In the Media

Local Teen Boxer Returns a Champion

By Samantha German

It was a huge welcome back and congratulations to Liverpool native Bryce Mills at the Syracuse Hancock Airport. He made Syracuse history in becoming the first junior fighter to get titles in both kickboxing and boxing at the age of 15.

“It was one of the hardest training camps of my life. I prepared all day and all night,” says Mills.

Mills claimed gold in the National Silver Gloves tournament in Kansas–the largest junior tourney in the nation. His coach and trainer say he is boxing against the best and he prides himself in being the underdog–a title that fuels his fire.

“The very first fight that Bryce had we knew that there was something special in this kid so we matched him tough. He excelled in every single fight moving forward,” says Amer Abdallah, Bryce’s manager.

“I’d like to say thank you for everybody here coming out. It means the world to me. Thank you to the community of Syracuse for making this belt happen,” says Mills.

His team says they’re hoping Mills will be making his professional debut in a couple of years.

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WKA Cruiserweight Champion Amer Abdallah

In the Media

Abdallah’s World Title US&J Sports Story of the Year

Amer Abdallah’s WKA Title Win & Title Defense was a Century in the Making

By John D’Onofrio
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

It was a ring championship for the ages.

Amer Abdallah, Lockport’s lean, lethal veteran kickboxer and trainer, wasted little time disposing of Daniel Hughes of Swindon, England, in their World Kickboxing Association Cruiserweight Championship fight back on May 14 before a jubilant sold-out crowd at the Kenan Center Arena.

Abdallah’s world title win and his title belt defense just six months later on Nov. 12 — the city’s first ever in its long and proud ring history, has been selected as the Union-Sun & Journal’s Local Sports Story of the Year for 2016.

The win was the fulfillment of a life-long dream for the 39-year-old Abdallah, now 18-0 as a professional.

Few local events can top the international pro and amateur fight cards that Abdallah and the promotional company he operates Lace-Up Promotions, provide fight fans right in our own backyard.

Abdallah’s contributions to his sport locally over many years as a promoter and trainer are as equally impressive as his world title win. His fight cards have always been well-organized and entertaining — and always feature both young male and female competitors from the Lockport area as well as other parts of the state and even Canada.

Not only did Abdallah capture the WKA world title last year, he defended it successfully a little over a month ago with a 10-round unanimous-decision victory over another tough Englishman, Nathan McCarthy, at the Kenan Arena. McCarthy is 16 years Abdallah’s junior.

Abdallah’s two wins set off wild celebrations in the ring and out, where many of the city’s greatest fighters in history sat ringside on fight nights — courtesy of the world champion who values Lockport’s long ring history as much as they helped shape it. To the many living former ring greats from Lockport that include Tommy Hicks, Tony Ventura and Billy Hackmer, Abdallah’s world title fights at the Kenan Arena weren’t just the story of the year, they’re the story of the century.

Lockport has long been synonymous with great fighters since the early 1900s, when “The Duke of Lockport” Jimmy Duffy was making national headlines. Duffy went on to become a Niagara County Sheriff’s Deputy and was throughout his later years one of the most renown and beloved residents in this area.

Thanks to people like boxing gym owner and trainer Harry Gill, boxing made a significant resurgence locally in the 1960s and his gym produced such greats as the late Pat Cuillo, who fought five world champions, and the late Johnnie Taylor, whose son, heavyweight knockout specialist Joe Taylor, has won several recent “main event” bouts with Lace-Up Promotions and he recently turned professional.

And there’s a new generation of local fighters and gym owners carrying on the local ring tradition that include Nick Casal, whose father, Niagara Falls gym owner Ray Casal is a Lockport native; Joe Morales, a hard-hitting Lockport middleweight fighting out of Casal’s gym; Eric “The Candyman” Plumeri, another promising Lockport middleweight; and Buffalo gym owner Corey Webster, a Lockport native and former standout kickboxer.

Bryce Mills, Lace Up Promotions


Lace Up Promotions Fighter of the Year

2016 Fighter of the Year – Bryce Mills

With an astounding 12 fights, each against top level opposition, he was victorious in them all.

  • 12 Fights
  • 12 Wins
  • 3 New Titles

The “Golden Boy” grabs this award for the 2nd year in a row and continues to build his legacy as a future superstar in both Kickboxing and Boxing.  Congratulations to all nominees!



Lace Up Promotions Fight of the Year

2016 Fight of the Year: Dylan Trotman vs Shawn Dutcher

October 8 – Syracuse NY
What an amazing toe to toe war, filled with action, precision, skill and relentless determination from both fighters that had the crowd on their feet the entire fight! Congratulations gentlemen, and to all of the nominees!