Dominican Dannis Aguero Arias stunned the capacity crowd at Mohegan Sun Arena last night, stopping hometown favorite Irvin Gonzalez Jr. via fourth-round knockout in the main event of CES Boxing’s Winter Brawl to capture the vacant WBC Silver Featherweight Title.
The hard-hitting Arias (20-2), who boasted 16 knockouts – all on Dominican soil – entering Saturday’s fight made his United States debut against the well-decorated Worcester, MA, native Gonzalez (15-4), who fought for the first time in 13 months after spending all of 2022 recovering from elbow and hand surgeries.
Arias was the aggressor from the opening bell, throwing wild, lopping haymakers and fighting effectively on the inside to drive Gonzalez into the ropes. Arias scored a knockdown in the third when Gonzalez leaned too far through the ropes on the tail end of a flurry and then finished the fight at the 2:04 mark of the fourth courtesy of a hard, overhand right that sent his opponent crashing to the canvas. Referee Johnny Callas wisely waved it off before Gonzalez could get to his feet, securing Arias’ ninth consecutive, all of which have come by knockout.
In other action, New London, CT, super featherweight Alejandro Paulino (12-0) won by knockout against the dangerous Ryizeemmion Ford (8-4). After scoring a knockout in the closing seconds of the fourth round, Paulino battered Ford with a flurry of shots in the fifth, prompting referee Danny Schiavone to wave it off at the 1:17 mark. The 24-year-old Paulino bounced back nicely after sustaining damage from hard right hands in the first and second round to secure the 10th knockout of his young career.
Continuing his successful transition from MMA to boxing, Long Island’s John Gotti III (2-0) made quick work of Minnesota’s Alex Citrowske (1-2-), scoring three knockdowns in the opening round – including the clincher at the 2:59 mark – for his second win on the professional circuit. Gotti made his successful debut as a boxer in October and was previously 5-1 as a pro in MMA, fighting under the umbrella of CES MMA.
Hometown favorite Chordale Booker (18-1) of Stamford, CT, rebounded nicely from his first career loss in April on Saturday, cruising to a methodical 80-72, 80-72, 79-73 unanimous decision over Texas middleweight Angel Hernandez (17-8-2). Booker has his way with the shorter, overmatched Hernandez, boxing effectively on the outside and landing cleanly early and often. Booker hadn’t fought since April, when he suffered a first-round knockout loss to prospect Austin Williams.
Having to switch gears when his original opponent suffered an injury, Brockton, MA, super featherweight Kevin Walsh (7-0) captured the vacant New England 130-pound Title in a hard-earned 59-55, 59-54, 56-57 win over New York’s Christian Otero (4-3). Walsh was previously scheduled to face Rhode Island’s Mike Valentin, but instead battled the taller, heavy-handed Otero, boxing effectively on the inside and getting the better of their exchanges despite Otero’s height and reach advantage.
In what was the biggest upset of the night, Boston’s Mitch Louis-Charles (7-3-2) stopped previously unbeaten Josniel Castro (9-1) with a thunderous right hand at the 1:56 mark of the fourth round, ending the super welterweight prospect’s win streak at nine fights. Louis-Charles, who was born in Quebec and now trains in Boston under Alex Rivera of Rivera Brothers Boxing, hadn’t fought since August of 2021 when he lost a split decision to Connecticut’s Jose Rivera at CES Boxing’s show in Springfield, MA.
The humble right-hander promptly called out CES favorites Francis Hogan and Jalen Renaud following Saturday’s upset win, perhaps setting the stage for a pair of future all-New England showdowns.
Also at Winter Brawl:
- Former MMA standout Mike Kimbel (1-0) of Waterbury, CT, made his successful debut in boxing, stopping upstate New York’s Robert Banks at the 1:50 mark of the fourth and final round
- Heavyweight Gabriel Aguilar Costa (1-3) survived a second-round knockout to earn a split-decision win over Brockton, MA, native Chad Leoncello (1-1-1), avenging his knockout loss to Leoncello in November
- Female welterweight prospect Stevie Jane Coleman (4-1) of Columbia, CT, won her fourth in a row, beating the tough Michaela Nogue (2-3) of Egg Harbor, NJ, by majority decision, 39-37, 39-37, 38-38
- Worcester light heavyweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (19-1-3) fought to a majority draw against Argentinian Victor Hugo Exner (9-13-1)