UNDEFEATED WORLD CHAMPIONS ÓSCAR VALDEZ and GILBERTO RAMIREZ TO DEFEND TITLES IN ALL-ACTION BATTLES
TUCSON, AZ - Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) world champions ÓSCAR VALDEZ and GILBERTO "Zurdo" RAMIREZ will headline and exciting world championship event Next Friday! September 22, at Tucson Arena
Valdez (22-0, 19 KOs), a two-time Mexican Olympian with strong roots in Tucson, will be defending his WBO featherweight title against the WBO's No. 4 ranked contender GENESIS SERVANIA (29-0, 12 KOs), of Bacolod City, Philippines.
WBO super middleweight champion Ramirez (35-0, 24 KOs), from Mazatlan Mexico, will take on No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger JESSE "Hard Work" HART (22-0, 18 KOs), of Philadelphia, PA, in the grudge match of the year. The four warriors boast a perfect combined record of 108-0 (73 KOs) with nearly 70% of their victories coming by way of knockout.
The event will be further enhanced with the addition of Irish Olympic hero MICHAEL "MICK" CONLAN, 2016 U.S. Olympian MIKAELA MAYER and the battle for the vacant NABF welterweight title between EGIS KAVALIAUSKAS and MAHONRI MONTES. Conlan (3-0, 3 KOs) will rumble in a six-round featherweight bout against Kenny Guzman (3-0, 1 KO), Kalispell, Montana, and Mayer (1-0, 1 KO) will take on Allison Martinez (1-2, 1 KO) from Spring, Texas, in a four-round lightweight bout.
Both world championship fights and Conlan’s six-round featherweight battle against Kenny Guzman (3-0, 1 KO), of Kalispell, Montana, will be televised live and exclusively at 10:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream live on the ESPN app. The entire card will be available via the ESPN app beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT.
“I'm ready for my opponent on the 22nd, this has been a really tough camp where I have learned a lot,” said Conlan. “I plan on bringing everything I've learned this camp on fight night. My opponent is undefeated with the same amount of fights as me so someone's 0 has got to go and it sure as hell won't be mine! Expect fireworks in Tucson!”
“I'm grateful to Top Rank for scheduling this fight so promptly. I'm looking forward to stepping back into the ring after my pro debut in August,” said Mayer. “There are going to be three Olympians on this card and I'm honored to be one of them and honored to be fighting alongside names like Oscar Valdez and Michael Conlan. As one of several female Olympians recently entering the pro scene, I feel obligated to fight hard and represent us well. Training has been going well in my new city of Sacramento with the addition to my team of Coach Gabe Flores. I'm eager to put on another exciting performance so that the boxing fans in Tucson and everywhere through ESPN’s platforms can see Mikaela Mayer in action.”
For his pro debut, which took place on St. Patrick’s Day at a sold-out Theater at Madison Square Garden, Conlan (3-0, 3 KOs), of Belfast, was escorted into the ring by UFC superstar Conor McGregor. Conlan produced one of the most memorable moments during last summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. A loss in the bantamweight quarterfinals to Russia's Vladimir Nikitin was arguably the most controversial of the boxing tournament. In fact, Conlan hurt Nikitin so badly that the Russian forfeited his semi-final fight because he wasn't able to recuperate from the injuries he suffered from the pasting he received from Conlan. After the decision was announced, Conlan saluted the judges with both middle fingers followed by a series of post-fight interviews ripping the decision and accusing the International Boxing Association (AIBA), which oversees amateur boxing, of corruption. AIBA sent the judges who worked that fight home in the wake of the immediate public outrage. Conlan further added to his legend by sending a Tweet to Russian president Vladimir Putin, "How much did they charge you, bro???" A former amateur standout who was a 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist and 2015 World Amateur Champion -- a first for a male Irish fighter -- Conlan trains in Los Angeles with Manny Robles and spars regularly with Robles’ champion fighters.
Mayer (1-0, 1 KO), a native of Los Angeles, boasts a sterling amateur resume which includes being a three-time national champion, Mayer advanced to the women's lightweight quarterfinal of the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, one bout short of the medal round, before losing an extremely close majority decision to Anastasiia Beliakova of Russia. Two judges scored it 39-37 for the Russian while a third judge ruled it a draw. She made her pro debut on August 5, scoring a first-round stoppage of Widnelly Figueroa. Mayer will be facing Allison Martinez (1-2, 1 KO) of Spring, Texas, in a four-round lightweight bout.
Kavaliauskas (17-0, 14 KOs), a native of Lithuania who trains in Oxnard, Calif., enters this fight having won three of his last four bouts by knockout and world-rated No. 4 by the WBO. Montes (32-6-1, 21 KOs), of Mexico, brings experience and power to the table. In his last fight, on April 22, he defeated Francisco Santana via a 10-round split decision.
Feature Photo: Melina Depante-Asplin / Frontproof Media