Undefeated Featherweight southpaw Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (19-0, 14 KOs) will meet former Featherweight titlist Cristobal “Lacandon” Cruz (39-13-3, 23 KOs) July 6 in the 10-round main event on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra. Friday’s card, presented by Sampson Boxing and Greg Cohen Promotions, will air at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN3 from Las Vegas.
Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be ringside for ESPN2 HD and ESPN3 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino describing the action, while studio host Bernardo Osuna will present all the latest boxing news and highlights. Alex Pombo and Delvin Rodriguez will call the fights for ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates (Friday Night Fights), with Leopoldo Gonzalez and Pablo Viruega in the studio.
ESPN2 and ESPN3 will look back at the best of Friday Night Fights for the month of June and will discuss Kelly Pavlik.
The Dominican Republic’s Fortuna, trained by Pablo Sarmiento (who also trains Middleweight Champion Sergio Martinez), enters Friday’s fight following one of his career-best wins, a first-round knockout over previously undefeated Yaundale Evans.
After that fight, ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael wrote: “Fortuna is dynamic with tremendous power and speed. Fortuna has scored some highlight-reel knockouts in his young career and added another one with a crushing stoppage of Evans. Ninety seconds into the fight, Fortuna staggered Evans with a left hand to the head and then heavily floored him with another left hand to the head and a right hand on top of the head as he was falling to the mat. He trapped him on the ropes, tagged him with a few shots and then hammered him with another left hand to drop him again, this time face first, as [the] referee stepped in at 2 minutes, 2 seconds.”
Mexico’s Cruz brings a wealth of experience into the ring with him, having fought former and current titlists Orlando Salido, Luisito Espinosa and Jorge Solis. He will look to rebound from a 10-round unanimous decision loss to Juan Carlos Burgos.
Friday’s co-feature will pit undefeated Heavyweight Magomed “Mago” Abdusalamov (14-0, 14 KOs) against Maurice “Freight Train” Byarm (13-1-1, 9 KOs). Russia’s Abdusalamov, who has won all of his fights by knockout–10 in the first-round,– is coming off a fourth-round TKO win over previously undefeated Jason Pettaway. Washington D.C.’s Byarm will look to rebound from a 10-round unanimous decision loss to Bryant Jennings.