Kattar puts it on the line against dangerous veteran Foster in featherweight showdown
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (June 13th, 2012) – Calvin Kattar knows his big break in mixed martial arts could be right around the corner. He also knows each fight is a potential risk, one that could set him back if he stumbles along the way.
No matter what’s at stake, Kattar (12-2, 6 KOs) remains fearless, willing to take on anyone at any given time.
On Friday, June 15th, 2012, the Methuen, Mass., native – known as “The Boston Finisher” due to his penchant for ending fights early – will face the dangerous Chris Foster(5-2, 4 KOs) of Meridan, Conn., a former high-school wrestler with an amateur boxing background who enters this fight with nothing lose and everything to gain against his more experienced opponent. Friday’s three-round featherweight showdown will highlight the undercard of “Proving Grounds,” presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, R.I.
“No matter what the record says, or however they fight, they’re all gunning for me,” Kattar said.
Asked if he thinks his opponent will assume he’s underestimating him based on the records, Kattar said, “I would bank on him thinking that, but that would be a mistake on his part and an even bigger mistake on my part to think he’s a pushover.”
With 14 professional fights under his belt, Kattar – ranked No. 4 among 145-pounders in the northeast – knows better than to take anything for granted. He’s choosing his opponents more carefully these days, which, coincidentally, has limited him to just two fights in the last 17 months and none since October, when he beat veteran Cody Stevens by unanimous decision.
Foster is facing a similar predicament. He took a year off from fighting to finish his degree in criminal justice at Western Connecticut State University and is now looking for a full-time job as a police officer while simultaneously trying to gauge where he stacks up among other featherweights in the northeast.
“We’ll see how it plays out,” said Foster, who won his last fight against Kevin Roddy in April of 2011. “I want to come back and see who I can match up against. Win or lose, I’ll always look to pick up fights. It’ll be part of my life regardless.”
With a career to fall back on, Foster doesn’t appear to have as much at stake as does Kattar, who is on the precipice of a possible showdown against top-ranked featherweightSaul Almeida, but that perceived lack of pressure might be what makes him such a dangerous draw on Friday night.
“I know he beat Kevin Roddy, who is a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, and to beat a black belt is a major achievement,” Kattar said of Foster. “He’s an explosive fighter. He’s got a very good stand-up game and is comfortable on his feet, but so am I. It should make for an exciting fight. He’s coming to win.
“Chris is at the start of something big, but I don’t plan on letting him make it to the end of the road.”
The biggest test for Kattar will be shaking off the rust from his nine-month layoff, which all but equalizes the amount of time Foster has spent away from the cage.
“We’re both young,” Kattar said. “I don’t see it being a factor for him, and I don’t plan on making it a factor on my end.”
“Even while I was in school I still trained, so it’s all coming back to me quickly,” Foster added. “I’ve been training for a while and I’m ready to fight the best. I don’t want to face any scrubs. [Kattar] is a strong wrestler with great a stand-up game. My goal is to use my boxing and wrestling to beat him.”
For Kattar, there’s also the pressure of living up to his nickname, which was given to him after he earned stoppages – four knockouts, three submissions – in each of his first seven victories. Ending fights early is always a goal, but it’s become more important for him to develop into a well-rounded fighter.
“In the beginning, my mindset was to kill everybody and turn each fight into a street brawl,” he said, “but that only gets you so far. Now I’m trying to use more technique. I don’t go out there looking for the finish, but I would never pass it up. Whenever I smell blood, I go for it, and if I see it in this fight, I’ll go for it again.
“I’m just not going to gas myself out if I don’t get it,” he continued. “I fight smarter now. The more you fight, the better the opponent is, which makes it harder and harder to get knockouts. They expect me to finish everyone, but these guys come to fight. There are no slouches in this sport.”
Kattar plans on taking advantage of Foster’s layoff Friday night, and while he hasn’t begun making plans for his next fight, he’s got a game plan in mind as he moves forward. First, he must take care of business against the dangerous Foster, who has plans of his own to derail Kattar’s momentum.
“You can never overlook any opponent,” Kattar said, “but if I do well I plan on getting right back in. I definitely see myself taking on some strong competition in the next six months. You’ve got to get some steam behind you – confidence, that feeling of winning. It’s always important to stay active and have that confidence.”
“Proving Grounds” features the highly-anticipated lightweight showdown between Abner Lloveras (14-6, 5 KOs) of Ludlow, Mass., and Ryan Quinn (8-3-1, 2 KOs) of New Fairfield, Conn., in the main event, in addition to a bantamweight battle between Andre Soukhamthath (1-1) of Woonsocket, R.I., and newcomer Vinny Tisconie of Shrewsbury, Mass.
Featherweight Nate Andrews of Providence, R.I., will make his professional debut against Pedro da Silva (1-3, 1 KO) of Boston; newcomer Jay Bakanowski of Boston, Mass., will battle unbeaten welterweight Leon Davis (2-0) of Springfield, Mass., in his debut; and newcomer Billy Giovanella of Bellingham, Mass., will debut againstGilvan Santos (1-2) of Framingham, Mass., in a three-round bantamweight bout.
“Proving Grounds” also features a three-round welterweight battle between undefeated Nick Drummond (3-0, 1 KO) of Boston and newcomer Sergii Musiienko of Framingham; a middleweight showdown between Bob Burton (2-1) of Brockton, Mass., and Boulder, Colo., native Chandler Holderness (8-3, 3 KOs); and a welterweight matchup between Pawtucket’s Keith Jeffrey (7-2-1) and Harley Beekman (4-1, 2 KOs) of Amsterdam, N.Y. Lightweight Joe Pingitore (1-0, 1 KO) of Johnston, R.I., will face newcomer Alan Beeman of Newport, R.I.
Tickets for “Proving Grounds” are $35.00, $55.00, $100.00 and $125.00 and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.cesmma.com orwww.twinriver.com, at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.
(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “Proving Grounds.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance).
– CES –
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