Fall River’s Finest Chad ‘Lion’ Leoncello Returns to the Ring at Bally’s Twin River Casino
Somebody call ring announcer Michael Buffer, because Fall River is gearing up to "Rumble"!
Local legend Chad "Lion" Leoncello hasn't fought a match since 2019, and the wait is finally over. On November 19th, the Fall River native will be competing at Bally's Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
He's kept himself limber, stretched out, and ready to fight since his last fight three years ago.
"I've opened my own gym in the meantime, staying loose and always ready," Leoncello said, "I got a call a few weeks ago from CES Boxing, they really wanted me on this card, so I started training hard again and now it's back to intense training twice a day. I feel strong, I feel good, and I'm ready to go."
The pandemic still brought opportunities that kept Leoncello on his toes, and no matter how prepared he was to fight, the events kept canceling on him due to Covid. However, these days, he fights in a much different class.
"The last fight I fought was cruiserweight, but I'm a heavyweight now," Leoncello explained, "When it comes to eating and nutrition, the most important thing I needed to do was keep the weight on. I'm upping the cardio and conditioning to get in shape, but I also need to eat to keep the weight on."
These days, you can find Leoncello training out of his personal gym: Leoncello boxing in Raynham with a pretty impressive and strong support system.
"I have a good team- Roland and Jason Estrada from Big Six Boxing Academy out of Providence and Michael Ruggiero of Ruggiero Fitness Concepts Inc. At the age of 38, I got a late start in the boxing world and I've only been boxing for about six years. September 2nd is not only the day I got sober but the day that I started."
Through his love and passion for the sport, Leponcello strives day in and day out to remain sober and most importantly focus on what lies ahead for him within his fighting career.
"My goal was to keep going with my sobriety," Leoncello said, "I want my son to see me in the ring at least once, that's what keeps me going. I've cleaned my life up, I'm a good dad and all I want from him is to say "that's my dad!".
On top of Leoncell's personal trainers, his girlfriend Brie has been his biggest supporter through thick and thin.
"She pushes me, makes sure I'm eating what I'm supposed to be eating, and lights a fire whenever I need it," Leoncello said, "I also have my peers that I have at the gym that I have sobriety meetings with every Monday. In general, we help each other hear other, and balance each other off."
Leoncello recently lost a very close friend of his this past Summer. He goes by "Passport Pudgy"- a local hip-hop artist out of New Bedford. The fight will be dedicated to him.
"This will be the first fight where he doesn't walk me out," Leoncello said, "Instead, my girlfriend will be walking me out along with another trainer who's a suicide survivor. My goal is to knock this guy's head off and fold him in half. My ambition is to keep going until my son gets to see me in the ring under the bright lights and finally to make sure 'Pudgy' is looking over me to make him proud."