Back in 2011, Iraq War Veteran Chris Traietti founded Granite Chin Promotions (GCP) simply as a platform for him to continue his professional boxing career, not as the future business he now runs as one of the top under-40 promoters in the industry.
The 37-year-old Traietti, who lives and works out of Quincy, Massachusetts, retired as a fighter in 2021 with a 30-4 (24 KOs) pro record, including the New England Cruiserweight title belt. Now, he has found a niche as a club-show promoter who also provides quality fighters for major events across the United States.
“After I lost to Eddie Caminero in 2010, Traietti explained, “I was in denial, thinking everybody was out to get me. I blamed everybody for my situation. Without a clue, I decided to promote my own shows to keep going. I put together a patchwork team. I lost to Edwin Rodriguez (2011) and didn’t want to be an opponent. Nobody (promoters) wanted to work with me, and I was my worst enemy. I disappeared. I then decided to get serious and got back in the gym with my trainer, Jimmy Farrell. No promoters would work with me, so I started doing shows to keep my career on life support. In 2015, I was contacted by (matchmaker) Eric Bottjer who was working for Roc Nation. He needed to put fighters on local shows. I had bigger names on my shows and started to make some money. I thought that I could do it as a fighter and promoter and got serious.
In 2016, I had the Mike Lee fight. If I won, I thought I’d get some real offers to sign with promoters. I only had my trainer (Farrell) for 2 ½ weeks to work with and I basically trained myself. I didn’t know what I was doing and lost to Lee. I did get a call from Roc Nation, which was fizzling out but not dead, to get on a show in Marina Bay (Quincy, MA), and that was my last show working with Roc Nation. I was back promoting, but not making any money. I did get some wins. I started promoting audience shows in New Hampshire in 2017. (International matchmaker) Whitfield Hayden reached out to me, and I helped PBC by delivering fighters for a show in New York City. I have a key PBC contact ,and I was retired as a fighter. Money was coming in and I started signing good, rugged opponents, because I was on to something, surviving the test of time.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Granite Chin arguably promoted as many shows as any promoter in the country, creating a way to promote shows there like presenting doubleheaders(22 total fights) that drew 700 fans during the day, 1100 at night. It was a combination accomplishment. Not only did Traietti promote shows to build his fighters, other promoters and managers paid him to place their fighters on GCP cards. Word rapidly spread within the boxing industry and the GCP brand reached another level as Traietti gained more respect as a promoter and invaluable matchmaker.
Traietti realized this past year that he needed to change his philosophy to elevate his brand, focusing more on GCP shows in terms of putting on more competitive, entertaining match ups.
“We didn’t have the best of fights and I wasn’t doing my fighters justice,” Traietti said. “It was hurting our brand. I needed my guys to fight tougher opponents. I have fighters like Antonio Todd and Tyrone Luckey who will fight anybody, anytime. Other guys really stepped up this year as well. But my goal is for my guys to make as much money as possible and then leave boxing with all their facilities and no damage. Everybody on our roster has a place because this is a team. Each one has a special spot on the roster and plays roles in GCP’s growth. I sincerely mean that every fighter on my roster plays a critical role for the business and I have a profound amount of respect for all my fighters. They make all of all of this possible.”
Traietti and GCP has also found a home in Springfield (MA) – 90 miles west of Boston – where GCP recently had its best show at MassMutual with 1500 fans. Supported by an outside investor with boxing and business interests in Western Massachusetts, Gunther Fishgold, Traietti is tremendously encouraged about GCP’s future with its new base. The most promising fighters on GCP’s roster are a pair of newly crowned Massachusetts champions, Holyoke welterweight Denzel “Double Impact” Whitley (10-0, 6 KOs) and Pittsfield light heavyweight Steve Sumpter (7-0, 6 KOs). Traietti is also signing additional Western Mass. prospects.
“I see a clear path in Springfield,” Traietti commented. “Having Denzel on the GCP roster is huge. He passed his first step up in his last fight .We will be promoting our second show there on March 11th. We plan to have at least 3 there in 2023 and by 2025, 4 or 5, and become the exclusive boxing promoter at MassMutual. Each show we have a bigger product. BXNG TV (live streaming) has been great, but my goal is to be promoting shows on network TV. I don’t think that’s out of the realm of possibility, but not in 2023. We will be building our product for something in the future like ShoBox in 2024/2025. Our guys are willing to take the tough fights. I’m looking to get Denzel and Steve bigger regional titles to help make every Springfield show better than the last one.
“I’m taken more seriously in the industry. I’m now known in this business. It’s wild! It was great to hear at Madison Square Garden for Mike Ohan’s fight introduction, when it was announced that he was represented by Granite Chin Promotions. It really took me back. Amazing to have people watching the fight on ESPN to hear that. I didn’t envision this back in 2021. I thought I’d have 300-400 people at our shows in an armory for as long as Granite Chin lasted. I had no idea that this would happen. I’ve survived the test of time, I think.”
If you really want to fight, Chris Traietti and Granite Chin Promotions are the way to go for real fighters only.