Pro boxing returns to Schuetzen Park ‘Fistic Fireworks’ card set for Thursday night

You have to give the boxing promoting brother team of John and Pat Lynch of Union City, also known now as Pound-For-Pound Promotions, credit for wanting to make sure that professional boxing remains part of the sports mainstream in Hudson County.

They held their first card at the Park Theater in Union City in the spring, then had another card in Atlantic City a few months later.

Now, Pound-For-Pound is coming back home again with a top-flight boxing card, a seven-bout evening set to be held at Schuetzen Park in North Bergen Thursday night (July 31), with the first bout set to begin at 6 p.m.

“I’m really excited and pumped up for this one,” said John Lynch in announcing the card. “We have so much up-and-coming talent on this card. We really don’t have a main event, just a bunch of local boxers who are exciting and have great futures.”

Some of the fighters on the card have local roots, like Danny McDermott of North Bergen and Jersey City, Bobby Rooney of Bayonne, and Jason Escalera of Union City.

McDermott, who has a 4-1-1 professional record with two knockouts, is excited to get another chance to climb into the ring at Schuetzen Park. His last fight at the venue was a tough draw, one that McDermott knew he didn’t fight his best.

“I’m really excited about being back at home,” said McDermott, who won his last fight in Reading, Pa. seven months ago. “The last time I was here, I didn’t exactly give my best showing, so I look at this fight as a chance to redeem myself. I feel good now and it’s always great to have the hometown crowd behind you. It’s special when family and friends can be there to cheer you on. I’m really looking forward to this fight.”

Escalera, who doubles as a produce manager at a North Bergen grocery store when he’s not in the ring, is also happy to get another chance to fight close to home. Escalera’s pro debut took place at the Park Theater card and he also won his second pro fight in the Pound-For-Pound card that took place in Atlantic City.

“I’m excited and glad to be fighting so close to home,” said Escalera, who was a three-time New Jersey Golden Gloves champion before turning pro earlier this year. “I believe I’ll have more people coming to see me this time. When I first started boxing, I never thought I’d get a chance like this to fight so close to home. Not every boxer gets that chance. It’s very rare.”

Both McDermott and Escalera said that they were in top physical condition prior to Thursday’s card.

“I’m coming in very confident,” McDermott said. “I’ve had a great training camp and I’m stronger than ever. I’m ready to go.”

“It’s very important for me to stay in top shape, because I can never know who I’m getting into the ring with,” Escalera said. “Fighting at home motivates me even more. I’m friendly with most of the other guys on the card. We all want to represent ourselves well.”

Escalera was asked if many of the grocery store customers were coming to the show.

“I should have a lot more people there than I had in Atlantic City,” Escalera said. “I’ve been spreading the word out that I’m fighting again here. I want people to know about me.”

Also on the card Thursday are rising stars in the boxing game like Victor Valenzuela, Jeremy Bryan, Jorge Diaz, and Ronny Vargas. All four have been loyal to the Lynch brothers. Pat Lynch used to be the manager for former two-time world champion Arturo Gatti.

Ticket prices ranges are $100 ringside, $50 reserved, and $35 for general admission. For ticket information, call Pound-For-Pound at (201) 864-9566 or (866) 924-2050. – Jim Hague