Officials for the Amsterdam Mohawks baseball organization are combining a rich history of boxing in the city with a new interest in Mixed Martial Arts to create what they hope will be a special event Saturday at Shuttleworth Park.
Billed as “Rock the Park,” Shuttleworth Park will host both amateur boxing and amateur MMA bouts. Local boxer Karl Baia will be on the card, along with MMA fighters Pablo Olivera and Jay Alvardo.
The fights are scheduled to begin about 6 p.m., but immediately prior, there will be a car and motorcycle show.
Following both the MMA and boxing bouts, there will be a concert, featuring Mike Miseno and Run for Cover. The group Tunnel will also be performing.
The night will be capped off with fireworks.
Price for the entire day of festivities will be $15.
“We’ve talked about doing something like this before,” said Mohawks assistant general manager Dan Nelli Wednesday. “This is the third time that we’ve done boxing at Shuttleworth, and we did a MMA show last year. We figured by combining the two, we could make a really good event. This way, we could let people see the difference between boxing and Mixed Martial Arts side by side. We think it will open people’s eyes to see what’s really going on with Mixed Martial Arts. We believe boxing and MMA are very similar.”
Nelli said he is a big fan of MMA, and so are many of his friends.
“A lot of guys from Amsterdam are pro fighters,” he noted. “So we figured we could hold a lot of bouts right here in Amsterdam. Historicially, Shuttleworth had boxing bouts in the 1930s and 1940s. It’s nothing new to have boxing here, and we thought it would be great to introduce MMA, especially on the park’s 100th anniversary.”
Nelli said anyone who brings a car or a motorcycle to the show and enters it will get $5 off the regular price.
“We’re trying to put together a real combo for all the people,” Nelli said.
“We have a great following for baseball games here. Now, we want to bring people from all over the area who never saw a baseball game or softball game, or even had a picnic here. It’s a different crowd that comes to this kind of event. We’re trying to reach out to different groups of people to have a new experience here at Shuttleworth.”
For more information, call Nelli at 430-4868.