ESPN’s Friday Night Fights: Undefeated Junior Middleweights and a New Look

ESPN’s Friday Night Fights will originate from Las Vegas, Nev. on March 25 at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2 where undefeated, junior middleweights Erislandy “El Oro del Guantanamo” Lara (15-0, 10 KO’s WBA #5, WBC #11) and Yudel Jhonson (9-0, 6 KO’s) are featured in 10-round co-main events. Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be ringside at the Cosmopolitan Ballroom, describing the action.

Miami resident and Cuban native Lara, will face his toughest opponent yet, meeting Chicago’s “King,” Carlos Molina (17-4-1, 5 KO’s). Lara is coming off a January first-round knockout win against Delray Raines. After the fight, ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael wrote, “Lara is a gifted fighter who is ready to face top competition at 154 pounds. The 27-year-old southpaw was a star amateur for the powerhouse Cuban national team. Raines was actually a step down in competition for Lara, who already owns wins against Grady Brewer (a former winner of “The Contender”) and former world title challenger Danny Perez. It came as no surprise that Lara crushed Raines. Lara spent the early part of the round feeling Raines out and not getting overly aggressive. When Raines threw punches, Lara covered up well with a high guard. Ultimately, Lara ended the fight with a combination, hitting Raines with a right hook followed by a flush straight left hand to the face. Raines went down, his nose bloody, but eventually got to his knees before being counted out by the referee at 2 minutes, 59 seconds. Lara, who scored his fourth consecutive first-round knockout, is ready to face a serious contender or even to fight for a title.”

Miami resident and Cuban native Jhonson, will also take a step up in competition, meeting Colombia’s Richard “El Toro” Gutierrez (26-5-1, 16 KO’s). Jhonson is coming off wins in two “stay busy” matchups in his last two fights, including an eight-round TKO win against Juliano Ramos last June on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. After the fight ESPN.com’s Rafael wrote, “Jhonson won a 2004 Olympic silver medal for Cuba before defecting in February 2009 and turning pro three months later. Already 29 and on the fast track after an extensive amateur career, Jhonson looked very good breaking down Ramos in a lopsided destruction in the ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” main event. Jhonson, a southpaw fighting his first scheduled 10-rounder, came out fast and battered Ramos throughout the fight. He’s a fluid puncher who throws crisp combinations, which he abused Ramos with. He opened a cut over Ramos’ left eye in the seventh round and in the eighth round, although there was no specific big punch that landed, referee Tellis Assimenios stepped in to stop it after yet another left hand landed flush with 20 seconds left in the round. Jhonson has a ton of talent and could rise through the ranks quickly.”

Friday’s show will include new animation and music. Click here to view a clip from ESPN’s Friday Night Fights new opening theme.

Studio host Brian Kenny will present all the latest boxing news and highlights.

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