on some of the largest stages the world has to offer, including Madison Square Garden in New York City on the undercard of an event broadcast nationally on NBC. He has traveled as far as Russia to fight for major international promotion Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB). With WSOF taking some time to regroup under new ownership as the “Professional Fighters League,” Boyington was looking to stay active while awaiting his next national bout. The opportunity to fight in front of his many hometown fans one more time was irresistible.
“Boxing is his game, but I’ve had 25 professional fights and over 100 Taekwondo fights in my time,” said Boyington. “I’m excited and honored to share the ring with the best boxing has to offer. The only thing I’m ever after is a challenge, and I have one in Russell. It’s exciting to compete back home where it all essentially began for me with NEF, so I thank Matt (Peterson, NEF co-owner) and Nick (DiSalvo, NEF co-owner) for the opportunity and to Russell – let’s dance baby!”
New England Fights returns to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine with its next event, “NEF 29: STARS & STRIPES,” on Saturday, June 17, 2017. Tickets are on sale now at the Colisee box office 207-783-2009 x 525 and online at www.TheColisee.com.
For more information on the event and fight card updates, please visit the promotion’s website at www.NewEnglandFights.com. In addition, you can watch NEF videos at www.youtube.com/NEFMMA, follow them on Twitter @nefights and join the official Facebook group “New England Fights.”
About New England Fights
New England Fights (“NEF”) is a fight events promotions company. NEF’s mission is to create the highest quality events for Maine’s fighters and fans alike. NEF’s executive team has extensive experience in combat sports management, events production, media relations, marketing, legal and advertising.