Promoter John “The Quietman” Ruiz, former two-time World Boxing Association heavyweight champion, has announced the postponement of the new American Fighting Organization’s (AFO) inaugural Pro-Am mixed-martial-arts show that was scheduled on Saturday night, April 26 at Tyngsboro Sports Center in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts.
AFO’s launching of “The Battle Series: AFO Redemption” amateur tournament, which will feature some of New England’s top fighters in various weight classes, was to highlighted the Apr. 26th show.
The postponement was due to a variety of reasons, primarily the late addition of a major sponsor willing to make a substantial financial investment in the show and tournament, as well as providing a custom made trophy to be awarded to the gym producing the most winners in the tournament.
“We didn’t want to rush and promote our first show just for the sake of doing it,” Ruiz explained. “We just ran out of time. We had a lot of fighters contact us to fight in our tournament, but the new sponsor wants more gyms competing against each other to establish bragging rights to go along with a sizable cash award and trophy. It’s very important for all us associated with AFO to make sure our first show is of high quality, featuring entertaining, competitive fights. We couldn’t insure that for April 26th and had to make a difficult decision to postpone that event.”
Another reason for the delay in the new AFO’s inaugural event is a USO trip to Afghanistan that Ruiz is involved in that which was originally supposed to happen in February but was recently rescheduled to happen later this month. Ruiz committed himself to the trip and he would have been away for the final few weeks of preparation for the Apr. 26 show.
“It’s a good news, bad news situation,” Ruiz continued. “We are disappointed having to postpone our first show, but we have a title sponsor behind us and that’s going to help a lot. We apologize for any inconveniences this postponement is for fighters, trainers and fans alike. Our staff will have sufficient time to recruit fighters for the tournament, as well as further develop relationships with MMA gyms and fighters throughout New England. We are looking at several venues and television options for this summer and will make a formal announcement about the exact date when everything has been finalized.”