The August 9 edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights will feature Lightweights Rustam “The Mongoose” Nugaev (24-6, 14 KOs) and Jose “El Loco” Hernandez (14-6-1, 6 KOs) in the 10-round main event. Friday’s show from Morongo Casino Resort in Cabazon Calif., will air live at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Both shows will include taped interviews with Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) and Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 22 KOs). Both fighters visited ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters on Monday. While at ESPN they participated in an ESPN.com chat, interviewed with ESPN the Magazine, appeared on First Take and more.
California’s Nugaev is coming off a fourth-round knockout win over Daniel Attah. In his previous fight he scored an eighth–round knockout win over previously undefeated Jonathan Maicelo. After that fight ESPN.com boxing writer Dan Rafael wrote: “Nugaev wound up scoring a highlight-reel upset knockout over Maicelo. Nugaev and Maicelo fought a good, competitive, toe-to-toe slugfest that came to an abrupt end when Nugaev caught Maicelo with a clean and powerful right hand that dropped him face-first before he rolled over on his back.”
Texas’ Hernandez is looking to build momentum following an eighth-round TKO win over previously undefeated Tony Luis.
“The first thing that comes to mind with this guy we’re fighting (Nugaev) is that he’s tough,” Hernandez’s trainer Richard Best said. “You can see in his fights that he tries to wear his opponents down with pressure. He’s a tall guy, and comes in forward. He’s not too technical, but we are not underestimating him.”
Friday’s 10-round co-feature will pit undefeated Jr. Lightweight Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza (13-0, 9 KOs) against California’s Gabriel “The Ghost” Tolmajyan (13-2-1, 3 KOs). Pedraza, a 2008 Olympian for Puerto Rico, scored a seventh-round TKO win over Sergio Villanueva in his last fight, while Tolmajyan is coming off an eight-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Jorge Maysonet Jr.