Brandon Berry, left, throws a punch during a boxing match against Agustin Cicero in a recent bout in Windham, New Hampshire. Photo provided by Emily Harney/Fightography

At this point in his professional boxing career, Brandon Berry knows he has to take a chance.

The West Forks native has won 20 pro fights, including his last seven. If Berry wants to defend the Universal Boxing Organization All-American welterweight title he won last November, he knows he’ll need to fight tougher competition. That’s why Berry, 33, is taking on 18-year old Gael Ibarra in his first title defense Saturday at the SportsZone in Derry, New Hampshire.

“I really don’t know how much experience he has,” Berry said of Ibarra, who comes from Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. “I couldn’t find any video at all. I watched video footage of guys he fought. Sometimes that can help. I don’t really know what I’m walking into.”

Also fighting at the SportsZone on Saturday is 29-year-old Fairfield native Justin Rolfe. It’s Rolfe’s first fight since he lost the USA New England heavyweight title to Mike Marshall last November. Rolfe, 4-2-1 as a professional boxer, will take on Alfredo Trevino (9-8-1).

“I’ve been working on speed, conditioning and accuracy. I’m working on sharpening my angles. At this point in training, it’s being nitpicky. I’m trying to focus on little things,” Rolfe said.

Ibarra has just seven pro fights on his resume. After losing the first two, Ibarra won his last five bouts, including the last four by TKO in either the first or second round. This is Ibarra’s first pro fight in the United States — his first seven in Mexico. The question Berry can’t find an answer for is, how much experience does Ibarra have as an amateur boxer?

“He’s young. He’s won five in a row. I’m sure his confidence is up, as is mine,” Berry said.

Since beating Zack Kuhn via TKO in the second round of their Nov. 14 fight to claim the UBO All-American welterweight crown, Berry (20-5-2) fought and beat Agustin Cicero in an eight-round unanimous decision March 13 for his 20th career win. Berry said he’s not concerned with the quick turnaround for this fight.

“I was pretty sore for a about a week after the last fight, but I feel great now,” Berry said.

Berry won the belt at the SportsZone with the Kuhn victory and is happy to defend his title at the same venue.

“It just adds more to it,” Berry said.

Trevino lost his last five fights, all by knockout, and the last four in the first round. Still, Rolfe is expecting a tough fight.

Justin Rolfe stands next to a heavy bag in his Fairfield home in February 2015. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file photo

“I don’t know a whole lot (about Trevino). I never underestimate anybody, but I think I’ll be able to put on a pretty good show,” Rolfe said.

Rolfe was able to find and watch a couple of Trevino’s recent fights onlinet. He described Trevino’s style as unconventional.

“The way he throws punches, the angles he throws from, you can’t prepare for. He doesn’t throw them with a lot of technique,” Rolfe said. “I need to make sure I’m sharp and slick. I hope to push the pace.”

A strong body blow from Marshall early in the November fight staggered Rolfe. While he was able to go all eight rounds, he never recovered enough to mount a rally and win. That’s something Rolfe says he’s learned from

“I’m excited to get back on the right track. I have something to prove after my last fight,” Rolfe said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

 

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