Two Granite Chin boxers to make Madison Square Garden debuts

01/16/2024 - No comments

Two of Granite Chin Promotions’ gritty middleweights, Antonio Todd and Julien “Black Dragon” Baptiste, are gearing up for their Madison Square Garden debuts in separate scraps on the February 16th Top Rank card.

Todd, an Atlanta warrior, is squaring off against Euri Cedeno, a 2020 Dominican Olympian with a clean 7-0-1 record. Meanwhile, Baptiste is throwing down with local favorite Isaah Flaherty, who’s been tearing it up with a 6-0 streak. Fans, get ready to stream this live on ESPN+ from The Theater at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

Chris Traietti, the head honcho at GCP, is stoked about these fights. “This is what we’re all about at Granite Chin – fighters who are ready to rumble anywhere, anytime. Watching Antonio and Julien rise through the ranks, taking on tough fights without a second thought, has been incredible. And now, they’re heading to the Mecca of Boxing – what a payoff!”

For Todd, stepping into the MSG ring is just another day at the office, a testament to his battle-hardened spirit. “I’ve duked it out in New York before, but Madison Square Garden is a first. It’s cool, but I’m not losing sleep over it. I’m here to do what I do best – fight,” he says.

Explosive European Middleweight Title Defense: Tyler Denny vs Felix Cash

On the flip side, for Baptiste, this is like a dream unwrapping itself. “Fighting at MSG, in my own backyard, is surreal. I told Chris I wanted a fight in New York, and he’s delivered big time. I’m pumped and grateful for this shot,” Baptiste shares with a spark in his eyes.

Todd, the seasoned middleweight, has journeyed far and wide, often fighting in his opponent’s territory. Labeled as a ‘gatekeeper’ of the division, he feels it’s a tag that sells him short. “Calling me a gatekeeper? That’s a slap in the face. I’m here to prove a point, to earn respect. I’m the hitman at 160, and I’m not backing down,” he declares with a steely resolve.

Todd’s upcoming fight against Cedeno, an eight-rounder, follows on the heels of two solid wins, including an upset victory over Jaylon Pridgeon. Cedeno, on his part, has tasted Olympic glory and recently clinched a unanimous decision against an undefeated opponent.

Golden Boy Promotions Sets Stage for Star-Studded Fight Night on April 27

Baptiste, the reigning Massachusetts Middleweight Champion, has turned his career on its head in the last couple of fights, overcoming performance anxiety and showcasing his true potential. “Stepping into the ring, showing what God’s gifted me, that’s what it’s all about. I’ve come full circle from my New York beginnings,” he reflects, his voice filled with anticipation.

Last August, Baptiste captured the Massachusetts title, sending the defending champ Jamer Jones to the canvas. Now, he’s set for a six-round bout against Flaherty, a Queens native stepping up in competition for the first time.

Baptiste acknowledges Flaherty’s strengths but is ready to show his mettle. “He’s tough, no doubt, and he’s faced some solid guys. But I’m in this to show what I’m truly made of. Training’s been brutal, but I’m ready for whatever he brings.”