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August 30, 2023



Portland, Maine (August 18, 2023) – New England Fights and Boston Boxing Promotions present “NEF 54: A Fight at the Opera” on Saturday, September 2, 2023, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland.  A full pro boxing card will take place beginning at 5 pm immediately followed by a full MMA card.  Earlier today, NEF announced the addition of an amateur MMA catchweight bout to the card.  Hannon Sanford (1-4) will meet Connor Morrill (1-4) at a fight weight of 140 pounds.

Hannon Sanford made his amateur debut at Merrill Auditorium in February 2020 at “NEF 42.”  He has faced stiff competition in the promotion’s cage including Felipe Gunter (4-3), Key Baltazar (2-2), and

Stanislov Rakov (3-3).  Sanford’s sole win came on a regional event in Massachusetts last January when he defeated Jack Noone (0-2).  He will look for his first win in the NEF cage on September 2.  Sanford represents Central Maine Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CMBJJ) based in Lewiston, Maine.

“I'm very excited to be returning to Merrill Auditorium, where I made my debut against Felipe GΓΌnter three years ago,” said Sanford. “I've grown a lot since then as a fighter and fought some absolute savages, including several champions. Soon, I hope to meet another savage in Connor Morrill. The crazy thing about this fight is that, on paper, it's perfect. We have the same records and have won and lost in similar fashion. I know he's a gritty fighter who will push the pace and I see this fight going one of two ways. Expect a wild finish in a massive flurry, or a bloody technical war in which we'll both have to show that we're the workhorses who can out dog most anyone else in our divisions. I'm excited for either situation to play out, but it's not going to be one fight fans will want to miss.”

Connor Morrill has fought on the New England regional circuit since 2021.  He has appeared in the NEF cage twice to date – a pair of losses to Julian Sirois (2-0) and William Lagasse (2-0) at “NEF 51” and “NEF 52” respectively.  Morrill earned his first victory on a fight card in Massachusetts earlier this summer – coincidentally over Jack Noone who is also Sanford’s sole win.  Like Sanford, Morrill will look for his first win in NEF on September 2.  Morrill represents Karasu Tengu Academy based in Nashua, New Hampshire.

“I’m very excited to fight this guy — I hear he moves well so I’m looking forward to it bringing out my best performance to date,” said Morrill. Grenades and fireworks for 15 minutes. I’ve been back in the gym since my last fight after dealing with some family loss and I’m looking forward to showing out for my friends and family.”

“NEF 54: A Fight at the Opera” takes place on Saturday, September 2, 2023, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine.  A professional boxing card will be presented first by Boston Boxing Promotions immediately followed by an MMA card by New England Fights.  Doors are scheduled to open at 4 pm with first fight taking place at 5 pm.  Tickets to “NEF 54” are available now at