Gary ‘Tiger’ Balletto to be inducted into CES Ring of Honor

“August Annihilation” August 22 at Twin River Events Center, RI

One of boxing’s great all-time warriors, Gary “Tiger” Balletto, will be inducted into the prestigious CES Ring of Honor during a special ceremony at the August 22nd “August Annihilation” pro boxing show, featuring the return of The Pride of Providence” Peter Manfredo, Jr., at Twin River Events Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

Promoter Jimmy Burchfield, president of Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc. (CES), established the CES Ring of Honor in 2005 in order to pay respect to inductees for their special accomplishments and contributions to New England boxing. Charter members include 5-time world champion Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Paz, former WBA and WBC welterweight title-holder Marlon “Magic Man” Starling, and 3-time The Ring Fighter of the Year (2001-2003) participant “Irish” Micky Ward. Other CES Ring of Honor members include former 3-time world champion “El Gallo” Jose Antonio Rivera, world light heavyweight contender “Iceman” John Scully, famed Connecticut trainer Johnny Dukes, 2008 U.S. Olympian Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade, “Sucra” Ray Oliveira and Israel “Pito” Cardona.

“We’re proud to honor Gary ‘Tiger’ Balletto, one of New England’s most exciting fighters ever,” Burchfield said. “Gary was a true warrior who could hit with the best of them. Few fighters in the past 20 years were as charismatic as ‘Tiger,’ who was a true throwback fighter that always left it all in the ring. And he was as tough as they come, too. Nobody stopped him in 36 pro fights.”

Providence-native Balletto (31-3-2, 26 KOs), who starred in The Contender Season Two, was the IBU lightweight champion. Today, he owns a gym and also manages a fighter on “August Annihilation,” Providence’s pro debuting junior lightweight Omar Pena, the former 9-time New England Golden Gloves champion matched Aug. 22 against Rasool Shakoor (1-3, 1 KO) in a four-round bout.

WBC rated No. 20 contender Manfredo (30-5, 15 KOs), star of The Contender Season One, fights Donny “The Savage” McCrary (24-7-2, 13 KOs), star of The Contender Season Three, in the 12-round main event for the NABF Interim super middleweight title.

“August Annihilator” is promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc. (CES), in association with Twin River, The Tournament of Contenders, and CN8, The Comcast Network. The show will be taped live and air Saturday, August 23 at 7:30 PM/ET on CN8, The Comcast Network as well as Cox Sports Television.

In the co-feature, WBO No. 12 rated Power punching Joey “KO Kid” Spina (22-1-1, 15 KOs), former USNBC and IBF Intercontinental super middleweight champion, takes on former IBC Americas heavyweight title-holder Jim “Steel Chin” Strohl (27-6, 21 KOs), of Las Vegas, in a six-round super middleweight bout..

On the undercard in a pair of six-round super middleweight bouts, Rhode Island super middleweight Angel Camacho, Jr. (10-0, 4 KOs) puts his undefeated record on the line against Brooklyn’s Ariel Espinal (6-3-2, 2 KOs), while Providence favorite Bobo “The Bull” Starnino (9-4-1, 2 KOs) faces Lowell (MA) brawler “Irish” Joey McCreedy (8-2, 5 KOs) in an old fashioned throw-down.

Also on the undercard card is undefeated middleweight prospect Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (7-0, 5 KOs), former two-time U.S. national amateur champion out of Worcester (MA), squaring off against Marcus “Team Savior” Upshaw (8-2, 3 KOs) in a six-round bout. Former world title challenger, Greek featherweight Sandy “Lil’ Tyson” Tsagouris (7-1, 3 KOs), takes on Adawirky Lopez (1-0), who is a Pan-Am Games gold medal winner, in another six-round match.

Providence junior welterweight Jesus Caro (1-0, 1 KO) tangles with pro debuting Clarence Smith in a four rounder. All bouts and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets for “August Annihilation” are priced at $40.00, $50.00 (Bronze), $75.00 (Silver), $100.00 (Gold) and $150.00 (Jimmy’s Platinum Club SOLD OUT) and are available to purchase by calling CES (401.724.2253/2254), going on line at or, at the Twin River Events Center (100 Twin River Road, Lincoln, RI), at the Players Club booth (2nd floor) at Twin River, or any TicketMaster location.

Tickets are also on sale at Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket (RI), 401 Gym in Cranston (RI), Rivera Brother’s in Lynn (MA), Balletto’s Gym in Providence, Big Six Academy in Providence, and Larry Army (508.407.5152).

Contact CES (401.724.2253/2254/ or Twin River Events Center (877.82.RIVER/ for more information. Doors open at 6 PM/ET, first bout at 7 PM/ET.

(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “August Annihilation.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied at all times by an adult and they must enter through the West entrance.)

Judyth Piazza
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