New York area favorites Michael Perez of Newark, Eddie Gomez of The Bronx and Staten Island's 2012 U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne will step into the ring in exciting preliminary action on Saturday, March 9 when they head up an action-packed undercard leading up to the IBF Light Heavyweight World Championship between Bernard Hopkins and Tavoris Cloud at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York which will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing.
The co-main event, a clash between undefeated Florida knockout artist Keith "One Time" Thurman and former World Champion Jan "Mr. Sympathicus" Zaveck in a 12-round bout for Zaveck's WBO Inter-Continental Welterweight Championship, will also be telecast on HBO World Championship Boxing.
Newark's Michael "The Artist" Perez (18-1-1, 10 KO's) bounced back from the lone loss of his career in January 2012 against top prospect Omar Figueroa by stopping Eric Cruz in two rounds in June and decisioning Fidel Maldonado Jr. in August. He rode that success all the way to Madison Square Garden in December where he defeated Fernando Carcamo via an eight-round unanimous decision. Saturday night, Perez will look to continue his upward momentum when he faces Las Vegas' Lonnie Smith in a 10-round lightweight showdown.
Las Vegas' Lonnie Smith (14-4-2, 10 KO's) wants to follow Perez' road to redemption after tough losses against former world title challenger Vicente Escobedo and tough competitor Mason Menard in 2012. Before those defeats, the 26-year-old Smith had run off nine straight wins, including victories over David Rodela and Eduardo Arcos. On Saturday, he looks to get back in the win column against a hungry Michael Perez.
Twenty-year-old junior middleweight phenom Eddie Gomez (12-0, 8 KO's) is coming off of a six-round unanimous decision victory over Luis Hernandez in December 2012 and the Bronx product is back in action this weekend, making his second appearance at Barclays Center. In the opposing corner will be Javier Gomez (14-10, 10 KO's) of Tijuana, Mexico, who will look to put the first loss on Gomez's record in a six-round junior middleweight contest.
2012 U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne (2-0, 2 KO's) will make his New York professional debut this Saturday night and expects his fans to be at Barclays Center in full force. The 22-year-old National Amateur Champion and Three-Time New York Golden Gloves Champion turned professional in November 2012 and has already racked up two wins by knockout. In his November debut, he defeated unbeaten Codale Ford in three rounds and then dispatched the hard-hitting Ritchie Cherry in one round on December 15 in Los Angeles. He will face Mobile, Alabama's Josh Thorpe (1-2) in a four-round lightweight bout as he looks to add another win to his resume.
Also in action will be Two-Time New York Golden Gloves Champion Steve "Superman" Bujaj (8-0, 6 KO's) who will engage in a four-round cruiserweight fight with Philadelphia's Zeferino Albino (4-15-3, 2 KO's). Brooklyn battlers Juan Dominguez (12-0, 8 KO's) and Frank Galarza (8-0-1, 4 KO's) will also answer the bell, with Galarza squaring off against Los Mochis' Guillermo Ibarra (7-1, 4 KO's) in a six-round junior middleweight fight and bantamweight Dominguez facing an opponent to be determined in an eight-round bout. Debuting Brooklynite Claude Staten Jr. will get to fight at home in his first pro bout when he faces New Orleans' Mike Hill (0-1) in a four-round bantamweight tilt.