Jason Estrada Headlines in RI on Friday
PROVIDENCE (March 7, 2012) - 2004 U.S. Olympian Jason "Big Six" Estrada (17-4, 4 KOs) finds himself at the crossroads of his injury-plagued boxing career as he prepares to step into the ring Friday night in Providence against battle-tested veteran "Diamond" Dominique Alexander (22-13-1, 10 KOs) in the eight-round heavyweight bout headlining the "Who's Next?" card, presented by Big Six Entertainment, at the Rhode Island Contention Center.
Estrada, fighting out of Providence, remains one of the most decorated boxers in U.S. amateur history, a 2003 Pan-America Games gold medal winner who fought all over the world, including the 2004 Olympic Games in Greece.
The 31-year-old Estrada won his first seven pro fights, until losing an eight-round majority decision on the road to Travis Walker. Estrada rebounded with eight straight victories against notables including Robert Hawkins, Charles Shufford, Lance Whitaker and Derek Byrant.
Estrada then traveled to Germany for a showdown against 2004 super heavyweight gold medalist and the present World Boxing Association ("WBA") heavyweight champion, Alexander Povetkin, who won a very competitive 10-round decision.
A win by seventh-round technical knockout of Zuri Lawrence followed, but then Estrada dropped back-to-back fights to former two-divisional, world champion Tomas Adamek by way of a close 12-round decision for the International Boxing Federation "(IBF") title, and Franklin Lawrence (TKO10) for the World Boxing Council ("WBC") Caribbean Boxing Federation belt.
Disappointed by the way Estrada was moved by his former promoters, coupled by injuries to his ankle and elbow that required surgery, Jason's father and head trainer, Roland Estrada, formed Big Six Entertainment to keep his son active in order to give him one last possible opportunity to make it to the top of the world.
Jason realizes that every fight is now the most significant of his career and each must-win situations. "I know I'm at the crossroads and need to win every fight," Jason said. "I don't have too much time left because I said I'd retire at 35. I have four years left. I want to stay active until I get into a perfect situation. I want to fight and always have but I didn't get the support I really needed from my former promoters, which is why my father started Big Six Entertainment. I'd love to finish-off my career with at least one heavyweight title fight worth enough money that will basically make me set for life. After I retire from boxing, I want to stay involved in the promotional end, helping with issues only a boxer knows."
The experienced Alexander has been in against world heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs and reigning WBC cruiserweight titlist Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, 2004 Olympic heavyweight gold medalist and world title challenger Odlanier Solis, 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Deontay Wilder, and world title challengers Cedric Boswell, Kali Meehan, and Fres Oquendo.
"Alexander has fought everybody," Estrada noted. "I respect him for that. But I'm still as quick as ever and I've learned to control my punches, especially my body work. I went back to my style when I was a young amateur - stopping guys - going to the body and then up to the head. I had to change in the amateurs (due to the points system) but now I'm back. I feel good. Nothing's wrong other than the usual aches and pains from fighting 24 years. Nothing serious, though, for the first time in years since surgery on my elbow and ankle for planter fasciitis."
Former USBA/NABO middleweight champion Brian "The Bull" Barbosa (30-6, 22 KOs), fighting out of Mashpee (MA), continues his comeback against dangerous light heavyweight John Johnson (13-2, 10 KOs) in the six-round co-feature.
Popular New England cruiserweight Rich Gingras (10-2, 6 KOs), one of the stars of The Contender IV reality television show, returns to the ring after a 2 ½-year layoff in a six-round fight versus Worcester (MA) veteran Adam Harris (10-4, 7 KOs).
Also fighting on the undercard in four-round match-ups are Providence welterweight Kali Reiss (3-1-1, 2 KOs) vs. pro-debuting Marva Dash, of Bridgeport (CT), Fall River (MA) junior middleweight Dustin Reinhold (4-2, 2 KOs) vs. Springfield's Jose Angel "KO" Ortiz (4-6-1, 1 KOs), Woonsocket (RI) super middleweight Joe Gardner (7-4-1, 1 KO) vs. Providence's Rameil Shelton (0-3), and Harwich (MA) light heavyweight Paul Gonsalves (2-2, 2 KOs) vs. Robert Jackson in his pro debut. 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.