Portland, Maine (July 17, 2023) – A mere 48 hours after Boston Boxing Promotions (BBP) presented its most critically-acclaimed event to date, the company announced that it would join forces with venerable mixed-martial-arts (MMA) promotion New England Fights (NEF) to present a joint professional boxing and MMA event. That event, “NEF 54: A Fight at the Opera,” will originate from Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine on Saturday, September 2nd with a bell-time of 5 pm ET. Tickets to the event are on sale now at

An MMA cage will stand on one side of the stage with the boxing ring to the other side. The boxing event will begin at 5 pm with the MMA portion of the event to immediately follow.

Many BBP favorites have already been confirmed to appear, including undefeated Michael Bulger (3-0, 3 KO’s) and the long-awaited ring return of Haverhill’s Nicky Tejada (5-0, 3 KO’s). Boxing and MMA fights will be announced in the weeks to come.

“This is unprecedented,” said NEF co-owner and promoter Nick DiSalvo who is also an executive with BBP. “You have the region’s top two fight promotions coming together to give fans two events for the price of one. For all the Boston Boxing Promotions fans in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the trip to Portland will be well worth it. Merrill Auditorium is one of the most beautiful music venues in the world. You will not find a combat sports event in a classier building.”

Located in the heart of Portland’s Arts District, the majestic, 1900-seat Merrill Auditorium is the home of the Portland Symphony Orchestra and hosts a wide variety of opera, ballet, and cultural events. Merrill Auditorium was built in 1912 and renovated in 1997. It houses the awe-inspiring 1911 Kotzschmar Memorial Organ which will be the stage backdrop for both the MMA cage and boxing ring on September 2nd.

Boston Boxing Promotions was founded in 2013 and is dedicated to the resurgence of professional boxing at the regional level, particularly in the New England area. In the decade since its founding, the promotion has presented professional boxing events in places like Boston, Cape Cod, New Hampshire, Melrose, and New Bedford. To learn more about the promotion, you can follow them on Twitter @BostonProBoxing, join the promotion’s official Facebook page “Boston Boxing Promotions,” and visit the promotion’s website