Cusumano, Booker highlight CES Boxing’s Jan. 21 season opener

Cusumano, Booker highlight CES Boxing’s Jan. 21 season opener |

Cusumano, Booker highlight CES Boxing’s Jan. 21 season opener |

With a new year comes fireworks, and CES Boxing is ready to light up the sky with an epic showcase next month at one of the world’s premier entertainment venues.

CES Boxing’s 2023 season opener, Winter Brawl, is scheduled for Saturday, January 21 at Mohegan Sun Arena and features a stacked lineup headlined by hard-hitting heavyweight “The Sicilian Nightmare” Juiseppe Cusumano facing “The Hungarian Hammer” Istvan Bernath in the 10-round main event.

Tickets are available online at,, or at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office.

Fresh off his knockout win over Dennis Ventura four months ago at Mohegan, Cusumano (21-4, 19 KOs) returns to face the 6-foot-4 Bernath (10-1, 8 KOs), a two-time silver medalist at the European Union Amateur Boxing Championships who was born in Budapest and now fights out of Miami.

The 10-round Cusumano-Bernath showdown is one of 11 fights at Winter Brawl, which also features the long-awaited return of Stamford, CT, light middleweight Chordale Booker (17-1, 7 KOs) in an eight-round showcase against 37-fight veteran Angel Hernandez (17-17-3, 11 KOs) plus a highly-anticipated six-round interstate battle between Michael Valentin (7-1-1, 1 KO) of Providence, RI and the undefeated Kevin Walsh (6-0, 4 KOs) of Brockton, MA.

Returning from a 13-month layoff, Worcester, MA, featherweight Irvin Gonzalez (15-3, 11 KOs) steps back into the ring in an eight-round bout against the dangerous Headley Scott (18-1, 12 KOs) of Jonesboro, GA, and super featherweight Alejandro Paulino (11-0, 9 KOs), one of the region’s fastest-rising prospects, puts his undefeated record on the line in a six-round bout against Ryizeemmion Ford (8-3, 6 KOs).

As an added bonus, the undercard also features a four-round cruiserweight bout between rising MMA star John Gotti III (1-0) of Oyster Bay, NY, and Alex Citrowske (1-1-1, 1 KO) of Saint Cloud, MN. A standout with CES Boxing’s sister division, CES MMA, Gotti boxes for the second time in three months after making his pro debut in October. In another potential showstopper, undefeated welterweight Josniel Castro (9-0, 7 KOs), a Boca Raton, FL, native who’s fought his entire pro career in New England from Massachusetts to New Hampshire, faces one of his toughest tests to date in a six-round showdown against Quebec native and Boston resident Mitch Louis Charles (6-3-2, 3 KOs).

Winter Brawl also marks the return of female welterweight Stevie Jane Coleman (3-1, 1 KO), who faces New Jersey’s Michaele Nogue (2-2) in a four-round bout, and Worcester super middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (19-1-2, 12 KOs) in a six-round bout against Argentinian and 22-fight vet Victor Hugo Exner.

In preliminary action, Brockton heavyweight Chad Leoncello (1-0-1, 1 KO), fresh off his first career victory in November, faces Boston’s Wallace Nass Silva (0-4) in a four-round bout and MMA standout Mike Kimbelof Watertown, CT, makes his professional boxing debut against Robert Banks (0-1) of Monroeville, NY, also in a four-round bout.

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