The esteemed Gayle Lynn Falkenthal mentioned in a recent article the best way to get away from these YouTube Boxers or cross over MMA fights is to invest your money elsewhere. Saturday night offers that opportunity, or did as it is a full-on sellout, for Rockin’ Fights 45, the longest running club show in New York, courtesy Star Boxing.
Thomas Palmer has been credited with the phrase, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” This could be the de facto theme of the latest installment of “Rockin’ Fights” from Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.
The cast of fighters will be familiar to the returning fans and all participants will be trying to advance their career, while some will be seeking a chance at redemption.
Whether it is a pro debut or recovering from suffering a tough defeat, disappointing performance, controversial judging or just plain getting beaten up, Rockin’ Fights will once again provide a platform for local fighters.
“That’s one of the values of Star Boxing Rockin’ Fights, you get to see real fights,” said DeGuardia.
Five Months Since Last Rockin' Fights
It’s been five months since the last installment, which witnessed the triumphant return of Alex Vargas from his hiatus of training to be a police officer in Suffolk County. Vargas put together a fifth-round knockout of a game but overmatched Mauro Godoy.
There were only two installments this year of Rockin’ Fights, the fewest number of shows since the series started.
There were several factors for the lighter local number of shows, including being a victim of scheduling at one of the most popular venues in the country and balancing the busy breakneck schedule Star Boxing had in 2023.
This is something DeGuardia plans to rectify in 2024. “We laid out the 2024 calendar year and are looking at a minimum of four shows and there may be more depending on schedules,” DeGuardia shared.
The card will feature two fights with regional titles on the line, the WBA Continental USA Super lightweight title and the WBA Continental USA Super welterweight title.
It also features other interesting storylines including a rematch, three boxers making their professional debut, two MMA fighters entering the boxing ring and two boxers stepping back in after losses in their previous bouts.
Once again there is a salute to service feel, with two police officers an FDNY firefighter, a soon to be firefighter and a bus driver from a local school district.
“It’s great that these guys have things outside of the ring, we are really pleased when our fighters do well outside the ring,” said DeGuardia of Star Boxing.
“It’s a packed card and they all have a Rockin’ Fights feel to them, we have a full sell out,” shared Tony Palmieri, Vice President, and the evening’s matchmaker.
The Main Event To The Star Boxing Show
Alex “El Toro” Vargas (13-0 with 5 KOs) vs. Julio Rosa (8-3 with 4 KOs)
Eight Rounds in the Super Lightweight Division (For the WBA Continental USA Super Lightweight Title)
Alex Vargas returns, this time chasing his first taste of championship gold.
Vargas, the Suffolk County Police Officer, and former New York State Gold Glove Champion, will be featured in his third main event. He is a fundamentally strong fighter and does everything well.
He is comfortable fighting on either the inside or the outside where he uses his jab to control the action. While he is a skilled counterpuncher, he isn’t afraid to mix it up, something that pleases his raucous fan base.
Vargas is now in the conversation as one of the top draws in the history of the series, rivaling Anthony Karperis, Cletus Seldin and the first champion to come out of the Rockin’ Fights series Chris Algieri.
Vargas will be battling against a “tough out” in Julio Rosa.
Rosa took the fight after Matt Conway, the Pittsburgh veteran was forced to bow out due to injury.
Rosa is no stranger to fighting in New York, he has battled on two of the biggest stages here, The Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn and the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden.
He has modest punching power and a solid chin, having never been knocked out. He should give Vargas a strong test at the very least and while it is the long shot he has the ability to play spoiler.
“Vargas is developing as a fighter…he is probably a year away from a major fight,” said DeGuardia. “He has the character and the charisma that can transcend to more than the casual boxing fan.”
With a victory Vargas will pass Johnny “Hitman” Hernandez and Algieri for fourth place on the series all-time win list with 10 tying him with “The Jackpot” Tyrone James.
Wendy “Haitian Fire” Toussaint (14-2 with 6 KOs) v. Jermone “Quadruple J” Jones (7-1 with 6 KOs)
Eight Rounds in the Super Welterweight Division (For the WBA Continental USA Super Welterweight Title)
Wendy Toussaint returns to the Star Boxing home of the Paramount for the 10th time and the first time since March of 2022. He is coming off a controversial loss to Ardreal Holmes Jr.
A fight that Toussaint was coming on in and was stopped on a controversial stoppage by the referee and even worse judging. Saturday marks his march back to title relevance.
He will take on the hard punching Jermone Jones who also is coming off a tough loss.
This is the cliché crossroads bout and it’s a concept that Star Boxing specializes in. Both fighters need to win if they have any shot of moving up in the rankings.
“I can’t wait, I am an action fighter, and I am coming to dominate,” said the usually quiet but exuberant Toussaint, “I continue my journey to the world championship!”
“He is the hardest working guy in the gym, and he has a big crowd showing up for him, they understand he is a high-level fighter,” shared Toussaint’s manager and trainer Kevin Zaharios.
Toussaint Is Fairly Well Known, From TV
Toussiant has fought on major stages including ShoBox and ESPN. He has faced higher level competition and has acquitted himself well even if he didn’t get the victory.
“He stepped into major fights twice and he is much better than those fights,” said DeGuardia.
When speaking about the Holmes Jr. fight, Deguardia of Star Boxing shared that he was unhappy with the decision, “It was all him, he shot down Holmes.”
With a victory Toussaint also will pass Johnny “Hitman” Hernandez and Chris Algieri for fourth place on the series all-time win list with 10 tying him with “The Jackpot” Tyrone James.
He is the most underrated fighter in the Star Boxing galaxy, with his level of competition and development. “There is levels to this sport and he is on a higher level, we wanted to thank Joey G and the entire team at Westbury Boxing,” shared Zaharios.
While Toussaint and Zaharios are focused on the task at hand. There is something brewing for the February Rockin’ Fights already. Something that DeGuardia and Zaharios were reluctant to share, with both iterating, “It will be something very interesting.”
“This is the start of his campaign to a title shot,” said Tony Palmieri.
Erick “El Canete” Perez (1-0 1KOs) vs. Keslaire Exavier (PRO DEBUT)
Four Rounds in the Super Featherweight Division
Prospect Erick Perez returns to Rockin’ Fights for the second time after an impressive KO victory over Dominic Breen. Perez also has dabbled in MMA with two fights. Perez is an exciting prospect for Star Boxing.
Keslaire Exavier fights out of the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas, he has New York roots, and this will be a homecoming of sorts for him.
He brings a come forward Mexican style. While it would be easy to write him off as just an opponent he is being backed by Mike Stellate from Main Street Boxing.
Anyone who has followed this series knows that makes him an automatic threat. “He has the opportunity to join our team if he shows us something, I liked his attitude and we are glad to help him out here,” said Stellate.
Lou “Il Martello” Maietta (3-3-1) vs Frankie “Magic” Monaco (Pro Debut)
4-Round Light Heavyweight Bout (Will be contested at 170lbs)
Maietta returns to Rockin’ Fights for the seventh time.
The local attraction consistently brings a large partisan crowd, and he will look to push his record over .500 for the first time since his 2021 victory of Perez Aughtry.
He currently serves as an FDNY Fireman and fights out of the prestigious Morris Park Boxing club. He is trained by former world champion Aaron “Superman” Davis.
Frank Monaco is making his pro debut (he had an amateur record of 19-3) and is a stablemate of Wendy Toussaint. He is being trained by Kevin Zaharios and will look to disrupt the Maietta party. He has sparred with Toussaint in training for this fight, “He was a very good sparring partner, very tough,” shared Toussaint.
“I saw him as an amateur and Frankie presented himself really well,” shared Zaharios. “He is very coachable and an extremely hard worker.”
“Kevin really helped blossom my career,” said Monaco.
This will be a good old fashioned club show scrap with one wrinkle, Maietta is currently an FDNY fireman and Monaco is scheduled to join the academy in the late winter. Monaco respects and admires Maietta’s service but shared, “He should stick to fighting fires.”
Emmanuel Etienne (3-1 2KO) v. Oluwale “The Holy War Angel” Bamgose (0-1)
Four Rounds in the Light Heavyweight division
Emmanuel Etienne returns for the third time to Rockin’ Fights, this time in a rematch from 44.
The Long Island native and current New York City Police Officer will look to duplicate but also improve upon a disappointing victory over Bambose.
Etienne was successful in his first two appearances at Rockin’ Fights the first a knockout victory in 2019. He is a hard worker, including fighting on the “Borough Boxing” card and then doing his tour as an NYPD officer later that night.
Former mixed martial artist Oluwale Bamgose will be looking to improve upon his lackluster professional debut, where his boxing skills were suspect at best.
He seemed to struggle to make the transition from the cage to the ring.
Recognizing he disappointed the crowd he called for the rematch and is looking to redeem his last performance.
He is no stranger to combat sports having competed in the UFC. He will be looking to add a professional victory to the belts he has in five different martial arts disciplines.
“He reached out to ask for another shot, he knew he disappointed and is looking for a chance at redemption,” said Palmieri.
Dominic Breen (0-2) v. “GI JOE” Joseph Elzey (Pro Debut)
Four rounds in the Super Featherweight Division
In what could be dubbed the “battle of the nice guys” this will be a four rounder at Super Featherweight.
Breen is back for his third time to Long Island and the second time to Rockin’ Fights for Star Boxing. He is looking to get the first tick on his win ledger. While Breen is not a prospect, he is a great story and a person who has dedicated his life to the sport and working with kids.
He helps disadvantaged teens with a boxing program designed to help kids get off the street as the owner of Shaolin Boxing Club in his home in Staten Island. He has a solid amateur background.
“He did what we look for in fighters, provide a tough fight, he shouldn’t be punished for losing,” shared DeGuardia who welcomed Breen back to the card.
Joseph Elzey is the proverbial gym rat out of Main Street Boxing under the tutelage of Mike Stellate, and a sort of protégé of Star Boxing “Blue Chipper” Ronny Reyes, who he trains and spars with.
“He is a big personality and could steal the show on Saturday night, he is a tough guy and has a lot of potential,” said Stellate.
The Main Street team shared he is a great teammate, and they are showing up Saturday in force to support him.
“That’s one of the values of Rockin’ Fights, you see championship caliber fighters and you also get to see real fights in a ring that is just a little bigger than a phone booth,” DeGuardia said.
Star Boxing announced a complete sell out of “Rockin’ Fights” 45 last Friday, and if you were unable to get yourself a ticket you can still watch the action live October 28, at 7:30 PM ET on www.StarBoxing.TV. Gayle will likely approve of the purchase!