Boxing - Pressure's on for Doomsday Howard
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Boxing - Pressure's on for Doomsday Howard
By Special Report on Doghouse Boxing (May 29, 2013)

Photo © Ian Barnard
Photo © Ian Barnard
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FORMER UFC VETERAN John "Doomsday" Howard of Boston will return to the cage Friday, June 7th, 2013 in the main event of Classic Entertainment & Sports' "New Blood" mixed martial arts event at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I. Howard is hoping for a return trip to the UFC when the promotion lands in Boston later this summer.

LINCOLN, R.I. (May 29th, 2013)
-- In what has been a long stretch of "must-win" fights for John "Doomsday" Howard since his release from the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC), another tough test looms on the horizon next Friday at Twin River Casino.
 

The pressure is greater than ever as the Boston native Howard (19-7, 8 KOs) prepares for his main-event showdown with veteran Chris Woodall (12-3, 5 KOS) of Cummings, Ga., which will highlight Classic Entertainment & Sports' "New Blood" mixed martial arts event scheduled for Friday, June 7th, 2013.  

Tickets for "New Blood" are $36.00, $56.00, $101.00 and $126.00 and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.shop.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.  

Since the UFC released him in 2011, Howard has won five consecutive fights, including the last four by knockout, putting him on the precipice of a possible return to the UFC. As fate would have it, the UFC is coming to Howard's backyard in August at the TD Garden in an event that will air as the centerpiece of the launch of FOX Sports' new 24-hour network, FOX Sports 1.  

UFC or no UFC, next Friday's battle against Woodall is another big fight for Howard, not only to keep his win streak alive, but also to keep him at the head of the class among middleweights in the northeast. The 39-year-old Woodall brings plenty of experience to the table; next Friday, he'll end a seven-year layoff, returning to the cage for the first time since August of 2006.  

While next Friday's event could serve as the final sendoff for Howard on his route back to the UFC, the undercard is loaded with tremendous regional matchups and intra-state showdowns, including the return of Providence light heavyweight Greg "Ribz" Rebello (15-4, 8 KOs) and Bridgewater, Mass., welterweight and former The Ultimate Fighter reality television series standout Chuck "Cold Steel" O'Neil (10-5, 2 KOs).  

After knocking out hometown favorite Jesse Peterson in Maine in February, Rebello will face Williamsport, Pa., veteran Lewis Rumsey (8-8, 4 KOs) next Friday while O'Neil, fresh off his win over Rhode Island's Keith Jeffrey in December, will face Andrew Osborne (6-5, 1 KO) of Fayetteville, N.C.  

One of the best intra-state showdowns will take place between East Providence, R.I., lightweight Nate "The Snake" Andrews (4-0, 2 KOs) and Lincoln veteran Jeff "Candyman" Anderson (11-7, 2 KOs). Andrews has risen considerably in the past year with wins in each of his first four fights, but has yet to face anyone as experienced and as tough as Anderson; known for fighting the best opposition in the northeast, Anderson has wins over Damien Trites, John Ortolani and Pete Jeffrey on his resume, but has lost three consecutive bouts, albeit against Mike Campbell, Matt Bessette and Saul Almeida, who have combined for 36 wins.  

"New Blood" also features four exciting bantamweight bouts, highlighted by the showdown between Andre Soukhamthath (4-1, 3 KOs) of Woonsocket, R.I., and Blair Tugman (5-4) of Branford, Conn. Soukhamthath has won four consecutive fights since losing his debut while Tugman is returning to the cage for the first time since April of 2011, when he lost to John McLaughlin at the Bellator Fighting Championships.  

Also in the bantamweight division, highly-touted amateur Sophanarith Am will make his professional debut Carlos Hernandez of Lynn, Mass., and Providence veteran Joe Reverdes (1-2) - fighting for the first time since August - will fight Williamsport's Joshua Aarons (1-6). In what could be one of the best fights on the undercard, veterans Pedro Gonzalez (7-5) of Rockport, Mass., and Sidemar Honario (8-3, 2 KOs) will square off in a three-round bantamweight bout.  

After beating Thomas Evans in April, Coventry, R.I., featherweight Shaun Marmas (5-4) will step up to face undefeated Boston native Sergio Cabrera (2-0-1) in what will be Marmas' toughest test to date. Providence welterweight Ruben Ortiz will make his highly-anticipated debut against fellow newcomer Brian Sparrow of Sandwich, Mass., and Eric Spicely (1-0) of Providence will take on newcomer Tundee Oduyingho of Johnston, R.I., in a welterweight bout. All fights and fighters are subject to change.  

(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for "New Blood." Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance).

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