It’s extremely rare in boxing for two undefeated prospects to fight each other. Rather than take the so often traveled easy route to build fighters’ records, Steve Sumpter (6-0, 6 KOs) and Edet “Papito” Mkpanam (8-0, 7 KOs) will square off November 19th on “Springfield Championship Boxing,” presented by Granite Chin Promotions, at Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Granite Chin’s inaugural show in Springfield will feature a Tripleheader of Western Massachusetts’ top prospects such as the undefeated trio of Sumpter, fighting out of Pittsfield (MA), Holyoke welterweight Denzel “Double Impact” Whitley (9-0, 6 KOs), and Holyoke super welterweight Carlos Castillo (5-0, 3 KOs).
Sumpter vs. Mkpanam is a scheduled 8-round bout for the vacant Massachusetts State Light Heavyweight Championship.
Sumpter, 29, has stopped all six of his professional opponents to date, primarily campaigning as a super middleweight, while Mkpanam was a 2018 New England Golden Gloves silver medalist.
“I want to fight the best,” Sumpter explained why he accepted this fight. “I never take any opponent lightly, especially an undefeated one. I’m excited, but I’m taking it as just another fight. I’m not going to let the title mess with me. That’s the way I’m going into this fight.”
“Every fight is big,” Mkpanam said. “I feel that I fight like all my fights are for a title. This fight will come down to skills not size being the deciding factor. November 19th is going to be a helluva show, I’m taking home the belt!”
Whitley is matched with Fall River’s (MA) Kris Jacobs (5-2-1, 2 KOs) in an 8-rounder for the vacant Massachusetts State Welterweight title.
A hot prospect and potential rising star, Whitley is trained by former pro fighters and brothers, his father Derrick and Uncle Darrin.
Jacobs has defeated three previously undefeated opponents, including 2-0 Ryan Thomas Clark in his last fight by way of a 6-round split decision.
“The two state title fights on this show are what local championship fights should be,” Granite Chin Promotions president Chris Traietti commented. “Edet and Steve are two strong, skilled guys who are hungry to take the next step. They both know the quickest way to get there is through the other guy. Neither guy hesitated at the opportunity and the business end of this fight was wrapped up fairly quickly. New England fans should be grateful for throwback fighters like the guys in this fight and honestly throughout the whole show. The fighters on this show are taking the kind of fights that a lot of ‘fighters’ wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.”
The Western Mass. tripleheader also includes a 6-round throwdown between 24-year-old Castillo and Revere (MA) welterweight Travis Gambardella (7-2-2, 3 KOs). Castillo is a skilled boxer who is stepping up in competition to fight Gambardella, who has won 5 of his last 7 fights and his two draws could have easily been victories.
The undercard showcases undefeated lightweight prospect RayJay “The Destroyer” Bermudez (16-0, 11 KOs), of Albany (NY), and gatekeeper Tyrone “Hands of Stone” Luckey (15-18-4, 11 KOs) in an 8-round match. Bermudez is trained by his uncle Hector Bermudez, who owns and operates a gym in Springfield.
Also fighting on the undercard in 4-rounders is Springfield super featherweight Isiah Cruz (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. TBA, as well as Springfield lightweight Carlos Gonzalez (2-0, 2 KOs) vs. pro-debuting Mathew McGee, of Fairfield, Maine.
Tickets range between $203.00 and $48.00 and are available to purchase online at https://www.massmutualcenter.com/events/detail/springfield-championship-boxing
Doors open at 6 p.m. ET, first bout at 7 p.m. ET.