The Tomasz Adamek-Vyacheslav Glazkov battle on March 15th at the Sands Casino Resorts Bethlehem, PA will have some competition for the most exciting fight of the event, as the undercard is packed with exciting match-ups.
The seven-fight card event will showcase Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (21-2-2, 9 KO’s), of Johannesburg, South Africa, as he collides with Denis Grachev (13-2-1, 8 KO’s), a Russian living in San Diego, CA, in the ten round co-feature that will air as part of the NBCSN Fight Night broadcast beginning at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT. Chilemba (#2) and Grachev (#7) both are rated in the top ten of the hot light heavyweight division by the WBC.
Another ten round match features welterweights Ronald Cruz (20-2, 15 KO’s), of Bethlehem, PA, against Kermit Cintron (34-5-2, 28 KO’s), of Reading, PA in a showdown for bragging rights across Southeastern Pennsylvania. The 27-year-old Cruz is the most popular fighter in the area and has knocked out his last three opponents-Rodolfo Armenta, of Rio Rico, AZ; Alberto Morales, of Miami, FL; Hector Munoz, of Albuquerque, NM.
The 34-year-old Cintron turned pro in 2000 and won the vacant IBF world welterweight title in 2006 when he knocked out Mark Suarez, of Riverside, CA. After successful defenses against Walter Matthysse, of Santa Fe, Argentina, and Jesse Feliciano, of Las Vegas, NV, Cintron lost the title to Antonio Margarito, of Tijuana, Mexico, in 2008. In his last fight Aug. 2 in Miami, OK, Cintron earned a ten round decision over Jonathan Batista, of the Dominican Republic.
Lightweight prospect Karl “Dynamite” Dargan (14-0, 7 KO’s), of Philadelphia, PA, takes on Chazz McDowell (6-4-1, 1 KO), of Yonkers, NY, in an eight-round contest. The 24-year-old Dargan is considered one of the best prospects in the country at 135 pounds. In his last fight on Nov. 16th in the co-feature spot on a special afternoon edition of Fight Night on NBC, he out-pointed lefty Michael Brooks, of Nassau, LI, over ten rounds. McDowell, also 24, is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Frank Santos De Alba in front of the crowd at Sands on January 25th and is looking to get himself back on track. Including Dargan, the combined record of McDowell’s last five opponents is 50-2-2.
More up-and-comers appear on the rest of the card: Jerome Rodriguez (6-0-2, 2 KOs), of Allentown, PA, vs. Brandon Williams (3-0), of Rochester, NY, six rounds, junior welterweights; Nathaniel Rivas (2-0), of Berlin, NJ, vs. Terrell James (1-1-1), of Philadelphia, four rounds, welterweights; Luis Acevedo (pro debut), of Bethlehem, PA vs. Josh Crespo (1-1-1, 1 K0), of Springfield, MA, four rounds, super bantamweights.
Co-promoter and Hall of Fame matchmaker J Russell Peltz feels this is a very diverse undercard; he said “There is something for everyone on this undercard. The winner of Chilemba-Grachev will join the pool of potential world-title challengers at 175 pounds. Cintron can resurrect his career by beating Cruz and Cruz, by winning, can move back into the world rankings at 147 pounds. Dargan, one of the best youngsters at 135, cannot afford to stumble against McDowell, who has never been stopped and shown the ability to hang in there with the best at 130 and 135 pounds.”
Main Events’ Matchmaker and VP of Operations Jolene Mizzone likes the competitive balance on this March 15th card; she said, “It is refreshing as a matchmaker to have a card with so many evenly matched pick ’em fights where anyone on the card has a chance to win.”