West Forks boxer will compete for a national welterweight title

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Jul. 17—Brandon Berry would never compare himself to Maine boxing legend Joey Gamache.

Gamache, now a successful trainer based in New York City, rose from his Lewiston roots to World Boxing Association lightweight champion and completed his 13-year professional career with a 55-4 record and 38 knockouts.

But as Berry — the West Forks product who at 22-5-2 during the last eight years is believed to be the winningest pro boxer from Maine since Gamache retired in 2000 — continues to win, his own opportunities also are growing in magnitude from fight to fight.

After capturing the Universal Boxing Organization's All-American welterweight title last November, "the Cannon" now will have his own World Boxing Association championship belt to pursue. Berry will face Travis Castellon (16-4-1) of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Aug. 6. in a 10-round battle for the vacant WBA-North American Boxing Association U.S. welterweight crown.

That fight will headline the final night of the Great American Boxing Bash, a Boston Boxing Promotions extravaganza featuring more than 30 bouts spread over three consecutive Fridays at the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham, New Hampshire.

If victorious, Berry would be the first Maine boxer to win a title recognized by the World Boxing Association since Gamache captured his WBA lightweight title 29 years ago.

"I've never in my life thought that I would ever fight for a title from a sanctioning body like the [World Boxing Association]," Berry said. "I would never compare myself to Joey Gamache because that's just a whole different level, but it is cool to say the last time the WBA had a champion from Maine would have been Joey."

Berry will seek to extend a personal nine-fight winning streak that includes seven of his 15 career knockouts.

"A victory for Brandon, and a recognized title belt around his waist, clearly puts him in the conversation for some big fights," Boston Boxing Promotions president Peter Czymbor said.

This also marks Berry's first scheduled 10-round fight, another breakthrough given that the only longer contests in modern professional boxing are 12-round encounters often reserved for world championship matchups.

"I remember my first six-round fight and how great I felt after it," he said. "I was thinking that I couldn't wait to do more, but with the way things panned out I just didn't get to a 10-round fight until now."

While the 33-year-old Berry has gone undefeated for more than 2 1/2 years, the 29-year-old Castellon has dropped his last four bouts — three against unbeaten opponents.

But the southpaw won 16 consecutive bouts before that after a career-opening draw, including his own World Boxing Association title fight for that organization's Fedecaribe lightweight belt in 2015.

"What I look at is the fact that the man won 16 fights in a row. I've never done that," Berry said.

"I don't think he's coming up here to get his fifth loss. I think he knows that a win against me, especially for this type of title, would completely resurrect his career. This is a huge opportunity for him, too."