MMA star Gotti steps inside CES Boxing’s squared circle

One of combat sports’ fastest-rising stars continues his transition from the cage to the squared circle Saturday, January 21 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Mixed martial arts standout John Gotti III of Oyster Bay, NY, returns for his second professional boxing match at Winter Brawl, promoted by CES Boxing, the parent company of CES MMA, which promoted all six of Gotti’s MMA bouts.

Gotti, who is 1-0 as a pro in boxing, faces Alex Citrowske (1-1-1, 1 KO) of Saint Cloud, MN, in a four-round cruiserweight bout. Tickets for Winter Brawl are available online at,, or at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office.

Gotti is no stranger to the limelight; the highly-touted MMA welterweight prospect made is professional debut in the cage at CES 46 in Rhode Island in October of 2017 and went on to win his first four bouts by first-round knockout. Inactive for two years due to the pandemic, Gotti made his pro boxing debut in October, beating Albert Tulley by unanimous decision at The Paramount in Huntington, NY.

January 21 marks Gotti’s long-awaited return to CES; he last fought for the promotion in October of 2020.

“We’re thrilled to welcome John Gotti III to the beautiful Mohegan Sun Arena and allow him to further showcase his talents inside the boxing ring,” said CES president Jimmy Burchfield Sr. “John is a tremendous athlete and a skilled, instinctive fighter. He’s risen to the occasion each time he’s been tested, whether it’s MMA or boxing. This is not an easy transition for any fighter to make, but I have no doubt John will be as successful in the ring as he’s been in the cage and he will soon be on everyone’s radar in the boxing community.

Winter Brawl is headlined by heavyweight “The Sicilian Nightmare” Juiseppe Cusumano (21-4, 19 KOs) facing “The Hungarian Hammer” Istvan Bernath (10-1, 8 KOs) in the 10-round main event and the long-awaited return of Stamford, CT, light middleweight Chordale Booker (17-1, 7 KOs) in an eight-round showcase against 37-fight veteran Angel Hernandez (17-17-3, 11 KOs).

The event also features the highly-anticipated six-round interstate battle between Michael Valentin (7-1-1, 1 KO) of Providence, RI and the undefeated Kevin Walsh (6-0, 4 KOs) of Brockton, MA; Worcester, MA, featherweight Irvin Gonzalez (15-3, 11 KOs) in an eight-round bout against the dangerous Headley Scott (18-1, 12 KOs) of Jonesboro, GA; and super featherweight Alejandro Paulino (11-0, 9 KOs) putting his undefeated record on the line in a six-round bout against Ryizeemmion Ford (8-3, 6 KOs).

In another potential showstopper, undefeated welterweight Josniel Castro (9-0, 7 KOs), a Boca Raton, FL, native who’s fought his entire pro career in New England from Massachusetts to New Hampshire, faces one of his toughest tests to date in a six-round showdown against Quebec native and Boston resident Mitch Louis Charles (6-3-2, 3 KOs). Winter Brawl also marks the return of female welterweight Stevie Jane Coleman (3-1, 1 KO), who faces New Jersey’s Michaele Nogue (2-2) in a four-round bout, and Worcester super middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (19-1-2, 12 KOs) in a six-round bout against Argentinian and 22-fight vet Victor Hugo Exner.

In preliminary action, Brockton heavyweight Chad Leoncello (1-0-1, 1 KO), fresh off his first career victory in November, faces Boston’s Wallace Nass Silva (0-4) in a four-round bout and MMA standout Mike Kimbel of Watertown, CT, makes his professional boxing debut against Robert Banks (0-1) of Monroeville, NY, also in a four-round bout.