Tickets are now on sale for ESPN Friday Night Fights’ “CROSSROADS”, set for Friday, July 13th at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois.
Presented by 8 Count Productions and Warriors Boxing, the event will be headlined by a ten round light heavyweight clash between former world champion Glen “The Road Warrior” Johnson and Chicago’s popular world ranked contender, “The Polish Prince” Andrzej Fonfara.
The co-main event will feature a ten round welterweight battle between legendary two-time former world champion Jose Luis “EL Terrible” Castillo and longtime Chicago fan favorite Ivan “EL Marro” Popoca.
Said Dominic Pesoli of 8 Count Productions, ‘It’s an honor to bring Glen Johnson and Jose Luis Castillo to Chicago for their first time in their brilliant careers. Fonfara and Popoca are both very excited to test their skills against these former world champions and future Hall of Famers on July 13th at the UIC Pavilion.”
“Fans should move quickly for the best seats, as public demand for tickets for this event is expected to be very high, it’s going to be a very special night for Chicago fight fans.”
Stated Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing, “Glen Johnson has always accepted challenges to fight anywhere in the world against any opponent. Along with being a world champion, Glen truly has earned the nickname “Road Warrior”. Against a hard-hitting young lion like Fonfara in his hometown, Johnson once again proves that he is always willing to travel anywhere for the toughest challenges.”
Compiling a record of 51-16-2 with 35 knockouts, future Hall of Famer Johnson, hold wins against numerous boxing legends and former world champions including Roy Jones, Antonio Tarver, Clinton Woods and Chicago’s Montell Griffin.
In 2010 and 2011, Johnson participated in the SHOWTIME broadcasted and highly acclaimed Super Six Super Middleweight Tournament, knocking out perennial contender Allan Green in the eighth round on November 6, 2010.
Against Fonfara, Johnson will look to get back in the win column after two fierce battles in 2011 against Super Middleweight Champions Carl Froch and Lucian Bute.
Just 24 years old, Fonfara, 21-2-0 (12KO’s), has built a reputation in the vast Chicago Polish community and among local boxing fans as a hard punching, all action fighter with dynamite knockout power in both hands.
Drawing huge crowds to all of his fights at the UIC Pavilion, Fonfara has won his last nine in a row all by knockout, eight of which have come at the downtown Chicago venue.
In his last start on March 16th, Fonfara brutally stopped former world champion Byron Mitchell in the third round in front of thousands of local supporters at the UIC Pavilion.
Fonfara is currently ranked #9 by the World Boxing Association.
A native of Mexicali, Mexico, Castillo has been amongst the popular Mexican fighters over the last fifteen years.
Although the two-time former world champion has faced and beaten a long line of outstanding fighters, he is perhaps best known for what many boxing writers believe is the greatest fight in the sports’ illustrious history, the epic first bout against Diego Corrales on May 7, 2005 in Las Vegas. Drilling Corrales to the canvas twice in the 10th round, Castillo was stopped moments later while upright against the ropes.
Corrales, 63-11-1 (54KO’s), also battled boxing’s finest, Floyd Mayweather Jr. twice in 2002, losing a very close, controversial decision both times. It is widely thought that these were Mayweather Jr.’s toughest fights of his career.
Castillo won his first title against Stevie Johnston on June 17, 2000. Other former champions and contenders that Castillo has defeated over his sensational career include Joel Casamayor, Julio Diaz, Juan Lazcano, Cesar Bazan, Jorge Paez and Rolando Reyes.
Born in Guerrero, Mexico, the upset minded Popoca, 15-1-1 (10KO’s), returns to action at the UIC Pavilion where he is undefeated, winning six in row in 2009-2010 including a sensational war over Jose Luis Soto Karass on May 29, 2010.
In his last outing on April 15, 2011, Popoca went to battle with highly regarded Russian contender Ruslan Provodnikov in a bout also broadcast on ESPN Friday Night Fights from Temecula, California. Fighting evenly over the first seven rounds, the bout was awarded to Provodnikov in the eighth as referee Pat Russell stopped the bout as Popoca got to his feet after being knocked down, despite Popoca’s willingness to continue.
A full selection of undercard bouts featuring Chicago’s finest prospects will be announced shortly.
Advance tickets for “CROSSROADS”, priced at $151, $101, $51 and $31, can be obtained through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000), the 8 Count Productions Offices, 312-226-5800 or the UIC Pavilion Box Office, 312-413-5740.
The UIC Pavilion is located at 525 S. Harrison, at the corner of Harrison and Racine on the campus of University of Illinois-Chicago. Doors on the night of the event will open at 7pm with the first bell at 7:45pm.