Luis Rosa Plans to Use Jonathan Perez and ESPN Platform to Springboard Into Legitimate Contender May 15th

HARTFORD (May 11, 2015) – Rising junior featherweight star Luis “KO King” Rosa (19-0, 9 KOs) plans to graduate from top prospect to legitimate contender this Friday (May 15) on ESPN Friday Night Fights, presented by 50 Cent’s SMS Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, in association with Universal Promotions, close to his New Haven home at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.

A native of Puerto Rico, the 24-year-old Rosa takes on Colombian veteran Jonathan “Popeye” Perez (33-10, 17 KOs) in the 8-round ESPN2 co-feature.

Headlining the card will be undefeated Puerto Rican lightweight Reynaldo Ojeda (16-0, 9 KOs) against longtime contender Monty Meza Clay (36-4, 22 KOs) in the 10-round main event.

The popular Rosa, who is world rated at No. 15 by the World Boxing Association (WBA) and No. 16 by the World Boxing Council (WBC), has prepared for a breakout performance in front of a large ESPN Friday Night Fights viewing audience.

“This is a huge fight for me,” Rosa said. “It’s great fighting on ESPN and I’m going to show the nation what I’m all about. I’m prepared to put on an explosive show. I feel that I’m close to getting a title shot. I want to fight world-class opponents and I plan to prove I’m ready on Friday night.

“It’s always great fighting in my home state and I’m sure I’ll have a lot of fans there. At the end of the day, though, I’m going to get the job done and it doesn’t matter where the fight would be held.”

Perez, 28, a professional fighter since 2005, has won 14 of his last 15 bouts. The battle-tested Colombian has fought the likes of world champions Cristian Mijares, Abner Mares, Jose Lopez, Martin Castillo, Eric Ortiz and Raul Martinez, as well a world title challenger Jesus Jimenez.

“Perez is a veteran with 44 pro fights,” said Rosa about Perez. “He’s fought a lot of world-class guys and champions. I know he’s coming to fight. He’s going to come forward and he wants to bang. He’s strong, I’m stronger. I’m faster, too, and the better all-around fighter. I’ll be ready for whatever he brings.”

Live coverage will begin at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and will also be available through WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One via an affiliated video provider. In addition, ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates will carry the fights live on broadband Spanish-language ESPN Deportes+.

Fighting on the undercard are a pair of promising foreign boxers who are now living in the United States, as well as several New England and New York City favorites.

Undefeated Ukrainian middleweight Ivan Golub (7-0, 5 KOs), fighting out of Brooklyn, meets fellow Ukrainian Kostyantyn Rovenskyy (18-1-2, 5 KOs) in a six-round bout. Kazakh super middleweight Dauren Yeleussinov (1-0), also living in Brooklyn, meets Jay “JD” Williams (3-6), of Louisiana, in a scheduled six-rounder.

Also slated to fight in six-round bouts on the undercard are unbeaten New Haven light heavyweight Charles Foster (7-0, 3 KOs) facing Woonsocket, RI, opponent Joe Gardner (11-7-1, 1 KO) and undefeated Bronx middleweight Chris Galeano (7-0) taking on Las Vegas’ upset-minded Yosmani Abreu (4-8-2).

Three four-round matches are also on tap with Waterbury, CT, junior welterweight Jair Ramos (3-2-1, 2 KOs) vs. Harlem’s Curtis Morton (3-4-2), Miami lightweight Alberto Candeleria (4-2-1, 3 KOs) vs. Brooklyn’s Ian James (3-11-1, 1 KO), and New Haven junior lightweight William Foster III (1-0) vs. TBA.

Tickets are currently on sale and are priced at $100, $65 and $35 (plus applicable taxes). Tickets can be purchased by calling 1 (860) 728-2624 or 1 (203) 627-7472. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. ET with the first bout scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Photos: Joseph Diaz Jr., Taishan & Full Canelo -Kirkland Undercard Action

Photos: Canelo Annihilates Kirkland in Three Rounds

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Photo Credit:Ed Mulholland/Golden Boy/Golden Boy via Getty Images

 

HOUSTON (May 10) – In front of more than 31,000 raucous fans Minute Maid Park in Houston, super  welterweight sensation Mexico’sCanelo Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) knocked out Texas’ James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs) with a thunderous right hand in the middle of the third-round, capping a sensational performance that saw the 24-year-old drop Kirkland in the first and deliver a number of huge shots before the eventual end of the fight. The fight was broadcast live on HBO World Championship Boxing®.

 

“This was one of the best knockouts of my career,” Canelo Alvarez said following the fight. “He came out with a little bit of a different style than I was expecting, but I was able to adjust and get the knockout. I knew he was strong fighter but he surprised me with his aggressiveness in the first and second round. I fight for the fans, and I’ll fight anyone, anywhere, anytime.”  Alvarez connected on an astounding 60 percent of his power shots, landing 79 of them inside of three rounds.

 

“I didn’t know I was knocked out,” said James Kirkland. “I had him trapped and hurt in the corner in the first round but he escaped, I had him hurt in the second also. He’s a great champion, I’m proud that I was able to compete in such a terrific event, and I hope to fight him again someday. I’m a warrior, I’ll be back..”

 

“Canelo vs. Kirkland on May 9 was the real Cinco de Mayo weekend fight that fans wanted,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Founder and President of Golden Boy Promotions. “We promised them a war, we promised them action, and that is exactly what they got with this fight.”

 

“I’m proud of him, he’s a true warrior and I’m going to get him back with Ann Wolfe,” said Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Founder and Chairman of SMS Promotions, said of Kirkland after the fight.

 

“I am very happy about the fight, it was intense from round one. We want to thank Kirkland for taking this fight and for giving the fans an exciting night,” said Jose “Chepo” Reynoso, manager and trainer for Canelo Alvarez. “This fight showed the result of 17 intense weeks of training and we are very satisfied with the result.”

 

“I’m happy we won the fight,” said Eddy Reynoso, head trainer for Canelo Alvarez. “This is the result of a successful camp. Kirkland did surprise us in the beginning, but Canelo was able to find him and adjust to his rhythm and overpower him. I want to thank the team that made this fight happen and all the fans that continue to support us.”

 

With official attendance of 31,588, Minute Maid Park was rocking from the opening bell, and Alvarez delivered for them not only with a huge knockout, but with a pledge to fight in Texas once a year.