NORTH ANSON — Minutes after beating Josh Parker in a four-round boxing match Saturday night, Brandon Berry was looking ahead to his next match. Now 5-0 as a pro, Berry, 26, will fight on June 14 at the Portland Expo against a yet to be determined opponent.
“I’ll be on the undercard,” Berry, a native of West Forks, said. “I think my next fight will be a six rounder. Although it may have looked a little like I got a little winded in there (Saturday), I think I was throwing all my punches with a lot of authority. I am in tip-top shape, and I’ll just get in better shape. So a six rounder is next. I’m ready.”
Berry took a unanimous decision over Parker, a Skowhegan native making his professional boxing debut after switching from mixed martial arts.
Approximately 1,000 fans filled the gym at Carrabec High School to watch the fights, and many were there to support Berry, who grew up 45 miles from North Anson. Before the fight, Berry worked the room, signing autographs and posing for pictures. Still, when he stepped out of the locker room to walk to the ring, he was awestruck by the crowd.
“It was amazing. It was hard to soak it all in. It was such a quick ring walk. I thought in my head, maybe I ought to walk all the way around and really soak this in,” Berry said. “It was great. I could hear my fans screaming and supporting me. They were behind me 100 percent.”
Building a brand is almost as important as winning fights, and Berry is succeeding at both. Fans can purchase Berry hats, T-shirts, even key chains. Berry estimated he sold 600 tickets to Saturday’s fight by himself.
“This is something that I’ve been building for six years, a fan base like this. It’s come together so much the last couple years, and (Saturday) was another night of breaking records. I’ve been talking to my people, my support group, my fans for months now, just pushing this fight. I’ve sold more tickets for this than any other event,” Berry said. “I’ve got people coming to my store that I don’t even know, buying tickets. I’m so thankful. I’ll never be able to pay these people back.”
In the ring, Berry said there’s room for plenty of improvement. While he controlled most of the fight with Parker, Berry didn’t feel he fought at his best.
“I’m tough on myself. I’ll have to watch the tape. Everybody seemed to think my hands looked fast. They said my speed was good. I didn’t feel like it was a real good performance,” Berry said.