Ken Casey likes to stay busy. Whether it is as the front man for the Dropkick Murphys, or in his role as promoter for Murphys Boxing, which he founded in 2014, Casey enjoys being a man on the go. But he acknowledges the pandemic changed some of that
“I was the type of person that liked to have a million irons in the fire, and I didn’t really enjoy free time,” said Casey. “Over the pandemic, some of us were forced to be comfortable with a slower pace of life.”
After he became accustomed to that slower pace, Casey was not sure he wanted to get back into the grind of the boxing business. He eventually would decide to give it a go, but with a bit of a different approach.
“I plan on getting Murphys Boxing back, but at the same time not letting it kind of run us, you know, pick the people we want to work with and enjoy working with,” said Casey. “Just pick our spots, and not let the boxing business dictate to us.”
Charles Foster, along with trainer Luis Rosa and manager Marilyn Rosa, fall into the category of people Casey likes to work with. The light heavyweight out of New Haven has been with Murphys Boxing since 2016 and will be fighting in the main event of Friday night’s “ShoBox: The New Generation” series at 9 p.m. on Showtime.
The card will be held at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y., as part of the International Boxing Hall of Fame induction weekend festivities. Foster (22-0, 12 KOs) will face Ali Izmailov (10-0, 7 KOs), who is ranked in the top 10 and considered a rising star.
While the boxing world seems to consider this fight a steppingstone for Izmailov as he attempts to work his way up the rankings, Foster has no intention of lying down. He is hoping for a statement win of his own.
“I think I have advantages over my opponent in all aspects of the fight game — mentally, conditioning, skills, everything,” said Foster. “I have improved and have been working extremely hard for this night. I can’t wait.”
Casey’s only lament is that he will not be able to watch in person, as he will be recording in a studio, but he’ll have the television on, tuned to Showtime when Foster makes his ring walk around 10:30 p.m..
“You just hope good things come to good people,” said Casey. “Charles is a savvy, crafty fighter. He’s always been one of my favorites that we’ve had the pleasure to work with. It’s just nice to see his career progress and good to be a part of it.
“I’m hoping some good karma is coming Charles’s way. Fighting on the Hall of Fame weekend, that’s just always just an amazing weekend for boxing because it’s all real boxing people. You get a big eye-opening win, the right people in the boxing world, they’re all there to see it.
Worcester’s Jamaine Ortiz (16-1-1, 8 KOs) makes his return to the ring Saturday night when he takes on Humberto Galindo (14-3-1, 11 KOs) in a battle of lightweights at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
It’s Ortiz’s first fight since he dropped a close decision to Vasiliy Lomachenko on Oct. 29, 2022, at the same venue. Despite the loss, Ortiz’s stock rose after he went toe-to-toe with one of the best in the division, and he was rewarded with a contract with Top Rank, which put him on the undercard for Saturday’s showdown between Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez for Taylor’s WBO junior welterweight championship.
A victory could put him in line to face undefeated Shakur Stevenson, who is also promoted by Top Rank. Ortiz even discussed the possibility in recent weeks, but chose to downplay the topic during fight week.
“I don’t really listen during fight week to any media — YouTube channels or anything like that,” said Ortiz. “I’m just focused on my opponent, focused on my training, and focused on what I’ve got to do on Saturday to come out victorious, and we can talk about the plans after that.”
Galindo is coming off a loss to undefeated Raymond Muratalla. He was able to get to Muratalla early, knocking him down in the first round, but was felled by a body punch in the fourth round, and again in the ninth round, after which the fight was stopped.
“He’s definitely a power hitter,” said Ortiz. “I can’t sleep on him. I’ve just got to stay extra sharp and focused.”
The undercard starts at 5:10 p.m. and will air on ESPN+.
Follow Andrew Mahoney @GlobeMahoney.