RUTHERFORD, NJ — Boxing returns to the Hanover Marriott Hotel on June 17 in Whippany, NJ when promoter KEA Boxing stages another solid card for New Jersey boxing fans. Headlining will be Paterson’s Fred Curiel (15-5-2, 6 KOs) in the eight-round main event, while local prospects Pawal Wolak (5-0, 3 KOs), Bobby Rooney (4-1, 2 KOs), Alex Perez (1-0, 1 KO) and Sharon Gaines (6-4) will highlight the undercard. Super middleweight Rob Kucher and heavyweight Matt Fenley, both former amateur standouts, will be making their pro debuts.
Curiel, a former highly touted prospect from Paterson will be seeing action for the first time since 2002 when he fought Jose Antonio Celaya at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The fight, for the NABO welterweight crown, was a letdown for the aspiring contender losing on a TKO in the ninth round. Attributing the loss to lack of focus and not giving boxing 100%, Curiel decided that if that was the case, he should not continue boxing. He subsequently retired, but never really walked away from the sport, visiting gyms and occasionally going to see friends fight. Last year the thirty-year-old Curiel felt he needed to give it one more try and rededicated himself to the sport.
“I’ve been at the gym training like never before since last year,” he says. “I feel that if I had given this much commitment to boxing when I first turned pro, that my career would have been a success by now.” So Curiel finds himself now looking for that one opportunity to deliver the promise he had shown in ‘90s. He will have that opportunity to begin anew on June 17.
Undefeated Polish sensation Pawal Wolak will look to add another victory to his already impressive résumé of five victories, no losses and 3 big knockouts. The Mt. Arlington resident will make this his second consecutive appearance on a KEA Boxing card. As was the case on April 8 at the Hanover Marriott, Wolak will bring his Polish constituency to cheer him on as he guns for another sensational victory. Last time out Wolak wasted no time stopping the more experienced Reggie Avent at 2:42 of the first round.
Bobby Rooney, meanwhile, returns to a familiar venue at the Hanover Marriott. Last June 25, Rooney met Victor Barnes in one of the night’s most explosive bouts. Not wasting much time in figuring out Barnes, Rooney went at him full force, stopping him at 1:05 of the second round. Rooney suffered a setback two months later, however, losing a unanimous 4-round decision to William Gil at the Asbury Park Convention Center in Asbury Park, NJ. He has since moved back to the winning column, knocking out Torre Middleton in two rounds at the Convention Hall in Atlantic City, Feb. 18. The popular Bayonne resident carries power in both hands and promises to continue his winning ways.
Another Hanover Marriott alumni, Sharon Gaines, is coming off a 4-round hard-earned decision victory against Tiffany Young this past week in Grain Valley, Missouri. The attractive Kansas City native is one tough lady when she steps inside the ropes. As is always the case when she fights, Gaines says she will not travel all the way to fight in New Jersey just to disappoint the fans. “I give the crowd what they deserve,” she says. “The worse thing about going to a fight is to feel you didn’t get your money’s worth. I make sure I do my part.”
Tickets priced at $100 VIP Ringside (VIP Reception 7-8pm), $50 Reserved Ringside and $35 Gen. Admission can be obtained by calling (973) 903-2907, (973) 931-8812 or by visiting roundcardmodels.com where you have the option of using the secured PayPal system to purchase tickets online. The Hanover Marriott is located at 1401 Route 10 East, Whippany, NJ. For more information you can also contact the hotel at 973-538-8811.