Fernandez-Bates NABA title bout tops “Fire on the Bay” undercard April 29
Tampa, FL (March 8, 2023) – Junior welterweights Joseph Fernandez and Marqus Bates will have a career-changing opportunity when they meet in a ten round contest for the vacant NABA title Saturday, April 29 at the Hilton Carillon in St. Petersburg, FL.
Fighting out of St. Petersburg, Fernandez is 15-5-3 with 5 wins by knockout. The popular southpaw impressively defeated Zhimin Wang (11-3) last May via unanimous decision. In his most recent contest, he dropped a controversial decision to Kendo Castaneda. The tireless Fernandez does strength and conditioning around 5 AM, works a full time job installing hurricane doors and windows, then trains for his upcoming fight 2-3 hours in the evening.
A native of Taunton, MA, Bates heads to enemy territory for the biggest fight of his career. Bates, 11-5 (8 KO’s), won four of his last five bouts but is coming off a setback against Jonathan Montrel (14-1). The 36-year-old had a troubled past but completely turned his life around through boxing, working full time and being a positive role model in his community.
“This is a huge fight for Joseph and Marqus,” said Jody Caliguire of Reyes Fire Fist Boxing. “Both guys have some good wins but also suffered setbacks. They are extremely hard workers and make tremendous sacrifices when a fight is coming up. Whoever wins this fight not only earns the NABA title but positions themselves for a huge opportunity in the near future.”
The card is headlined by a ten round NABA middleweight title fight between champion Connor “The Kid” Coyle, 18-8 (8 KO’s) and an opponent to be determined.
Lightweight Willian “Babyface” Silva battles Argentina’s Diego “El Rina” Luque in an eight round affair. Fighting out of Florida by way of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Silva’s sights are set on landing a big fight later this year but he must first get past Luque. A 34 fight veteran, Luque’s faced Jack Catterall, Mikael Zewski, Ghislain Maduma and Mark Davis among others.
Harry “The Hitman” Gigliotti of Haverhill, MA meets veteran Ricardo “Tata” Ocampo of Argentina. Gigliotti, 9-4 (3 KO’s), scored an eight round unanimous decision over Brandon Sandoval in January. With 25 professional fights under his belt, Ocampo’s 12-13 with 7 knockouts.
In a battle of unbeaten light heavyweights, Mike Misa (3-0, 2 KO’s) of Clearwater, FL meets Massachusetts native Russ Kimber (1-0) in a four rounder.
Rodrigo Coria, Imran Haddabah, Gabriel Morales, Luke Iannuccilli, and Khiry Todd are scheduled to appear in separate undercard bouts.
Their opponents will be announced shortly.