Rising stars Erislandy Lara and Deontay Wilder, along with top prospects Seth Mitchell, Hylon Williams, Jermell Charlo, and Keith Thurman, will look to keep their unbeaten records intact this Friday night when they step into the ring at the Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson, Arizona as part of a stacked undercard to the ESPN “Friday Night Fights” main event between Daniel Jacobs and George Walton. In the televised co-feature, Guantanamo, Cuba’s Erislandy Lara takes on Gulfport, Mississippi’s Willie Lee in a junior middleweight eight rounder, and opening the ESPN portion of the show is a heavyweight four rounder between Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s Deontay Wilder and Lexington, Tennessee’s Kelsey Arnold.
The main event will see knockout specialist Daniel “The Golden Child” Jacobs making his fourth appearance of 2009 when he battles fellow New Yorker George Walton in a middleweight bout scheduled for 10 rounds.
Jacobs vs. Walton, a 10-round middleweight bout that headlines an explosive night of world-class professional boxing, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate and Quaker State. The ESPN “Friday Night Fights” live telecast, beginning at 10pm ET / 7pm PT, will be broadcast on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN360.com.
Seen by many observers as the most talented prospect to emerge from Cuba since Joel Casamayor, 26-year-old southpaw Erislandy Lara (6-0, 4 KOs) has been on the fast track since turning pro in July of 2008. After compiling an amateur record of 350-17, Lara has gone unbeaten in six professional bouts, including a fourth-round stoppage of 37-fight veteran Edwin Vazquez just a few weeks ago on May 22nd. Lara is wise beyond his years in the ring and the combination of his physical gifts and his amateur pedigree makes him one of the most dangerous prospects in the world. Lara will see action in an eight-round junior middleweight fight against veteran southpaw Willie Lee (16-5, 11 KOs), who is currently on a two-fight winning streak.
The only medal winner from the 2008 United States Olympic Boxing team, Bronze Medalist Deontay Wilder (5-0, 5 KOs) has been terrorizing opponents in the professional game since returning from Beijing. After entering the punch for pay ranks in November of 2008 with a two round stoppage of Ethan Cox, Wilder has made even shorter work of his foes, with four straight first-round knockout wins. He looks for win number six on June 26th in a four-round heavyweight contest against Lexington, Kentucky’s Kelsey Arnold (1-2-2).
Heavyweight sensation Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (11-0-1, 7 KOs) is fresh off a six-round shutout over 41-fight veteran Andrew Greeley in April and seeks his fourth win of the year on Friday when he battles Las Vegas’ Alvaro Morales (3-5-5). The six-round bout will be a rematch of Mitchell’s and Morales’ March 22, 2008 bout which ended in a draw.
Also in action this Friday night will be Houston’s finest, junior lightweight Hylon Williams (9-0, 3 KOs) and junior middleweight Jermell Charlo (7-0, 3 KOs). The 18-year-old Williams, who will be making his fourth appearance at the Desert Diamond Casino, faces Hesperia, California’s Kadaphi Proctor (4-3-1) in a six-round bout. “Ironman” Charlo, who has barely lost a round in his seven-fight pro career, battles Federico Flores (6-2, 2 KOs) of Mission, Texas in a six-round junior middleweight contest.
Clearwater, Florida standout and former amateur star Keith “One-Time” Thurman (8-0, 8 KOs) has the boxing world buzzing and with good reason considering that none of his eight professional wins have gone past the first round. This exciting welterweight prospect will compete in a bout scheduled for six rounds against an opponent to be announced.
Also appearing on the already stacked undercard will be Tucson junior featherweight favorites Annette Agredano (3-0) and Isaac Hidalgo (4-4, 1 KO), who will face Jessica Sanchez (0-0-1) of Albuquerque, New Mexico and Robert Guillen (4-2-2) of Glendale, Arizona, respectively. Agredano first got the attention of the sporting world as a star soccer player for Tucson High School and the University of Pittsburgh; but after graduating and earning a Master’s Degree in social work, she returned to athletic life as a boxer. She is currently unbeaten as she pursues a world championship. Agredano and Sanchez will battle in a four-round bout as Hidalgo and Guillen square off in a six-round fight as they battle for Arizona bragging rights in the junior featherweight division.
Tickets, priced at $25 to $120 in advance, are on sale now and are available by calling 1-800-745-3000 or by visiting the Desert Diamond Casino Box Office. Tickets may also be obtained online at www.ticketmaster.com.