It didn’t take long for Encore Boston Harbor
to establish itself as a major player in the New England boxing scene.
A sell-out crowd of 2,300 fans enjoyed an
action-packed show Friday night at the recently opened $2.6 billion resort
casino located in Everett. The show, promoted by Murphy’s Boxing, drew what is
believed to the largest crowd in years for a Boston-area boxing event.
Fans were awed by the ornate, spacious
ballroom that was transformed in to a major-league, Las Vegas-style boxing
venue. Fans had an unimpeded view of the ring from their seats.
The public address announcing system,
lighting, special effects, and four huge, high-definition televisions made it a
spectacular sight and sound experience.
The extra touches, like the free photo booth
in which fans could pose in different boxing gear and instantly receive a free
photo, was welcomed by all who participated in the experience.
Each fighter walked to the ring to the
accompaniment of his own personal entry music. Former world champions Tony
DeMarco of the North End and Mickey Ward of Lowell were honored with special
awards during the show.
Press Conference, Weigh-In Kick off the Show
The press conference and weigh-in for the
fighters was held one day before the show and that, too, was a special
experience as everyone knew that they were part of something historic – the
first ticketed event at Encore Boston Harbor.
Robert DeSalvio, president of Encore Boston
Harbor, personally welcomed the boxing community and Murphy’s Boxing to the
“Good afternoon, everyone, welcome to Encore
Boston Harbor,” began DeSalvio. “On behalf of the over 5,000 team members that
have joined us here, as you know, we are a new facility and one of our main
goals is that we could present a very diverse lineup of entertainment options
and a sporting events for our guests that visit the property.
“I can’t tell you how pleased we are to have
Ken Casey and Murphy’s Boxing here for our first championship boxing event,”
continued DeSalvio. “We feel this is a great way to kick off this new venue.”
DeSalvio’s appearance and welcoming remarks
were much appreciated by the boxers.
“This is awesome,” said main event fighter
Greg Vendetti of Stoneham. “I’m honored to be part of the first show [at
Encore]. Everyone has been really nice.”
Vendetti would go on to win a unanimous
decision over Michael Anderson and capture the IBA Junior Middleweight World Championship. Interestingly, Vendetti
was a linebacker for the Northeast Regional Vocational High School (Wakefield) football
Casey, frontman for the Dropkick Murphys and promoter, also spoke at the press
“This [Encore] is amazing and we’re honored to the first ticketed
event, that is exciting stuff, that’s history right there,” said Casey. “We
have big plans to bring amazing fights to this casino and hopefully some more
world title fights.”
Casey also thanked Encore for its
“I can’t say enough about how great Bob
[DeSalvio] and his staff have treated us – it’s a first-class venue all around.
The set-up [in the boxing venue] is pretty awesome.”
Everett Fans Join Large Crowd at the Show
Boxing fans from Everett joined fans across
New England at the show.
City Councillor Michael Marchese, a
three-sport athlete at Everett High School who played football for Moody Sarno,
said it was exciting to see Everett residents past and present, at the show.
“This is a fantastic venue and there’s life
back in Everett,” said Marchese. “It’s good to see people from Everett here and
plenty of faces coming back to Everett. The boxing has been outstanding and I
look forward to being back here in August for the next event.”
Former cruiserweight champion Richie “The
Mountain” LaMontagne of Everett drew a warm reception when he was introduced in
“I’m so proud of Everett – I love this venue
for boxing,” said LaMontagne. “It’s beautiful here. Encore has done a great
job. This is great for our city and New England boxing.”
Also seen in the crowd was former Everett
High tennis star Eric Glassoff, who is now a successful real estate agent.
“I can’t believe we’re in Everett, it feels
like we’re in Las Vegas,” said Glassoff.
Winthrop School Committee member Tino
Capobianco was also on hand for Encore’s first-ever show.
“The show has been great,” said Capobianco.
“There was no traffic getting here. I took the ferry from downtown. Everyone
here is having a great time. New England has a great history with boxing with
Rocky Marciano, Mickey Ward, Marvin Hagler, and Johnny Ruiz and it’s great to
see Encore carrying on that tradition.”
will hold its next boxing show at Encore on Aug. 23.