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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Love And War

 Trites, Anderson bring mutual respect to the cage for June 10th showdown

By: Michael Parente, Classic Entertainment & Sports

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (May 26, 2011) – The last time he stepped inside the cage, Damien Trites carried the burden of a personal grudge that adversely affected his performance and led to a deflating loss to Dany Lauzon.

Six months removed from his most recent setback, a wiser, calmer Trites (5-4, 1 KO) plans on checking his aggression at the door when he faces Jeff “Candyman” Anderson (8-4, 2 KOs) of Lincoln, R.I., on the undercard of Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports’ “Nowhere To Hide” professional cage fighting show Friday, June 10, 2011 at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln.

“I actually like Jeff,” said Trites, an Allston, Mass., native. “This isn’t like the Lauzon fight at all. I went in [against Lauzon] too aggressive. I didn’t pick my punches. I didn’t fight a smart fight. I feel relaxed now. I can go into that cage with a clear head and focus solely on the fight without worrying about outside distractions.”

On the surface, Trites’ newfound inner-peace might seem like bad news for the “Candyman,” but Anderson is a savvy veteran who’s faced elite competition since making his professional debut in 2008, therefore it’s unlikely he’ll be fazed by the task at hand. The combined record of the four fighters who have beaten Anderson – a short list that includes veterans Rene Nazere, Hitalo Machado, Luiz Rodrigues and Calvin Kattar – is 31-7. Anderson credits the loss to Kattar (11-2, 6 KOs) in March of 2010 as the turning point in his career.

“He’s the one that really made me challenge myself,” Anderson said. “After that fight, I knew I was ready. I lost, but at the end of the day it was a good experience for me. That’s the one fight that really got me prepared for any opponent that would come in the future. It gave me confidence to know I belong in this sport and that I can go against the best. It let me know I’m in this game and I deserve to be here.

“I’ve been against some of the best strikers, grapplers and wrestlers, so I don’t worry about what my opponent is going to do. Wherever the fight goes, I’m confident I can work myself out of any tough situation and get the fight back to where I want it to be.”

For Trites, June 10th is an opportunity for him to redeem himself in front of a Twin River crowd that watched him submit via the guillotine just 1 minute, 54 seconds into his main-event showdown against Lauzon at Burchfield’s “Snow Brawl” show. Trites attempted to settle a long-standing feud with Lauzon that began months before they agreed to fight last December, but couldn’t keep his anger in check once he stepped inside the cage.

“I don’t make excuses – if I lose, I lose – but if I could have that fight back I would fight it differently,” Trites said. “I know I can beat him. Physically, I felt strong that night. He wasn’t strong at all. On the ground, he’s real technical, and that guillotine was tight – I wouldn’t have tapped out if it wasn’t – but when I got in the cage my legs were like Jello. I felt mentally drained.

“If you watch closely, at one point in the fight when we got into a scramble he hit me with a right and I hit him with a right. Before that, I took a deep breath. I was gassed, but I wasn’t out of shape. The pressure before the fight was so great. Everyone wanted me to win. I’ve never been in the [Ultimate Fighting Championships] before, but that was the closest thing for me.”

Trites said fans should expect to see a much more disciplined fighter on June 10th.

“I think people will be surprised,” he said. “People underestimate my striking and how good my kicks are. I have grown a lot since I fought John Benoit [a majority decision loss in 2009]. Jeff doesn’t use a lot of angles. I do. I throw every punch with the intention of putting you to sleep. Anyone can win in this sport with 4-ounce gloves. If I hit him on the chin, he’s going down.”

Trites’ stand-up game, which has yielded only one knockout victory in nine fights, might come into play June 10th since Trites considers Anderson an elite “submission defender.” The proof is in the numbers – eight of Anderson’s 12 fights have gone the distance with Anderson winning five times.

“I’m real comfortable with my submission defense and I think it’ll help against [Trites],” Anderson said. “A lot of guys are good with submissions when they get to the ground, but being able to defend that is a strength in my game. That’s good for me – especially against him since most of his wins have been by decision.”

Anderson is cognizant of the fact Trites isn’t entering this fight with a chip on his shoulder and he shares the same respect for his opponent as Trites has for him, but all the good will and charm will go out the window once these two enter the cage June 10th. Although the circumstances might be different this time, the desire by both parties to walk away with a win remains the same.

“The two of us getting along? That might be a big plus on his side because now he can focus on the task at hand,” Anderson said, “but at the end of the day it’s all about who’s willing to put his entire body on the line to get that win.”

Added Trites: “Business is business and he’s not going to stop me from getting my hand raised. How big a statement would it be if I could finish him in the first round?”

“Nowhere To Hide” will be headlined by Boston native and former UFC competitor Alex “T-Rex” Karalexis (10-5, 5 KOs), who will face Tiawan “Iron Dragon” Howard (8-7, 3 KOs) of Cleveland in the welterweight main event. Boston’s Damien “The Omen” Trites (5-4, 1 KO) will battle Jeff “Candyman” Anderson of Providence, R.I./B+F Boxing in a lightweight bout. Welterweight Cody “The Wolverine” Stevens (8-1, 2 KOs) of Mansfield, Ohio, will take on Otto Rodrigues (4-1) of Brazil (now training out of the Fenix Fight Club in Woburn, Mass.; and Pete Jeffrey (4-4, 2 KOs) of Smithfield, R.I., will face lightweight Jason Trzewieczynski (4-6) of Lancaster, N.Y. Light heavyweight Dan McGuane (2-0) of Lincoln, R.I., will fight Fall River, Mass., native Kenny Hazzard (2-3, 2 KOs) in a separate, three-round bout. All fights and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets for “Nowhere To Hide” are $40.00, $60.00, $100.00 and $200.00 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.

(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “Nowhere To Hide.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance.)

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