PROVIDENCE - Healthy for the first time in his professional career, 2004 U.S. Olympian Jason “Big Six” Estrada continues his march back to the top of the heavyweight division, headlining Friday night’s Big Six Entertainment-presented “Takeover” card, at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence.
The 31-year-old Estrada (18-4, 5 KOs), fighting out of Providence, faces 1992 Puerto Rican Olympian Alex Gonzales (20-6, 10 KOs) in the eight-round main event. One of the most decorated amateur boxers in United States history, Estrada is coming off of arguably his most impressive performance last March, a stunning second-round knockout of veteran Dominque Alexander.
At the height of his career, to date, Estrada went the distance on the road in highly competitive fights with present World Boxing Association (“WBA”) World Heavyweight Champion Alexander Povetkin, as well as two-time, two-division world champion Tomasz Adamek.
Estrada’s most notable victims have included Lance Whitaker, Derek Bryant, Charles Shufford and Zuri Lawrence. Throughout his career, however, Jason was hampered by aggravating injuries to his elbow and ankle, which have been repaired through surgeries, allowing him to fight pain-free and putting him back in the heavyweight picture.
“This is the first time I’ve been healthy since before the 2004 Olympic Games (he suffered from plantar fasciitis),” Estrada explained. “It’s made a huge difference for me, training and in fights. I’m not worried anymore about hurting something. Now, I’m throwing without recourse.
“This is another one of our shows (Big Six Entertainment), so I don’t have to worry about all of the nonsense working for other promoters. I want to keep active. I enjoy fighting at home in Providence. I’ve never felt added pressure fighting here but, fighting in front of family and friends, I always want to look good, not just win.”
Gonzales is an experienced southpaw who is a past United States Boxing Association heavyweight champion. He has been in the ring with former world champion Vassiliy Jirov and world title challenger Calvin Brock.
“I don’t have problems fighting southpaws,” Estrada said. “I’ve beaten four or five as a pro and fought so many as an amateur. In the early nineties, southpaw was the style of many International boxers.
“I’m getting back to where I was. I’m not there, yet, but I believe a big fight is on the horizon for me. I just want to keep fighting and beat some big names. I’m hoping to win a few titles and make some money before it’s all over for me.”
In the six-round co-feature, former USBA/NABO middleweight champion Brian “The Bull” Barbosa (30-6, 22 KOs), also fighting out of Providence, meets dangerous Mississippi light heavyweight John Johnson (13-2, 10 KOs).
Pawtucket (RI) welterweight Diego Periera (6-0-1, 2 KOs) puts his unbeaten on the line versus William “Chino” Correa (9-5, 8 KOs), of Framingham (MA), in a six-round contest.
Also fighting on the undercard in four-round bouts are Providence welterweight Kali Reiss (4-1-1, 2 KOs) vs. Lyneisha Jefferson (0-1), of Newark (NJ), Providence junior welterweight Josh “Bam Bam” Beeman (4-11-3, 2 KOs) vs. Robert Hunt (0-2), of Hyannis (MA), Waterbury (CT) light welterweight Jair Ramos (2-0, 1 KO) vs. New Bedford’s Joel Alarcon (0-2), Providence’s Rameil Shelton (0-4) vs. Puerto Rican junior middleweight Jesus Cintron (0-1-1), and Cape Cod heavyweight Jesse Barboza (4-1-1, 3 KOs), of Hyannis (MA), vs. Salmon “Manos de Piedra” Beccera (2-5, 2 KOs).
Pawtucket lightweight prospect Toka Kahn-Clary, a 2010 National Golden Gloves champion who has signed a promotional deal with Top Rank, makes his much anticipated pro debut against Jonathan Caban (0-2) in a four-round match. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets, reasonably priced at $35.00, $45.00 and $75.00, are available to purchase by calling 1.401.241.3490 (RI) or 1.617.312.5059 (MA), going on line at www.bigsixentertainment, com or www.ticketmaster.com, and at the Rhode Island Convention Center box office.
Doors open at 6 PM/ET with the first bout scheduled for 7 PM/ET.