A night of action awaits boxing fans of the Coachella Valley, as top welterweight contender Eddie “E-Boy” Gomez (18-1, 11 KOs) and the pride of the Bronx, N.Y., gets one step closer to seizing a shot at a world title in 2016 when he takes on Puerto Rican welterweight standout John Karl Sosa (13-1, 6 KOs) on Friday, May 20. The 10-round welterweight fight will be broadcast live nationally on Boxeo Estelar on Estrella TV and streamed live on Ring TV from Golden Boy Promotions’ home in the desert at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif.
“We have a great night of fights set for Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on May 20,” said Oscar De La Hoya, chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “2016 should be a big year for Eddie’s career and this fight is one that will give him another opportunity to demonstrate he is a force to be reckoned with in the hot welterweight division. Similarly, John Karl Sosa is taking his career to the next level with this challenging fight and moving up in weight. Sosa is tough and is going to make Eddie fight with all he’s made of on May 20.”
Joining this thrilling night of fights will be skilled southpaw fighter Fidel “The Atrisco Kid” Maldonado Jr. (21-3, 18 KOs) of Albuquerque, N.M. as he hopes to defeat Glendale, Calif.’s Art “Lionheart” Hovhannisyan (17-2-2, 9 KOs) in the 10-round lightweight televised co-main event. Hoping to make TV time, Chinese heavyweight sensation Taishan Dong (6-0, 3 KOs) of Beijing, China will return to the ring to participate in a four to six-round heavyweight swing bout against an opponent to be named shortly.
Rounding out the non-televised undercard, which will stream live on Ring TV, East Los Angeles native, Roy “Pitbull” Tapia (11-1-2, 6 KOs) will face Jose “The Flash” Bustos (11-6-3, 7 KOs) hailing from Ciudad, Juarez, Mexico in an exciting eight-round super bantamweight battle. Also featured as part of the Ring TV live stream, D’Mitirus Ballard (12-0, 8 KOs) of Washington, D.C. will put his undefeated record on the line in a scheduled eight-round super middleweight fight, Riverside, Calif.’s Joseph “Diamante” Aguirre (12-0, 8 KOs) will participate in a six-round lightweight bout and kicking off the fight night activities, Livan “Machine Gun Kid” Navarro (2-0) of Miami is scheduled to face off in a six-round super lightweight fight. Opponents will be named shortly.
Tickets for the event are on sale Friday, April 15 and are priced at $45, $35, $25 and can be purchased at the Fantasy Springs Box Office, by calling (800) 827-2946 or online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com.
A Golden Boy Promotions stablemate since 2010, Bronx, N.Y. native Eddie “E Boy” Gomez was born to become a boxing champion. A two-time Junior Olympic National Champion and son of a Honduran boxer Eddie Sr., Gomez has made a bold mark on professional boxingtaking on tough opposition in his career. Victorious in his last two bouts against James Winchester and Jonathan Batista, the 23-year-old is the owner of defeats over well-known boxers Steve Upsher Chambers, Luis Hernandez, and Jovany Javier Gomez. Making his second appearance at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Gomez will look to put on a performance for all the fight fans in the Coachella Valley in his first scheduled fight of 2016.
On the other side of the ring, super lightweight Puerto Rican boxer John Karl Sosa will fight for the first time this year when he goes up in weight to face Eddie Gomez in the welterweight division. Between fighting in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, Sosa has established quite the name for himself with 13 victories in his career over Alexis Peña, Luis Bello and Joaquin Chavez. After a shocking loss to Alan Sanchez last November at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Café during the Cotto vs. Canelo fight week, Sosa is pumped up and ready to exact revenge on his newest opponent. As a previously undefeated fighter, Sosa has an impressive record and will be making his Fantasy Springs Resort Casino debut this May.
Dubbed the “Yao Ming of boxing” seven-foot heavyweight Taishan Dong of Beijing, China has enjoyed two years of professional boxing in the U.S. Undefeated, Taishan has fought at Fantasy Spring Resort Casino four times previously, most notably knocking out opponents Lance Guach and Tommy Washington Jr. With a background in mixed martial arts and kickboxing, Taishan brings his unique style with him and will be ready to impress fight fans on May 20.
Albuquerque, N.M. southpaw standout Fidel “The Atrisco Kid” Maldonado Jr. is one of Golden Boy Promotion’s most aggressive fighters on the roster. At the height of Maldonado’s amateur career, “The Atrisco Kid” was ranked number two in the U.S. with an eye-catching record of 118-12. After going professional in 2009, Maldonado snatched up the WBC Youth Silver lightweight title from Eric Cruz in 2011 adding to his impressive boxing resume which also includes a fight for the WBC Continental Americas Super Lightweight Title. Now the contender will be looking to write a new chapter in his career in the lightweight division.
A natural-born fighter, Art “Lionheart” Hovhannisyan began his amateur boxing career at the age of 13 winning the Armenian National Championship in the lightweight division under the direction of internationally-renowned trainer Varuzhan Davtyan. Hovhannisyan’s has competed in international championships in China, Iran, Czechoslovakia, Croatia, France, and Ukraine to name a few. Hovhannisyan currently resides in Glendale, CA and trains at the Glendale Fight Club . This clash at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino will be his first since 2014 as he looks to bring his worldly boxing experience in to the ring when he faces Fidel Maldonado Jr. as the co-headliner of the night.
Representing his hometown of East Los Angeles, Golden Boy Promotions fighter Roy “Pitbull” Tapia can be always be counted on for his hard-hitting fights. In 2011, Tapia entered into the professional sport and quickly snagged victories and knockouts left and right all over California most recently from Erik Ruiz and Juan Luis Hernandez. After the way Tapia’s last bout at Fantasy Springs ended with a shattering knockout over former WBC Youth World flyweight titleholder Luis “Titi” Maldonado, boxing fans can count on him showing his strength come May 20.
Hailing from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, Jose “The Flash” Bustos has been riding a winning knockout streak after shutting down Isaias “El Moyote” Orozco, Vidal Cruz, and Marcos “Chicharito” Villarreal. Primarily fighting in Mexico, “The Flash” will be making his fourth visit to U.S. in what is to be his first appearance at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.
Undefeated Washington, D.C. prospect D’Mitirus Ballard will be returning to California for the second time in his career and will look to impress in his super middleweight fight at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. A professional since 2013, the 23 year-old fighter has executed every opponent he has faced utilizing his powerful punches and heavy hits most recently facing Fabiano “Pitbull” Pena in December 2015 and Leosvy Mayedo in March 2016. With a 62 percent knockout rate, Ballard will look to add another knockout victory to his record.
Joseph “Diamante” Aguirre of Riverside, CA has defeated every opponent he has ever faced and hopes to add his upcoming opponent to his list of victories as he fights for the first time in the U.S. With a recent victory against Oscar Arjona via first round knockout in March of 2016, Aguirre has stayed busy fighting twice in 2015 and five times in 2014. This young knockout artist has a promising boxing career ahead of him and the boxing community can’t wait to see what he will bring in the ring on this card.
Miami, FL’s Livan “Machine Gun Kid” Navarro, who is new to the fight game, has had success so far as a professional with two victories over Farkhad Sharipov and Kevin Walker in unanimous decisions. By kicking off the round of fights, “Machine Gun Kid” is anxious to fire punches to attain the first knockout of his career and of the night.