Brandon “The Cannon” Berry proved he could fill a room earlier this spring when the undefeated light welterweight from West Forks headlined a boxing show that lured a sold-out crowd of 1,000 fans to Carrabec High School in North Anson.
On Saturday night, Berry will head from his home in northern Somerset County to Maine’s largest city as part of a pro-am card scheduled at the Portland Exposition Building.
Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield will be a special guest at the show and is slated to be available for photos and autographs. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the first amateur fight is scheduled for 7:30.
Berry, 5-0 after scoring a unanimous decision over Skowhegan native Josh Parker at that North Anson show on April 26, will fight Moses Rivera of South Boston, Massachusetts, in a four-round pro bout.
“He’s really become a local hero in his neck of the woods,” said Berry’s trainer, Ken “Skeet” Wyman of Stockton Springs, “and he deserves to be.”
The main event of the Portland show will be an eight-round battle for the New England middleweight championship between undefeated Russell Lamour Jr. (7-0) of the Portland Boxing Club and Laatekwei Hammond (21-6) of Worcester, Massachusetts.
Lamour’s Portland Boxing Club teammate, undefeated bantamweight Jorge Abigue (5-0), also is set to appear on the 99th card promoted in the state by Maine Sports Hall of Fame inductee Bobby Russo and the second at the Expo since professional boxing was reinstated in the state last year after an eight-year absence.
Other pro bouts will match undefeated welterweight Chris Gilbert (11-0) of Windsor, Vermont, against Daniel Nostre (11-9) of Highland, New York, as well as a nontitle fight between undefeated Canadian light middleweight champion Brandon Brewer (10-0-1) of Fredericton, New Brunswick, and Ruben Galvan (27-26) of Akron, Ohio.
“Galvan’s a bit of a journeyman,” said Wyman, who frequently trains Brewer at his Wyman’s Boxing Club in Stockton Springs, “but he’s fought two legitimate world champions in Zab Judah and [Julio Cesar] Chavez Jr.”
Berry began boxing eight years ago and steadily worked his way up the New England amateur ranks until turning professional in May 2013 with a fourth-round technical knockout of South Berwick’s Billy Jones at Skowhegan Area High School.
Berry has scored three TKOs in his first five professional bouts, all four-rounders.
“After every fight, we add a little more to his game,” said Wyman.
Berry said after his last fight against Parker that he hoped to step up to six-round fights soon, but that couldn’t be worked out for Saturday’s matchup.
“The professional side of boxing fits Brandon better, and that’s why we’re desperately working to get into the six-round fights and then the eight-round fights,” said Wyman.
But he added that some patience is important to Berry’s career advancement, particularly given that he has been a professional boxer for little more than a year.
“Hey, [welterweight world champion Floyd] Mayweather in his 10th fight was still fighting guys making their pro debuts,” Wyman said. “You have to be careful with who you fight as you get your career going.”