Brandon “The Cannon” Berry’s return to the boxing ring on July 18 will come against a tested veteran from Mexico.
Berry, the super lightweight from West Forks who won his first eight pro bouts before suffering his first loss last November after dislocating his left shoulder in the first round, will take on Engelberto Valenzuela in the six-round main event of a card scheduled to be held at the Skowhegan Community Center.
“We’re looking to get back at it after the shoulder injury,” said Berry’s trainer, Ken “Skeet” Wyman of Wyman’s Boxing Club in Stockton Springs, on Monday.
“Everything seems to be coming along better than could be expected as far as I’m concerned. I thought we’d have a glitch somewhere along the way but it’s been perfect so far. Brandon did everything they’ve asked him to do, and here we are,” he said.
Valenzuela, 31, is 9-5 with three knockouts, and while he has lost four straight bouts since coming to the United States from his native Agua Pieta, Sonora, Mexico, those defeats came against fighters with a combined record of 40-0.
He also has fought in some major-league venues, including Madison Square Garden and the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“This guy will be a decent test,” said Wyman. “He’s got more experience than Brandon, and with him having 14 fights as a pro in the United States and Mexico, I’m sure they hope he’s got a lot more ring savvy than Brandon.
“I want to see where Brandon’s at, and like I’ve told everybody, Brandon’s going to have to be firing on all eight to get the job done, but I think it’s a real good fit for where we’re headed,” he said.
Berry, 27, underwent surgery in January to repair his shoulder, which he injured while throwing a punch that missed during the first round of his fourth-round technical knockout loss to undefeated Freddy Sanchez of Worcester, Massachusetts, on Nov. 15, 2014, at the Portland Exposition Building.
Sanchez, incidentally, has scored two straight knockout wins since that victory to improve his record to 5-0.
Berry (8-1, five knockouts) followed up the surgery with physical therapy on the repaired shoulder before he resumed his training regimen this spring.
“At the point he got the injury he had fought nine times in 18 months, so maybe it was a blessing,” said Wyman. “In my opinion it definitely hasn’t slowed anything down at all. Brandon’s working hard and looking really good in the gym.”
Berry is expected to round out his training for the fight by sparring with Josh Bickford, a Northern New England Golden Gloves contender from Mount Holly, Vermont.
“We’re not looking past this guy,” said Wyman of Valenzuela. “I just hope the homework was done right and we progress. That’s what it’s all about. It’s all about getting Brandon to a point where he can hopefully make some decent money, but it’s one step at a time and just hopefully there’s no more injuries.”
The Berry-Valenzuela fight will be one of eight bouts on the Skowhegan card, according to Wyman.
A second pro matchup will feature undefeated middleweight Jason “The Fighting Fireman” Quirk (3-0) of South Portland and the Portland Boxing Club in a four-round test against a yet-to-be determined opponent.
Among those expected to compete on the amateur portion of the card is Wyman’s Boxing Club prospect Christian Fisk, while another bout will match Nico Clough of Claremont, New Hampshire, in a 160-pound clash against Portland’s Sasha Lamour, the cousin of North American middleweight champion Russell Lamour Jr. of Portland.