SKOWHEGAN — Last summer, when Brandon Berry promoted a boxing event for the first time, he also was rehabbing from shoulder surgery and unable to fight. This time around, Berry is promoting and training, and that has been a test of time management.

“With all this going on, my excitement has been so based on the other fighters and promoting the show. I keep forgetting that I’m fighting, too. My training has been great. I’m training hard, but it hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m fighting in Skowhegan again. I’m excited to fight in front of the hometown again,” Berry, a West Forks native, said. “It is tough, but you’ve got to love it. Since I do love it, I don’t feel like it’s a struggle. There’s no room for error. There’s no room for two nights off in a row. You’re only cheating yourself when you start neglecting what needs to be done.”

Berry will be one of the main events in Saturday’s pro-am boxing night at the Skowhegan Community Center, when he boxes Francisco Neto. This is Berry’s second fight since returning from injury. Last November, Berry fought Eric Palmer to a draw in Portland, making his record 11-2-2. A fight scheduled for January was canceled when Berry was injured sparring.

Along with Berry, Fairfield’s Justin Rolfe will make his professional boxing debut, taking on Michael Hansen of Rumford, who is making his boxing debut after a long mixed martial arts career. Portland-based pro Casey Kramlich will be on the card as well, fighting Dennis Sharpe, Jr. Erskine Academy graduate Josh Jones is making his pro debut against Cristiano Pedro. The night will begin at 7 p.m. with a series of amateur fights, including the debut of Lawrence High School junior Isaac Parker, who will take on Anthony Riga of the Portland Boxing Club.

Berry returned from his shoulder injury sooner than he expected to take on Palmer last November. Berry took the fight in memory of his close friend Joel Bishop, who died in a car accident on October 1, hours after Berry’s wedding. This time around, with more time to train, Berry said he’s ready.

“Physically, it’s the same old story. I feel great and feel better than ever, but it’s true. I feel great. I’m excited to go out there and show everybody that I’m back to normal. We’ve had some struggles over the years with injuries, but that’s par for the course. That’s combat sports,” Berry said when promoting the fight in Skowhegan on April 12. “I fought in November, so technically that was my first fight back, but I feel like this is my first fight back. November, I was fighting for my buddy Joel and I trained four weeks. I wasn’t all there mentally or physically. This time, I feel better.”

After a successful amateur career in which he won two Northern New England Golden Gloves titles and a New England championship, Rolfe is eager to begin his professional boxing career. Having opponents back out of fights at the last minute is a big reason Rolfe is making the move to professional boxing. Now, both fighters sign a contract, Rolfe said. Barring injury, when a fight is scheduled, it happens.

“He’s been working hard. He’s been waiting a long time for this. He’s going to be ready,” Mike Leary, Rolfe’s trainer, said. “I know Justin’s ready. I wouldn’t blink (during the fight). He’s a three-time Golden Gloves champion, so people tend to avoid you.”

Kramlich (8-1-1 as a pro) last fought on Sept. 30, losing a unanimous eight-round decision to Greg Vendetti in Boston.

“My first loss, but I learned from it, and I’m ready to step up and show what I’ve improved on,” Kramlich said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.