FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Portland, Maine (August 28, 2023) – New England Fights (NEF) and Boston Boxing Promotions (BBP) present “NEF 54: A Fight at the Opera” this Saturday, September 2, 2023, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland. A full pro boxing card will take place beginning at 5 pm immediately followed by a full MMA card. A cage and ring will sit side-by-side on the stage with the breathtaking 1911 Kotzschmar Organ serving as the backdrop for the violence.

Earlier today, NEF and BBP announced the full fight card for the event.

In the main event of the pro MMA portion of the card, local favorite Tyler Smythe (3-1) will face Casey Norton (2-1) in an anticipated flyweight showdown. Smythe trains out of Evolution Athletix in nearby Saco, Maine. Norton represents Ascension Athletics in Connecticut.

The co-main event of the pro MMA card will feature longtime NEF veteran Matt Denning (8-19) taking on Anthony Vasta (2-4) in a lightweight contest. Denning has regularly competed on NEF events since 2013, starting out as an amateur. Vasta’s two victories came in the promotion’s cage, both finishes.

Rounding out the pro MMA section of the card will be a pair of bouts featuring the pro debuts of two former NEF amateur titleholders. Jeff Reynolds (0-1) will meet former NEF Amateur Welterweight Champion Mike Murray (0-0), and a 140-pound catchweight bout will feature with Chris Caterino (4-3) meeting former NEF Amateur Bantamweight champion Felipe Gunter (0-0).

Three title fights will headline the amateur MMA piece of the “NEF 54” card.

Devin Corson (4-1) and David Burke (3-1) will clash over the vacant NEF Amateur Welterweight Title, while Brett Martin (3-0) faces Lee McHugh (5-2) to crown a new middleweight champion, and Teddy Politis (6-1) battles Marco Berreondo (3-3) for the vacant bantamweight belt.

The pro boxing side of the event will open the evening with seven bouts currently scheduled.

Undefeated welterweight prospect Nicky Tejada (5-0, 3 KO’s) will top the boxing card against Tymar Miles (0-0). Tejada trains with Haverhill Downtown Boxing in Haverhill, Massachusetts. His gym mate Austin Keller (0-0) is scheduled to make his pro debut on the card as well against MMA, boxing, and bareknuckle fighting veteran Paul Walters (0-1).

Wildly popular Ukrainian heavyweight prospect Andrii Novytskyi (4-0, 3 KO’s) will take on Mexico’s Diego Dominguez Gutierrez (13-4, 6 KO’s) in the six-round boxing co-feature. Novytskyi, training out of Los Angeles, California, has built quite the following in New England based off his two most recent wins on BBP cards in New Hampshire. His training partner, Serhii Sheludko (0-0), will also make his pro debut on the card.

BBP fan-favorites Nate Balakin (5-3, 2 KO’s) of Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, Michael Bulger (3-0, 3 KO’s) of Malden, Massachusetts, and Rico DePaolis (3-2, 3 KO’s) of Watertown, Massachusetts are all scheduled to be featured in separate bouts on the boxing card.

Also today, NEF and BBP announced that the entire card would stream live this Saturday beginning at 5 pm ET/2 pm PT on The full event will be available for just $29.99 on a pay-per-view basis.

The full “NEF 54” fight card (subject to change):


125: Tyler Smythe (Evolution Athletix) vs. Casey Norton (Ascension Athletics)
155: Matt Denning (Denning’s MMA) vs. Anthony Vasta (Defensive Edge)
185: Jeff Reynolds (Karasu Tengu Academy) vs. Mike Murray (Davidson County BJJ)
140: Chris Caterino (Caterino Combat Sports) vs. Felipe Gunter (First Class/Choi’s)


170 TITLE: Devin Corson (Titan Athletics) vs. David Burke (Nostos)
185 TITLE: Lee McHugh (Team Savage) vs. Brett Martin (First Class/Choi’s)
135 TITLE: Teddy Politis (Evolution Athletix) vs. Marco Berreondo (Warriors Nation)
145: William Lagasse (Team Alena) vs. Danny Buteau (Recon)
205: Brandon Oldenburg (Titan Athletics) vs. Logan Bond (Ascension Athletics)
135: Bry Power (The Academy) vs. Amanda Ferreira (Gorilla Crew)
145: Eddy Peña (VisionQuest Muay Thai) vs. Schuyler Vallaincourt (Nostos)
140: Connor Morrill (Karasu Tengu Academy) vs. Hannon Sanford (CMBJJ)
135: Jarad Whitney (Titan Athletics) vs. Nick Eldridge (Nostos)
160: Jon Rivera (Karasu Tengu Academy) vs. Zac Thompson (Ascension Athletics)
125: Tyler Parent (CMBJJ) vs. Alex Morris (Nostos)


115: Alyssa Taylor (Evolution Athletix) vs. Alecia Palmer (First Class/Choi’s)


150: Nicky Tejada (Haverhill, MA) vs. Tymar Miles (Poughkeepsie, NY)
HWT: Andrii Novytskyi (Ukraine) vs. Diego Dominguez Gutierrez (Guadalajara, MX)
160: Michael Bulger (Malden, MA) vs. Demetris Williams (Philadelphia, PA)
175: Rico DePaolis (Watertown, MA) vs. Igor Pessoa (Boston, MA)
140: Austin Keller (Middleton, MA) vs. Paul Walters (Tampa, FL)
160: Nate Balakin (Tyngsboro, MA) vs. Robert Bricks (New York, NY)
HWT: Serhii Sheludko (Los Angeles, CA) vs. RJ Hayes (Oneonta, NY)

“NEF 54: A Fight at the Opera” takes place this Saturday, September 2, 2023, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. A professional boxing card will be presented first by Boston Boxing Promotions immediately followed by an MMA card by New England Fights. Doors are scheduled to open at 4 pm with first fight taking place at 5 pm. Tickets to “NEF 54” are available now at The event will also stream live at

About New England Fights

New England Fights (“NEF”) is a fight events promotions company. NEF’s mission is to create the highest quality events for fighters and fans alike. NEF’s executive team has extensive experience in combat sports management, events production, media relations, marketing, legal and advertising.

About Boston Boxing Promotions

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