Derek Silveira gave it everything he had, but in the end it was not quite enough. The Salem boxer lost a majority decision in a 10-round feature bout at the TD Garden’s Night at the Fights.
Silveira and Framingham’s Danny O’Connor fought in the feature bout on the night which had the crowd of over four thousand fans on their feet cheering for every punch thrown in the light welterweight 145-pound class.
The card was originally scheduled for early December, but had to be postponed when O’Connor suffered an injury during training. Silveira is the New England Welterweight champ, and saw his perfect string of eight straight victories ended by O’Connor, who is now 20-1 with eight knockouts. It is fitting that two local fighters headlined the first boxing match held at the Garden since 2007.
The feature event was one of four professional and five amateur fights on the card. Silveira successfully defended his NE welterweight championship last November at the Sports Zone in Derry, New Hampshire when he knocked out William Correa, and earned the right to fight at the Garden. His championship belt was not on the line because any defense would have to be at 147 pounds, and Silveira had to drop a couple of pounds for this fight.
It was a big step up for Silveira, who has fought in the feature bout before but never at such a large venue or in front of so many fans, and marked his first 10 rounder. He trains with Doug Wear and Kevin Tobin in Peabody. Silveira knew this would be a tough challenge for him because O’Connor, a southpaw, is a good boxer, who likes to come forward all the time. Silveira was hoping to end the fight early with a knockout (he has four KO’s), but that didn’t happen.
The two exchanged blows almost nonstop, and one judge called the fight a draw. However, the other two scored it 100-89 and 97-93 in favor of O’Connor, who got in several good shots to the face of his opponent. After getting the decision O’Connor praised his opponent.
“Kevin (Tobin) told me his phone hasn’t stopped ringing with people calling for Derek,” said his mother Doreen Silveira, who lost her voice from yelling words of encouragement to him during the fight. “He fought a great fight and feels very good about how he did. I’m sure there will be more big fights coming up.”