Brandon Berry’s boxing career is taking a different direction, at least for now.
The West Forks fighter, sidelined since last summer by two more surgeries on an injured shoulder that will keep him out of the ring until at least this fall, is promoting a pro-am boxing card scheduled for July 29 at the Skowhegan Community Center.
Berry, 29, has been involved in promoting previous Somerset County shows in Skowhegan and at Carrabec High School in North Anson.
“But this is my first time promoting completely on my own and I’ve always wanted to do this so I’m excited.”
He hopes to have about a dozen fights with a mix of professional and amateur encounters.
“I am a firm believer that amateurs need their place on all of these cards,” he said. “Without amateur fighters you don’t get pro fighters.
“Sometimes the amateurs can steal the show,” he added.
Berry plans to rely on Maine-based fighters for many of the bouts, including entries from central Maine as well as from southern Maine, particularly the Portland Boxing Club. He also expects to bring in fighters from the Boston area, where he has done much of his training.
“You’ve got to try to protect yourself financially but you’ve also got to try to protect the sport by putting on quality fights and that’s what I’m working on,” he said.
Berry anticipates the July 29 show to be the first of regular cards he hopes to bring to the area.
“Boxing is here to stay in Somerset County,” he said. “This is a community that has been so good to me as far as support, and I would love to continue to give back to them so they can plan on having these events.”
Berry (11-2-1) originally suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder during a November 2014 fight in Portland and underwent surgery the following January. He returned to the ring after an eight-month layoff with a second-round stoppage of Engelberto Valenzuela on July 17, 2015, in Skowhegan.
He re-injured the shoulder a year ago during his most recent fight against veteran James Lester in Lewiston. As he was recovering from a second surgery, he fell on the ice last winter and required yet a third surgery.
“I’m doing physical therapy in Portland and feeling very good,” he said. It’s just another bump in the road. Obviously injuries aren’t good but I’m just being as positive as possible and preparing to come back this fall.”
Berry believes plenty of time remains for his own fight career but admits to hearing his personal competitive clock ticking.
“It’s very awkward to say but I’m glad it happened the way it did because I wasn’t taking it as serious after the second surgery but this time I am,” he said. “I realize how quick how time goes by so I need to do it right and get healthy again.”