LINCOLN, R.I. (June 14th, 2012) – Even though they shared the same stage in April, Harley Beekman admits he doesn’t know much about tomorrow night’s opponent, Keith Jeffrey.
Rest assured, Jeffrey has done his homework, and he’s confident no matter what happens inside the cage.
“His wrestling has some holes in it,” said Jeffrey, who’ll face Beekman on Friday, June 15th, 2012 in the welterweight co-feature of “Proving Grounds,” presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports at the Twin River Event Center.
“I feel my wrestling is superior, and my Jiu-Jitsu is superior, too. I’m also a better striker. I’m confident wherever the fight goes.”
Jeffrey (7-2-1), a Pawtucket, R.I., and Beekman (3-1, 2 KOs), who hails from Amsterdam, N.Y., both weighed in at 179 pounds Thursday. In his second fight back from knee surgery, Jeffrey beat Chip Morazza-Pollard by split decision in April, while Beekman suffered his first career loss to former collegiate wrestling standout Brennan Ward, who dominated from start to finish on the ground, prompting Beekman to pay more attention to his own wrestling while training for this fight.
“I worked on it more in this camp,” Beekman said. “I’m sure he’ll try to copy a little bit of what Brennan did, but to each his own. Everyone has their own style.”
Beekman also shed an extra five pounds during camp to meet the catch weight of 180 instead of taking another fight at the middleweight limit of 185, whereas Jeffrey put on extra 10 pounds for this fight; he typically fights at 170 and is ranked No. 8 in the northeast in the welterweight division. Beekman dropped to No. 10 in the middleweight division following his loss to Ward.
“That’s probably something I’ll just do for this fight,” Beekman said of the weight cut. “I don’t know much about Keith, but I do know he’s a good fighter, and I want to face the best.”
Jeffrey will be stepping back into the cage for the second time in two months and the third time since November, so he’s become more comfortable training without having to shake off the rust that plagued him in his first fight back on Nov. 18, which, at the time, was his first fight in 13 months.
“Fighting back-to-back is always tough, but I’ve got a great team behind me,” said Jeffrey, who worked extensively with his boxing coach David Keefe and Muay Lao coach William Soukhamthath. “There are always adjustments you make, whether it’s what you did in your last camp or what you lacked on. I try to improve everything. I’m real diligent in those aspects. You always want to see what went wrong last time and improve it for the next time around.”
“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 against Gilvan 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 and a middleweight bout between Bob Burton (2-1) of Brockton, Mass., and Boulder, Colo., native Chandler Holderness (8-3, 3 KOs).
Tickets for “Proving Grounds” are $35.00, $55.00, $100.00 and $125.00 and can be purchased online at www.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).