Christian Carto, Darmani Rock Headline Raging Babe’s Feb. 8 “Philly Special”
Having eclipsed the four-million views mark to close out the 2018 calendar year, FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Powered by Everlast opens the first quarter of 2019 with an outstanding six-card lineup featuring six different promotions and spanning five cities, beginning on Friday, Feb. 8 in South Philadelphia.
The free and interactive Facebook series rings its opening bell next Friday at 2300 Arena in South Philly by showcasing an exceptional, standing-room-only card put together by Raging Babe. Partnering with forward-thinking promoter Michelle Rosado on next week’s “Philly Special” featuring several undefeated prospects – including bantamweight Christian Carto (17-0, 11 KOs) and heavyweight Darmani Rock (13-0, 8 KOs) – FIGHTNIGHT LIVE is sure to get its 2019 schedule off to a hot start.
“We’re excited to partner with FIGHTNIGHT LIVE for our debut Philly event,” said Rosado. “The fights on the card and the fighters themselves have captured the attention of fight fans all over, even outside of the Philadelphia area, so we’re thrilled to give people the opportunity to see the fights live.”
Carto meets veteran southpaw Victor Ruiz (22-10, 15 KOs) in the main event, as the 22-year-old prospect looks to continue to make his case as a contender.Rock will fight in the card’s co-feature, while undefeated Marcel Rivers (6-0, 4 KOs) of North Philadelphia meets Derrick Whitley (4-0-1) of Springfield, Mass. in a special welterweight attraction. Amateur heavyweight standout Sonny Conto of South Philadelphia – a recent signee of monolithic promotion Top Rank – will also be featured in his pro debut as part of a seven-bout card.
“We couldn’t be happier to begin our New Year at 2300 Arena with the outstanding lineup that Raging Babe has assembled for the Feb. 8 ‘Philly Special,'” said Mark Fratto, Principal and Director of Business Development, Linacre Media. “We’ve been able to showcase nearly 500 up-and-comers on our platform, and Christian Carto is special prospect who we’re really pleased to feature on Facebook. Darmani Rock always brings the thunder, and watch out for the pro debut of Top Rank signee Sonny Conto as well.”
Now in its second season, FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Powered by Everlast is the fan-friendly Facebook platform that – among other aspects – prides itself on the real-time conversations held between fight commentators and the viewing audience. FIGHTNIGHT LIVE has showcased more than 450 fighters and 15 promotions during 26 live event broadcasts from 18 different cities since May 2017, and in doing so, the interactive platform has generated the loyal interest of fight fans from across the United States and around the globe, including significant audiences in Mexico, the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, and even fans in South America, Asia and Australia.
Since May 2017, the numbers on the 26-show FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series showed promise and potential for the new platform with an average of 166,508 views per event and more than 4.3 million total views for the franchise. Since Sept. 2018,Season II shows have averaged almost 323,000 views.
The Sept. 2018 “Kings Boxing Tuesday Night Fights” (594,447) from the Sands in Bethlehem, the Dec. 2018 “Queens and Kings of Queens Card” (379,758) in New York, the Nov. 2018 “Hard Hitting Showtime Collaboration” (372,662), the Dec. 2018 “Roy Jones Jr. Texas Throwdown” (318,886), the Oct. 2018 “Hard Hitting Philly Special” (297,545), the Oct. 2018 hour-long Bareknuckle “Freeview” (292,253), the Nov. 2018 “Titans In The Capital” (256,871), the Sept. 2017 “Real Deal Promotions: Empire State” from Resorts World Casino (225,000), and the August 2017 CES “Super Saturday” from Foxwoods (203,000) all logged 200,000 or more views, and collectively the 26-show series has seen a total of more than 4,329,206 views across all devices.
In addition to the raw viewership numbers, the fully-interactive, fan-friendly productions have seen more than 377,000 collective live post engagements (more than 14,500 per show), including more than 293,000 “likes” or “loves,” more than 46,000 comments and almost 16,000 shares.
The Sept. 2018 “Kings Boxing Tuesday Night Fights” from the Sands in Bethlehem set a new bar with 594,447 views and the Sept. 2017 DiBella-CES doubleheader carried the series to three-quarters-of-a-million views in just over four months. The Sept. 2017 DiBella card saw more than 40,000 viewer interactions including almost 39,000 “likes” or “loves” and the March 17, 2018, Murphy’s “St. Patrick’s Day Clash” set a new high-water mark for shares with 2,182.
The FIGHTNIGHT LIVE page on Facebook has more than 86,000 fans and more than 92,000 followers.
Created and produced by Linacre Media out of New York City, the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series features professional announcers, multiple camera angles, television graphics, replays and behind-the-scenes access and interviews. The streamed shows are available globally wherever Facebook is available. The initiative not only enables fans from around the world to tune in, but also gives up-and-coming fighters a global platform to showcase their abilities, gives promoters an accessible “broadcast” solution and gives sponsors the ability to reach a mass audience via branded content.
FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Winter and Spring 2019 dates will be officially announced in the coming weeks.
Christian Carto hopes to continue his rise through the bantamweight ranks when he headlines an eight-fight card Friday evening, Feb. 8, at the 2300 Arena.
Michelle Rosado, whose Raging Babe company makes its promotional debut in the Philadelphia market that night, has dubbed the Feb. 8 event the “Philly Special.” If Carto keeps winning, Philly and more importantly South Philly will have something special on its hands.
Hall-of-Fame bantamweight Joltin’ Jeff Chandler was the last world champion from South Philadelphia. He won the WBA world title in 1980 and held it until 1984 after nine successful title defenses.
The 22-year-old Carto enjoys a huge following from his South Philly backyard. He brings back memories of another Hall-of-Famer, Joey Giardello, who was the last great Italian fighter from South Philadelphia. Giardello boxed from 1948 to 1967, compiled a record of 98-26-8 with 31 knockouts and was the undisputed middleweight champion from 1963 to 1965.
Carto has a record of 17-0, 11 KOs, since turning pro midway through 2016. He comes from a family rich in boxing tradition. His grandfather and two uncles were pros: Nunzio Carto, Frankie Carto, Joe Carto. All three fought in the lighter weight divisions in the 1930s and 1940s and Frankie was world-rated at once time at 126 pounds.
“This is going to be a special night for me,” Carto said. “It’s only my second time fighting at the 2300 Arena as pro and I enjoy the atmosphere even when I’m just there to support other fighters. A big ‘Thank You’ to Michelle Rosado for including me on her first card in Philly.”
Once he gets into the world rankings, Carto could remind South Philly fans of some of their best Italian boxers of days gone by: heavyweights Joe Grim (Saverio Giannone), Gus Dorazio and Dan Bucceroni; light-heavyweight Mike Rossman (Michael DePiano); welterweight Eddie Giosa; junior welterweight Tony Falco; featherweights Lew Massey (Louis Massucci) and Eddie Lenny (Edward Setaro); bantamweights Tommy Forte and Bobby Wolgast (Anthony Giordano); Hall-of-Fame flyweight champion Midget Wolgast (Joseph Robert Loscalzo).
“I look to forward to having a strong start to 2019 and continue building my career,” Carto said. ” My sponsors and my fans show unwavering support every fight and I am indebted to them. A lot of people are behind me and I want to make them proud not only of me, but also of South Philly boxing. There’s been a lot of great fighters from South Philly and I hope to uphold that tradition.”
Growing up in South Philly, Carto played hockey. He was small compared to the other kids his age, but it was on the ice that he began to exhibit the tenacity that would carry him through tough fights as a boxer. He never allowed his size to slow him down. In high school, Carto missed class trips, dances and social activities to pursue his boxing career, and the sacrifices paid off when he won the 2014 National Golden Gloves at 108 pounds in Las Vegas, NV.
In subsequent years. Carto moved up to 114 pounds and finished third in the 2015 National Golden Gloves and won a bronze at the U.S. Olympic Trials at that weight that same year.
“This show is for South Philly,” said Michelle Rosado. “The 2300 Arena is in South Philly and it’s headlined by Christian Carto, the hottest fighter to come out of South Philly in years. I look forward to getting him the recognition he deserves locally and nationally through this “Philly Special” card. He is the Philly Special!”
Tickets to “Philly Special” are priced $50, $75 and $125. They can be purchased online at www.2300arena.com or by calling 215-765-0922. Doors open at 6:30 pm and first bout is at 7:30 pm.