West Forks native Brandon Berry looks down at Zack Kuhn during their welterweight title bout last year at the Sports Zone in Derry, New Hampshire. Berry won by a second round technical knockout to take the Universal Boxing Organization’s All-American welterweight title. Contributed photo/Kineo Boxing Photography

When Brandon Berry thinks of his upcoming fight for the vacant North American Boxing Association’s USA welterweight title, he thinks of Joey Gamache. A Lewiston native, Gamache won World Boxing Association world titles in the super featherweight and lightweight divisions. Now, working with trainer Glenn Cugno, who trained with Gamache, Berry finds inspiration in the connection with Maine’s most accomplished boxer.

“I started my boxing career in Lewiston when I was a teenager. Now I’m back in Lewiston training for a title fight,” Berry, a West Forks native, said. “Training with Cugno, I can talk to Glenn about what it was like getting ready for Joey’s big fights.”

Berry will fight Travis Castellon, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for the NABA USA welterweight title Friday night as the main event of a fight card at the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham, New Hampshire.

The World Boxing Association, the governing body which awarded Gamache both his world titles, oversees the NABA. Berry stressed that a potential national title does not compare to Gamache’s world championships, but winning a belt that holds WBA ties would further solidify the connection Berry feels with Gamache.

“It would be very cool to bring the WBA back to Maine,” Berry said.

“Brandon’s Brandon. You know what I mean? He’s got his own style. I don’t like to compare him to anybody. He’s got the same work ethic as Joey,” Cugno said.

If he wins, Berry will hold two belts. Berry won the Universal Boxing Organization’s All-American welterweight title last November with a TKO victory over Zack Kuhn in the second round. Berry, 33, has won his last nine fights, seven via knockout, and is 22-5-2 as a professional boxer.

“Every fight, we’ve been trying to bring in a little stiffer competition. This opponent (Castellon) popped up a few times, but never happened,” Berry said.

In the 29-year old Castellon, Berry faces an opponent who won 16 consecutive fights before a recent run of four straight losses, all by TKO. Part of that is a step up in competition. Castellon’s last three opponents were each undefeated, and Berry said you can’t take Castellon lightly.

“Sixteen wins in a row, that takes a lot to do. He’s competing to resurrect his career and catapult himself into bigger opponents,” Berry said.

This is the 30th fight of Berry’s professional career, but first scheduled for 10 rounds. His sparring sessions have been 10 rounds to mimic the length of the fight, and Cugno has sought out left-handed sparring partners so Berry can adjust to Castellon’s southpaw style.

“I’ve got a few (southpaws) in my gym,” Cugno said. “Brandon’s been making quite a few adjustments. (Castellon) likes to get in and out. He doesn’t like to get hit.”

Berry knows he’s approaching the end of his boxing career, and adding another title to his resumĂ© would be huge. There’s a sense of urgency in the gym, Berry said.

“I know what a win could do, but I also know what a loss could do. The last thing I want to do is let anybody down,” Berry said. “I hope I have another year or two, but I’m almost 34 years old.”

Whatever the outcome of Friday’s fight, Berry said he expects his next bout to be a defense of his UBO title.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: