By Rick Scharmberg
Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware will host its inaugural boxing event on Friday, February 8. The main event will feature Dennis “The Assassin” Hasson (15-0, 5 KOs) taking on hard hitting Kevin “Hitman” Engel (20-6, 16 KOs) in a ten round bout, with the NABA interim light heavyweight title at stake. Hasson is coming off a dominant win over Daniel Judah, while Engel stopped previously unbeaten Anthony Caputo in his last bout. In the co-feature, “The New” Ray Robinson (14-2, 6 KOs) will face Alberto Morales (11-1-1 8 KOs) in a ten round bout for the interim NABA welterweight title. Robinson won the Pennsylvania State welterweight title with a second round KO of former Olympic bronze medalist Terrance Cauthen his last time out. Dave Tiberi’s Champs Management is promoting the event.
In an eight round women’s super featherweight bout, Melissa “Little Miss Tyson” St. Vil (3-1-2) will meet unbeaten Canadian Natasha Spence (6-0-1, 5 KOs).
Popular “Rockin” Ryan Belasco (17-5-3, 3 KOs) hopes to even the score with Bryne Green (7-5-1, 3 KOs) in a highly anticipated six round lightweight rematch. Back in 2011, Green handed Belasco his only defeat in his last seven fights, winning a controversial split decision.
Joey Tiberi (7-1, 5 KOs) takes on Moses Molina (1-2, 1 KO) in a four round lightweight match.
Luis Hernandez will make his pro debut against Curtis Morton (1-3-2) in a four round welterweight bout.
Located on the Christiana River, the Chase Center sits on the site of the former Dravo shipyard, which produced, among other things, battleships for use in World War II. The area is in the process of being revitalized, and includes restaurants, theaters, and a children’s museum, as well as numerous shops and a Planet Fitness gym.
Steps away from the Chase, is Frawley Stadium, home to the Blue Rocks, which is a farm team for the Kansas City Royals. The stadium also houses the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame, in which Delaware’s own Dave “TNT” Tiberi is enshrined.
With the support of Dennis P. Williams, the new mayor of Wilmington, the show should be more of an “event” than an ordinary boxing card.
“We have to find a way to get Wilmington jump-started again,” Williams told The News Journal. “The restaurants and hotels are just not going to be the end. We have to look at all kinds of entertainment to supplement what we already have. I can tell you right now, when this boxing takes off and becomes a success, you are going to see some major changes here.”
Tiberi, along with CEO Ed Sutor and his folks at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino are most responsible for keeping boxing alive in the First State for many years.
Tickets are priced at $45, $65, $85, and $150 and can be purchased by calling 302-888-2853 or by visiting www.Champsmanagement.com.