Next Thursday, DiBella Entertainment (DBE) will return to the historic BB King Blues Club & Grill in midtown Manhattan for another edition of its popular Broadway Boxing series. The eight-bout card will feature a number of DBE’s most promising up-and-coming talent.
Fighting in one of the eight-round feature bouts will be Ecuardor’s world-rated junior welterweight Erick Bone (13-1, 7KO’s) making his US debut when he takes on perennial contender and Bronx’s popular Francisco Figueroa (20-6-1, 13KO’s).
The 25-year-old WBC/WBA #15-rated Bone had a very active 2013, fighting seven times over the course of the year. The lone loss on Bone’s record came at the hands of WBA #6-rated undefeated contender Alberto Mosquera (21-0-2, 14KO’s) via 12-round split decision. The crowd-pleasing Bone bounced back after the defeat, picking up a 10-round unanimous decision victory, and earlier this year he decided to relocate to the US, looking to become a force in the loaded 140lb. division.
Making his official DBE debut will be newly signed junior lightweight prospect Bryant “Peewee” Cruz (9-0, 5KO’s), as the Westchester County-native prepares to make it to the 10-0 mark as a professional when he challenges the game veteran Willshaun Boxley in a six-round junior lightweight matchup.
Cruz, who officially signed an exclusive promotional contract earlier this week with DBE and New Legend Boxing, was a finalist at the 2012 National Golden Gloves. As a pro, he has quickly become one of the biggest draws in New York thanks in part to his backing by Westchester County’s most popular restaurant/bar chains (Mickey, Molly and Maggie Spillane’s).
Cruz turned pro in December 2012 and fought eight times in his first full professional year. He is coming off his most impressive victory to date, a six-round unanimous in an absolute war over once-beaten Joshua Reyes. Cruz is looking to continue his winning ways and being moving himself into the national spotlight, but he must first get by the tough Boxley.
Hailed as a “boxing prodigy” by the New York Times when he was just 10 years old, the now 18-year-old phenom Junior “Sugar Boy” Younan is gearing up to secure his fourth consecutive win since turning pro in 2013. The skill level of the former #1-rated U.S. amateur and nine-time national amateur champion is way beyond his youth.
With devastating power and lightning-quick hands, Younan has all the tools to become an absolute superstar in boxing one day. His career is being guided by the same management team as top pound-for-pounder Andre Ward. This blue-chip prospect has yet to even see the two-minute mark of the very first round. Younan is set to take on an opponent TBA in a four-round super middleweight matchup.
Also seeing action on the card in separate bouts will be DBE’s highly regarded undefeated lightweight prospects, Louis Cruz (6-0, 4KO’s) and Shemuel Pagan (4-0, 1KO). Cruz will face Tony Walker (5-3-1, 3KO’s) in a six-round lightweight matchup, while Pagan challenges James Gooding in a bout scheduled for four rounds.
Both former NY Golden Gloves champions are truly two of the bright young stars on the DBE roster. Cruz also competed at the 2012 US Olympic qualifiers and was the 2011 National Golden Gloves runner-up before successfully turning pro in the summer of 2012. The 23-year-old Bronx-native was a perfect 4-0 in 2013 and in his first bout of 2014, on January 31, Cruz scored his second consecutive highlight-reel knockout. Cruz is hoping for yet another impressive performance when he takes on Walker next Thursday night.
Winning the NY Golden Gloves once is an impressive feat. Winning it five times is something not many fighters even dream about. But that is exactly what the Brooklyn-native Pagan did during his amateur days. Nicknamed “The Chosen One”, Pagan was as promising a prospect to come out of the New York boxing scene in many, many years when he turned pro in 2010.
Pagan quickly moved to 2-0 but then was forced to step away from the ring to nurse some nagging injuries. Pagan returned to the ring in 2013, signing with DBE and 50 Cent’s SMS Promotions and has looked very good in each of his two outings, winning back-to-back shutout decisions. A 2008 US Olympic team alternate, the 25-year-old Pagan is looking to continue his winning ways when he takes on the Florida-native Gooding.
Making his New York debut will be talented featherweight Kiun Evans (7-0, 5KO’s) as he squares off against Pedro Toledo (2-1-1) in a six-round featherweight matchup. The 21-year-old Arkansas-native last saw action on DBE’s January 17ShoBox undercard and was very impressive, handing out a vicious beating to his opponent Jesus Lule, before eventually knocking out Lule out in the fourth round of their scheduled six-rounder.
Rounding out the card will be Ryan Gamache (2-0, 1KO) taking on Ryan Picou in a four-round welterweight matchup. The 28-year-old Gamache, the nephew of former world champion and now top-trainer Joey Gamache, will be returning to the ring after successfully turning pro 10 years ago at just 18 years of age.