Chicago super middleweight prospect Mike “Hollywood” Jimenez (7-0, 4 KOs) has looked like a world beater at the preliminary levels of his career. Now it’s time to start finding out if he really is a world beater. The 25-year-old will take a significant step up on Thanksgiving Eve at Hitz Boxing’s “Fight Night at the Horseshoe” boxing event on November 21 at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana, when he faces three-time world title challenger Antwun Echols (32-18-4, 28 KOs).
“I’m ready. I feel confident,” said Jimenez, “I’ve been working hard in the gym. I understand it’s a step up but I’m ready for the challenge. I think I can take this guy out.”
For a fighter with just seven pro fights, even a shop-work Antwun Echols is handful. While Echols has suffered most of his losses in recent years, they were all against top-flight opposition and before eventually winning, many of these fighters first found themselves on the floor courtesy of Echols’ well-known power.
“I heard the name and got excited. I welcome the opportunity. He’s fought top guys like Bernard Hopkins and he used to be number one contender. I talked it over with my trainer/manager Pete George and we think it’s the right move. We’ve been trying to take it the right speed, but I feel like I’m ready for this level of a challenge. He’s a big name and he’s super experienced and I’ve definitely seen him fight before. He’s real technical and throws hard punches. He’s game and he’ll be ready to bring it, but I’m going to force my will on him. I’m going to put it all together and show everybody I can do this.”
Jimenez claims that while he’s been a fan of the all-action Echols in the past, on fight night, he will be looking to make a statement. “I’ll come in there and pump my jab like I always do at first, feel him out for a bit, then start getting my shots off. I’ll have to pick my shots and use my skills to take this guy out.”
So what would a victory over Echols mean?
“I’ve been thinking about it a lot and it’d be a huge accomplishment for me to say I beat somebody like that. Definitely something I can talk about for a time to come. Not everybody gets to fight in a fight like this. I’m definitely excited about it.”
In the night’s eight-round main event, Hitz will unveil his new heavyweight contender, Andrey Fedosov (22-2, 18 KOs) the former WBC Youth Heavyweight Champion from Shuya, Russia. In his Horseshoe debut, Fedosov will face comebacking former NABA Champion “Rockin” Rodney Moore (17-6-2, 7 KOs) from Houston, Texas.
In the co-featured bout, Chicago cruiserweight Dimar “Strongman” Ortuz (5-0, 3 KOs) will be taking on UFC veteran and fellow undefeated Terry Martin (5-0, 5 KOs) in a heavily hyped local grudge match.
In another notable six-round encounter, Chicago (via Lithuania) middleweight slugger Donatas Bondorovas (15-3-1, 4 KOs) will take on Evansville, Indiana’s “King” David Thomas (10-2-2, 8 KOs).
The huge undercard (12 bouts are scheduled in total) will also feature Pacquiao sparring partner and undefeated knockout sensation Abdulai “The Classiq” Amidu (20-0, 17 KOs) also going six.
In four-round fights will be Frankie “Time Bomb” Scalise (4-1, 4 KOs), Genaro Mendez (4-1, 3 KOs), kickboxing and Golden Gloves champ Simon “The Punisher” Buettner (2-0, 2 KOs), Russell “Rocky” Fiore (6-2-1, 6 KOs) and, making their pro-debuts, “Irish” Jimmy Murphy and Jonathan Manos.
Complete match-ups will be announced shortly.