Harrisburg’s Joshua Bowles fights for featherweight boxing title on Saturday
Proving Grounds II: Crosstown Throwdown boxing at the Farm Show Complex
Gallery: Proving Grounds II: Crosstown Throwdown boxing at the Farm Show Complex
Dr. Andrew Foy aimed to “revitalize professional boxing in Harrisburg” when he started Titans Boxing Promotions, LLC in spring 2017.
The Hershey cardiologist and life-long boxing enthusiast has done just that.
On Saturday Foy’s company will host its fifth event, and second of 2018, when Harrisburg native Joshua Bowles collides with Mansfield, Ohio’s Chaise Nelson in the main event of the six-fight professional card at Harrisburg’s Zembo Shrine. The winner takes home the World Boxing Foundation North American Regional USA Featherweight title.
“I think the main event will be outstanding,” Foy said. “I think it’ll be a fantastic bout. It should be contested at the highest level of the sport. I think people that see that fight will really get into it, not just the fight but the emotions around it.”
“It should be a very strong card,” he added. “I think all the fights will be good fights, but the top of the card is going to be special. This is the second time that I’ve hosted a title fight and the excitement surrounding a title fight is really something.”
Bowles (11-2), a three-time PA State Golden Gloves titlist, began boxing professionally in 2011.
He won his first six fights including a unanimous decision victory over Philadelphia’s Tevin Farmer (25-5-1), who fought for the vacant IBF junior lightweight title in his most-recent bout.
In a 2013 bout televised on ESPN, undefeated Hairon Socarras knocked out Bowles at Magic City Casino in Miami to end the latter’s unbeaten streak. Bowles won his next three bouts before another undefeated foe, Tramaine Williams, earned a TKO victory over the Harrisburg native during a 2015 contest in Danbury, Conn.
Bowles returned to the professional ring two years later, defeating Bryann Perez Nevarez (2-9-1) by TKO at the December fight card produced by Titans Boxing Promotions held at the PA Farm Show Complex. Bowles followed that up by outpointing Weusi Johnson (2-9) for a unanimous decision victory at Foy’s February show at the Zembo Shrine.
Foy has “seen a transformation in Bowles’ body and his attitude” since first meeting him. He believes that Bowles is “having fun in the gym again.”
“Josh has a ton of talent. He’s fun to watch,” Foy said. “He’s kind of well-known in the Harrisburg community and this is just a great opportunity for him. He’s been somebody that people have had their eye on. When he’s having fun and really into it then the sky could be the limit for him. I’m hoping that this could be breakout fight for him.”
But Nelson (6-1) represents Bowles’ toughest challenge since his loss to Williams.
“[Nelson] has an excellent reputation in Ohio, which is a huge boxing state,” Foy said. “He’s a good, young fighter with an excellent record. It should be a great fight.”
In the co-main event, Cameron Street Boxing Club member Terrance Williams (4-2) battles Reading’s Shakeem Hodge (5-1) in a six-round middleweight bout.
Harrisburg boxers Roy McGill (3-1) and Carl Murphy (0-1) will each be fighting Philadelphia-based opponents in separate four-round bouts in the super lightweight and light heavyweight class, respectively.
Harrisburg’s Eric Hernandez will be making his professional debut against Lebanon super lightweight Jeftef Rodrigueza (0-1-1), and a pair of fighters from Philadelphia in Javier Oquendo (2-0) and the debuting Hakim Smith Jr. square off in a four-round super featherweight bout.
EVENT AND TICKET INFO
Date: Saturday, April 21
Time: Doors open at 6 p.m.; Fights start at 7 p.m.
Location: Zembo Shrine – 2801 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, Pa.
Price: $35 general admission; Free for children under the age of 8