Watpool-Araujo, Buntsma-Vidales Headline on Saturday Night at Pickering Casino Resort

United Boxing Promotions presents six all-action contests at second event of 2024.


Saturday, April 13th • 7:30 p.m. First Bell


MAIN EVENT: Melinda Watpool (5-0, 2 KO, IBF #2, WBA #3) vs. Adriana Araujo (6-1, 1 KO)

World-ranked Melinda ‘The Whip’ Watpool makes her Main Event debut against Brazilian Olympian and former World Title Challenger Adriana ‘Pitbull’ Araujo. Watpool is primed to build on a busy 2023, but the Brazilian Araujo is her toughest opposition to-date.

Melinda Watpool (left) lands a left on Spain’s Patricia Gonzalez, Sep. 9, 2023 (Jeff Lockhart photo).

Watpool: It’s been a terrific camp, my team and I have worked hard and done some sparring with new partners. We’ve watched quite a few of Araujo’s previous fights, and have picked up on tendencies. We watched the Cameron fight, looking to see what she did to have success against this girl.

Main Event will be a good experience, everything is in place, I’m in great shape and believe it will be a good night for me!

Araujo: Despite not fighting for a while, I’ve always stayed active and trained at a level where I’m constantly ready. I’ve already been at the top of the mountain, fighting for a World Title, and I know what it takes to get there and who’s waiting at the top.

I took this fight because I believe I can win!

CO-FEATURE: Thad Buntsma (4-3-1, 2 KO) vs. Luis Vidales (24-10, 10 KO)

Oshawa product ‘Bad’ Thad Buntsma has earned the largest opportunity of his career, a Co-Main Event slot against former two-division Mexican champion Luis ‘Coto’ Vidales. Both Buntsma and Vidales are fighting to continue their careers, and fireworks are guaranteed.

Buntsma: He’s not a guy to run away and neither am I. I’m ready for eight rounds of war, and this is guaranteed to be the fight of the night!

I’ve got a new coach, new gym — we’ve reorganized everything and reset. This is going to be a whole new Thad, fans just saw a sneak peek in the Dylan Rushton win last fall.

Vidales following his July 30, 2022 win over Nery Saguilan to earn a pair of regional titles.

Vidales: After the loss to Cook, I know my livelihood is on the line — I have to take Thad Buntsma’s soul from his body, so that my career can continue. For Ecatepec, for my children…I’m coming for his soul.

This is the hardest I’ve trained for any of my 34 pro fights, and my fighting like my life only goes in one direction: Forward.

CANADIAN DEBUT: Kyle McLaughlin (3-0, 3 KO) vs. Dylan Rushton

Pickering resident Kyle ‘The Caveman’ McLaughlin makes his emotional Canadian debut, fighting in memory of his friend Kevin Beer; all-action Hamilton veteran Dylan ‘Destruction’ Rushton is looking to spoil the party and rejuvenate his career.

McLaughlin: I have nothing but respect for Dylan, he’s a tough guy (and) gives everyone a good fight — that’s who was offered and I said yes. I’ve been putting in the work for this, and finally get to showcase my skills here in Canada!

Kyle ‘The Caveman’ McLaughlin makes his long-awaited debut on Canadian soil — in Pickering, five minutes from his residence.

I’m getting this fight done in honour of my friend Kevin Beer, who passed away from cancer. I promised his family I’d do this fight in honour of him.

Rushton: I’m going to open a lot of people’s eyes when I get in the ring, I get excited as the underdog.

People have been talking online, he’s 3 and 0, three knockouts, this and that. I’m going to break him down and at the end of the night, my hand’s getting raised.

RETURN: Jerome Gabriel (3-0, 1 KO) vs. Hector Santana (26-13, 20 KO)

Oshawa product Jerome ‘The Wildcat’ Gabriel returns to the ring after a seven-year layoff with an immediate tough test in Argentina’s Hector ‘El Hachero’ Santana. Gabriel was known as a fighter who could crack with the best of them locally, while 77% of Santana’s wins have come by knockout; scheduled for six rounds, prepare for violence.

DEBUT: Michael Fitzpatrick vs. Gregory Miller

Former Muay Thai World Champion Michael ‘The Spartan’ Fitzpatrick faces Jamaican veteran Gregory ‘Killa’ Miller. Fitzpatrick will have plenty of support in the building for his professional boxing debut, while Miller has been talking up the fight on social media as a swan song, victorious send-off into retirement. Sparks should fly!

DEBUT: Jerone Ennis vs. Marcelo Fernandez (4-3-1, 2 KO)

Jamaican amateur sensation Jerone Ennis has his eyes on an explosive professional debut in Pickering.

Caribbean amateur champion Jerone Ennis is set for his professional debut in the light heavyweight division, facing Argentina’s Marcelo ‘El Flaco’ Fernandez. Ennis is expected to be a heavy-hitting customer at 175-lbs. and will be gunning for a knockout, but Fernandez has shown some durability — lasting four rounds against former IBO challenger Mariano Gudino and earning a six-round draw against undefeated Mauricio Sagredo — in the pro ranks.