The full lineup has been announced for Saturday’s fight card at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago featuring the rematch between jr welterweights Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz and Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi plus welterweights “Vicious” Victor Ortiz and Antonio “Tono” Diaz.
In middleweight action scheduled for 10 rounds, Cuban southpaw sensation Erislandy Lara (8-0, 5 KO’s) will face the stiffest test of his professional career when he steps up in class to take on Chicago’s own Luciano Perez (17-9-1, 15 KO’s). Lara has been on a tear since turning pro in July of 2008, wowing crowds with his concussive power, blazing speed and ring savvy way beyond his years. Across the ring from him will be “El Gallo Bravo,” who is coming off a big technical knockout win over Miguel Hernandez in March and would like nothing more than to put an end to Lara’s string of professional perfection.
Junior lightweight Argenis Mendez (14-1, 9 KO’s) has garnered a sizeable fan following in his adopted hometown of Brooklyn, New York, and he will join his fellow Brooklynite Paul Malignaggi on the card in the Windy City on December 12, as he takes on Nairobi, Kenya’s Morris Chule (11-8-2, 8 KO’s) in an eight round contest.
Malignaggi isn’t the only fighter with fellow hometown fighters doing battle in hours preceding the main event, as a host of Juan Diaz’ fellow Texans will be looking to make a positive impression on Chicago fans.
In an eight round junior welterweight bout, Houston’s rising star Hylon Williams (11-0, 3 KO’s) will look to keep his unblemished record clean by notching professional win number 12 when he battles it out with Tijuana’s scrappy Humberto Tapia (14-11-1, 7 KO’s). Williams’ stable-mate, welterweight Jermell Charlo (9-0, 4 KO’s), who also sits at the top of the hot prospect list, will seek to make it 10 wins before his 20th birthday when he takes on fellow unbeaten fighter Abdon Lozano (6-0, 1 KO) of Las Vegas in a six round bout.
Also hailing from the Lone Star State is Weslaco junior welterweight knockout artist Omar Figueroa (7-0, 7 KO’s), who will take on 18-fight veteran Anthony Woods of Nassau, Bahamas in a four round bout. Figueroa has yet to let an opponent go past three rounds, a streak he wants to keep intact on December 12.
One of the most ferocious pound for pound punchers in boxing, former Junior Welterweight World Champion Randall Bailey (39-7, 35 KO’s), returns to action in an eight round welterweight bout against one of Chicago’s finest, the always tough, Germaine “Silky” Sanders (27-7, 17 KO’s).
Boxing royalty will also be in the house, as the son of the legendary Thomas Hearns, middleweight contender Ronald Hearns (22-1, 17 KO’s), continues on his road to the top when he squares off against Nairobi, Kenya’s Shadrack Kipruto (18-13-2, 10 KO’s) in an eight round battle.
Heavyweight contender Dominick Guinn (31-6-1, 21 KO’s) is on his way back to the top of the division after putting together a three fight winning streak that includes early knockout victories over 27-1 Jean Francois Bergeron and 21-0 Johnnie White. The Houston native will look to make it four straight when he takes on Tucson’s Charles Davis (19-17-2, 4 KO’s) in a six round fight.
Sugar Land, Texas’ Darlington Agha (1-0, 1 KO) will also represent Texas in a four rounder against Huntsville, Alabama’s Terry Adams (0-1).
Last, but certainly not least, two local Chicago products will do battle for Windy City bragging rights when Jimmy Herrera makes his professional debut against the rugged Gustavo Palacios (2-6, 1 KO) in a four round welterweight contest.