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Fight To Educate homecoming Thursday for Danny O’Connor



MANCHESTER, N.H. (September 10, 2013) – Thursday night (Sept. 12) in the 12th annual Fight To Educate (FTE) Pro-Am charity boxing event, Danny “Bhoy” O’Connor (22-1, 7 KOs), headlines in an eight-round bout against welterweight Raul Tovar (11-7-1, 4 KOs) in a homecoming of sorts for the popular Irish-American boxer, at Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The 28-year-old O’Connor will be fighting in his record-setting fifth FTE event. The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team alternate, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Warriors Boxing, is from Framingham, Massachusetts. O’Connor made his professional debut on the 2008 FTE card, participated in the following three, and has a perfect 4-0 (4 KOs) record in FTE fights.

“Sometimes it’s nice to stop and look back and see where everything started and, for me, my pro career literally started in the Fight To Educate at Verizon Arena in Manchester,” O’Connor said. “I made my pro debut there and this will be my fifth fight on the Fight To Educate shows. I have a great relationship with the people in Manchseter, the New Hampshire Boxing Commission, and the people involved with the Fight To Educate. I really enjoy going to fight in Manchester, especially for such a good cause. Manchester and the Fight To Educate have become a second home for me.”

O’Connor is on an eight-fight win streak, starting at the 2011 FTE, when two-time world title challenger Ronnie Shields joined his corner as head trainer. O’Connor is arguably New England’s most popular fighter today, largely due to his association with the world-renown Dropkick Murphys band, whose founder, Kenny Casey, became O’Connor’s manager last year.

Tovar, 24, has upset previously unbeaten prospects John David Charles and New Englander Simeon Dunwell, as well as fought the distance against undefeated prospects such as Jessie Vargas and Chris Algieri during his six-year professional career. Tovar has been stopped only once in 19 pro fights.

Tover defeated O’Connor back at the 2005 National PAL Tournament in Oxnard, California. “I’m not one to chase a loss but, if the opportunity arises to redeem myself, that’s okay,” O’Connor noted. “Amateur boxing is different and we’re both different fighters today. I’m just concentrating on what I need to do to win and sticking to my game plan.”

Undefeated welterweight Chris Gilbert (9-0, 7 KOs), fighting out of Windsor, Vermont, will be fighting in his third consecutive FTE event having won both of his FTE fights by knockouts. Gilbert squares-off against his toughest opponent to date, Anthony “The Candyman” Chase (11-1, 4 KOs), of Providence, in the eight-round co-feature.

West Forks, Maine light welterweight Brandon Berry (2-0, 2 KOs), who faces Jesus Javier Cintron (1-3-2), of Springfield (MA), in a four-round bout, will become the first to box in the FTE as an amateur (2013) and professional.

Three amateur matches are also on tap: 2013 New England Golden Gloves champion Dominic Lessier (22-2), fighting out of Lowell (MA), vs. three-time Golden Gloves titlist Josh Bickford (50+ amateur bouts), of Mount Holly, Vermont; local light heavyweight favorite Joel Felix (4-1), of Manchester (NH), vs. undefeated James Perkins (4-0), of Saugus (MA); Lawrence (MA) super welterweight Jose Vargas (11-3) vs. Jalen Renaud (25+ amateur bouts), of Springfield (MA).

All fights and fighters are subject to change. All bouts are sanctioned by the New Hampshire Boxing & Wrestling Commission.

Fight To Educate, presented in part this year by Alrich Cabinet, is a unique charity event that combines a love of sports with the vision of assisting children and seniors in need, who with fundraisers like this could be ‘down for the count.’ During the past 11 years, Fight To Educate has raised more than $500,000 in donations benefitting local New Hampshire non-profit organizations.

This year’s attending Boxing Legends are two-time world light welterweight champion and International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee, Aaron “Hawk” Pryor (39-1, 25 KOs), former World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini (29-5, 23 KOs), and two-division (welterweight & light welterweight) world champion James “Buddy” McGirt (73-6-1, 48 KOs).

Proceeds from the 12th annual Fight To Educate will benefit SEE Science Center (www.see-sciencecenter.org), The Bobby Stephens Fund for Education (www.stepheneducationfund.com), and New Horizons for New Hampshire.

Tickets, priced at $50.00 and $25.00 (general admission), are available to purchase at the Verizon Wireless Arena Box office, by going online at

http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/8748/1616837/?brand=verizonarena.

Call Stephen Singer at 603.669.4100 for more details about sponsorship opportunities, including VIP table (of 8 for $1000) sponsorships for a night of professional boxing and Black Tie dinner. This special offer also includes an auction and meet-and-greet with the aforementioned boxing legends Pryor, Mancini, and McGirt.

The dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. ET, doors for boxing open at 7:30 p.m. ET with the first bout scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.

Visit www.fight2educate.com or www.verizonwirelessarena.com for additional information.