Former Lightweight title challenger Ji-Hoon “Volcano” Kim (23-7, 18 KOs) will meet undefeated Lightweight Alisher “Ali” Rahimov (23-0, 12 KOs) in the 10-round main event May 25 on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra. Friday’s show will air at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN3 from St. Charles, MO. The card is presented by Banner Promotions.
Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be ringside for ESPN2 HD and ESPN3 at the Ameristar Casino describing the action, while studio host Bernardo Osuna will present the latest boxing news and highlights. On ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates (Friday Night Fights), Alex Pombo and Delvin Rodriguez will call the fights with Leopoldo Gonzalez and Pablo Viruega in the studio.
ESPN2 & ESPN3 will include a feature on former Middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik profiling the Youngstown, Ohio, fighter as he is scheduled to fight Scott Sigmon on the June 8 edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. ESPN2 and ESPN3 will also include an Osuna interview with Timothy Bradley who will face Manny Pacquiao for his Welterweight title June 9 in Las Vegas.
South Korea’s Kim has won his last two fights, including a 10-round decision over Yakubu Amidu. After that fight ESPN.com boxing expert Dan Rafael wrote, “Amidu put up a strong effort but Kim’s relentless punching was simply too much for him. Kim rocked Amidu several times in the first half of the fight and opened a cut over Amidu’s left eye in the seventh round.”
Kim’s co-manager Paul Lee said, “Rahimov is a good technician and has a lot of experience. He’s 36 years old, but he is still strong. However, Ji-Hoon has taller height and longer arms. He has a physical advantage and he’s going to use it.”
Russia’s Rahimov, a 2000 Uzbekistan Olympian, is coming off a seventh-round knockout win over Saddam Kietyongyuth.
Friday’s co-feature will pit Heavyweights “Vicious” Vince Thompson (10-0, 2 KOs) against Joell “Joe Slick” Godfrey (14-6-1, 6 KOs). Washington’s Thompson, is coming off a technical decision win over Jonte Willis, while Tennessee’s Godfrey won a six-round unanimous decision over Leo Bercier in his last fight.