For many years, boxing was a tradition in the Thompsonville section of Enfield. The Carpet City Arena on Belmont Ave. was the scene of many matches, including a 1941 card which featured legendary featherweight Willie Pep knocking out Eddie Flores in the first round.
After World War II, the late Angelo Lamagna taught boxing at the youth center, and he ran a yearly youth boxing tournament from 1945-1989. The Friday night fights moved to the grounds of the Mount Carmel Society on Park Ave. in the mid-1940s, and ran until the early 1950s.
Nearly six decades after the last outdoor ring was assembled in Enfield, boxing is returning to town in a big way.
The Mount Carmel Society has organized "Boxing Under the Stars," an outdoor event designed as a throwback to the good old days in Thompsonville. The event will be held Saturday, Sept. 29, with the first bout beginning at 7 p.m.
The card, in conjunction with the San Juan Center in Hartford, will feature 15 amateur bouts.
"We've partnered with George Cruz, director of the San Juan Center who is being inducted into the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame," said Society president Carl Sferrazza. "It will be unique by having it outdoors, like the good old days. We hope to make it an annual event, or maybe twice a year."
Cruz, who will be enshrined on Nov. 10, is an experienced trainer who worked the corner when Marlon Starling knocked out previously-unbeaten Mark Breland in 1987. He also worked with Riddick Bowe and Mike Tyson, Sferrazza said.
Tickets to the show are $25 for ringside, $20 for reserved and $15 for general admission. They are available at , , , and Freshwater Package Store, as well as Milano's Importing in Springfield.
Parking will be provided on the Society grounds for $5 per car. Concessions including food and beer will be available.