With wins in four of his last five fights, all by knockout, Mexico’s Heriberto Ruiz is in top-notch form in his mission to hand unbeaten featherweight phenom Gary Russell Jr. his first professional defeat in the 10-round chief undercard support bout of this Saturday’s “Home For The Holidays” card at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. Russell Jr. was originally scheduled to face Dat Ngyuen who was forced to withdraw after suffering a knee injury last week during training camp.
In the November 26 main event, Cincinnati’s own undefeated and number one rated WBO junior lightweight contender Adrien “The Problem” Broner (21-0, 17 KO’s) fights for the vacant WBO Junior Lightweight World Championship against Argentina’s number six rated WBO junior lightweight contender Martin Rodriguez (34-2-1, 18 KO’s).
Currently ranked 10th in the world by the WBA at featherweight, 23-year-old Gary Russell Jr. (18-0, 10 KO’s) began his move to the top of the division with a stellar 2011 that has already seen him defeat Feider Viloria, Adolfo Landeros, Antonio Meza, Eric Estrada and Leonilo Miranda. When he faces Ruiz, 2008 U.S. Olympian Russell will be seeking his sixth win of 2011 and looking to make another jump up the ratings in the featherweight division.
A seasoned veteran who has fought the best in the game over the course of a nearly 17 year professional career, Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico’s Heriberto Ruiz (48-11-2, 30 KO’s) has been a professional boxer for half his life, and the 34-year-old’s recent string of quality victories proves that he has yet to lose a step in the toughest sport in the world. Winner of four out of his last five, Ruiz knocked out Eden Marquez in his most recent bout on October 15.
In other undercard action…
Russell’s 2008 U.S. Olympic teammate, Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (19-0, 19 KO’s) has been perfect as a professional, knocking out everyone he has faced, including Daniel Cota in his last fight on November 5 in Mexico. On Saturday, the 26-year-old Alabama native will face Cincinnati prospect David Long (11-1-2, 7 K’O) in an intriguing eight round heavyweight contest.
Also representing the Queen City on November 26 will be former amateur star Brandon “Untouchable” Bennett (13-0, 7 KO’s), a 23-year-old southpaw who will face an opponent to be named in a 10 round fight. He will be joined by rising junior welterweight star William Jackson (10-0-1, 5 KO’s) who will need the hometown crowd behind him when he takes on fellow unbeaten Juan Garcia (9-0, 7 KO’s) of Holland, Michigan. Rounding out the strong Cincy contingent will be 4-0 (3 KO’s) DeVonte Allen, who battles Campeche, Mexico’s Salvador Perez (1-0, 1 KO) in a four round lightweight fight.
In keeping with the Ohio flavor of the undercard, Columbus’ Mark Davis (16-0, 5 KO’s) faces an opponent to be named in a six round featherweight fight, while middleweight Chris Pearson of Troutwood makes his professional debut against Steven Chadwick (0-2) in a four round fight.
Opening the action at U.S Bank Arena will be an eight round junior middleweight matchup that pits Santo Domingo’s top prospect and 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz (10-0, 6 KO’s) against Denver’s Brad Jackson (13-7-1, 7 KO’s).
“Home for the Holidays: Broner vs. Rodriguez” is a 12-round bout for the vacant WBO Junior Lightweight World Title which will take place Saturday, November 26 at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. The evening of boxing is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and R&R Promotions in association with Canelo Promotions and is sponsored by Corona and AT&T. The HBO Boxing After Dark telecast will air live at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT and will also feature highlights of Gary Russell Jr. vs. Heriberto Ruiz as well as the telecast’s main event featuring Canelo Alvarez defending his WBC Super Welterweight World Championship against former World Champion Kermit Cintron live from Mexico City, Mexico.
Tickets, priced at $128, $78, $53 and $28, are on sale now and may be purchased at the U.S. Bank Arena Box Office, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.