FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Undefeated Florida-based junior middleweight Josniel “TG” Castro (5-0, 3 KOs) has had a long and often difficult journey to get to where he is today as he prepares to fight for the fourth time in 2021. (photo by Emily Harney)
Castro, 24, takes on 57-fight veteran Rynell Griffin of Las Vegas. In the card event “Fight Night in Framingham”, presented by Shearns Boxing Promotions to benefit “Fighting Life”, at the Sheraton Hotel in Framingham, Massachusetts[BT1] .
This will be the first professional boxing show ever to be held in Framingham, a city incorporated in 1700, located in the MetroWest sub-region of Greater Boston, less than 40 miles from Boston.
“Fighting Life” is an after-school youth boxing program and academic empowerment program, available 100% free of charge to students in elementary school through high school.
High Octane Classics is the presenting sponsor. Other sponsors include Platts Landscaping and Shamrock Sports.
Born in Puerto Rico, Castro moved to Lawrence as a baby and years later escaped the wicked streets by moving to Maine to focus on his boxing career. For most of his young life he moved from foster home to foster home homeless other times he eventually moved to Florida where his life changed dramatically when he entered DS Boxing in Boca Raton.
“I was in trouble at Lawrence and moved to Maine to get on the right track as an adult. Castro explained. “I had a lot of personal problems. I then moved and trained for a while in Worcester (MA), where I met Chuck Shearns, who became my advisor and then my manager. I’m not worried about this fight because, at the end of the day, I’ll do what I do. I will continue to work hard and figure things out.
Castro (TG stands for The Gorilla) understands how lucky he is to have a strong team in his corner. In addition to Shearns, the Castro team includes head coach Derik Santos, strength and conditioning coach Phil Daru, nutritionist Jose Rojas and camp coordinator Maureen Shea.
Santos, owner of DS Boxing, participated in the training, whether as a corner chef or assistant, like Nate Campbell, Randall Bailey, Dyer Davis, Sergey Kovalev, Adonis Stevenson, Chris Algieri, Yordenis Ugas, Rances Barthelemy and MMA star. Vitor Belfort for his recent fight with Evander Holyfield.
“The goal is for J to be a boxer-puncher,” commented Santos. “He’s been busy and it’s thanks to Chuck. When he first walked in I liked what I saw, but he came to the gym for a few days and then he walked out. I saw him train and I could tell he was a kid I could help. He had it! I could see it in his eyes, his movements and his reactions. He needed a manager to invest in him. I spoke with Chuck and immediately liked him. Good managers have to control their egos because they are not there every day like a coach. I protect Chuck’s investment and J. Chuck’s career understands and we’re well in sync. We communicate well. I believe in J and the synergy I have with Chuck. Everything is going well for all of us.
“J deserves to be where he’s based on his work, inside and outside the ring,” Shearns remarked. “My family and I are proud to represent him. He is extremely talented, hard working and most of all enjoys learning and improving. Boxing is not known as a team sport, but we have been fortunate enough to build a real team of professionals. Coach Derik responded perfectly to J.’s desire and willingness to learn. I could see it right away. Coach Phil and Coach Jose make him do and learn things he never even thought of. Maureen Shea has become a bit of a quarterback for us and I can’t thank her enough. Although we’ve been busy coming in 6 fights in 12 months, it’s still very early in this trip. Having said that, when you have a person like him, with the tools at their disposal, paired with a team like this. I’m just saying: Look at us!
No matter how complicated things get in the ring, nothing compares to the obstacles Castro overcame to become an undefeated prospect. His future is bright, in large part thanks to the invaluable support he receives from members of the Castro team.
The 6-round main event will feature Fighting Life, Marlboro “Grad” MA Nelson “Chino” Perez (3-0, 2 KOs), a New England Golden Gloves champion who will face Ryan Venable ( 2- 6).
Hometown favorite Kevin Lewis will make his professional debut in a 4-round match against fellow Framingham resident super middleweight Saul “The Spider” Almeida (0-14-4), one of the best MMA fighters in New England.
A pair of fighters from New Haven (CT) will also be in action. Three-time New England Golden Gloves champion super middleweight Elvis Figueroa (7-0, 4 KOs) and four-time New England Golden Gloves champion pro-rookie featherweight Felix Parilla will fight in 6 and 4 round fights, respectively, against Texas veteran Larry “Slo Mo” Smith (12-49-2, 8 KOs) and Sidell Blocker (1-11-1).
Boston heavyweight Wallace Nass Silva (0-2) vs. pro-rookie Sean Evans, of Shrewsbury, MA; Brazilian middleweight Leonardo Ladeira (0-6), of Revere (MA), against TBA, and Philadelphia welterweight Jeffrey Torres (7-1, 3 KOs) against Jader Alves of Framingham (0-12).