Coming off his first fight in 11 months, Brandon Berry was eager to return to the boxing ring before the end of the year.
But this weekend, the 33-year-old pride of West Forks will get an even better opportunity than he might have imagined after his fourth-round TKO victory over Bryan Timmons on Oct. 17 at Windham, New Hampshire.
Berry not only is set to fight again Saturday, he’ll battle Zack Kuhn of Charleston, West Virginia, for the Universal Boxing Organization’s All-American welterweight championship. The scheduled eight-round contest will be held at the New England Sports Center in Derry, New Hampshire.
The UBO is a global sanctioning body with offices in the United States, Germany and Tanzania, and while it may not rank among boxing’s elite promotions, it represents a significant step forward for Berry.
“The WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO are the top four, then there are the other ones like the IBA and the UBO,” he said. “To be 100 percent honest, they are designed for guys like me.
“It’s no world title by any means and it’s not one of the top four sanctioning bodies, but it’s one of the ones you go for to keep climbing so to me it’s a huge deal.”
Berry, 18-5-2 with 12 knockouts, attracted the UBO’s attention through his recent winning streak, which grew to five consecutive victories with his stoppage of Timmons.
The 29-year-old Kuhn is coming off a first-round loss to undefeated prospect Jose Valenzuela on an Aug. 29 card promoted by Premier Boxing Champions at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
“[Kuhn] got stopped by a guy that most likely is going to be a world champion, or if not he’s going to be in the mix,” Berry said.
“He has spurts of slickness so if you allow him to get in his groove, he’s a good boxer so the plan is obviously not to let that happen.”
Kuhn has dropped four of his last five bouts against opponents who held a combined 28-1 record. That streak followed eight victories during a nine-fight stretch from 2011 to 2016.
“I honestly think he has a very similar story and is a very similar fighter to me,” Berry said. “He comes from West Virginia and fights on a lot of local shows and may even promote his own shows like I do.
Berry said he will be fighting in front of a limited-capacity crowd of approximately 800 people in the 2,000-seat arena. That will include a healthy number of his own fans, based on Berry’s prefight sales of more than 100 tickets.
“I’m really excited to be able to fight in front of people, in front of a bunch of my people, and especially for this title,” he said.
Also on Saturday’s card, Justin Rolfe of Fairfield makes his first defense of the USA New England heavyweight title he won at the same venue on Aug. 29.
The 29-year-old Rolfe, 4-1-1 with three knockouts, is set to face 32-year-old Mike Marshall of Bronx, New York. Rolfe won the crown with a unanimous-decision victory over Boston’s Tracey Johnson in his eight-round debut.
Rolfe is 3-3-1 as a pro.