Launching its highly anticipated collaboration with a bang, Golden Boy Promotions and ESPN today announced the card for the first broadcast of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN, featuring rising prospects, former world champions and former Olympians. ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will broadcast the fights live from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California starting at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.
“When we signed this historic agreement with ESPN, we promised the best prospects and contenders in Golden Boy’s stable would not just appear, but face solid competition – our opening card makes it clear that we will fulfill that promise,” said Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya.
Topping the card, Irish amateur standout and middleweight contender Jason “El Animal” Quigley (12-0, 10 KOs) looks to continue his meteoric rise up the division with his third consecutive step-up fight against the hard-punching Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia (23-3, 15 KOs) in a 10-round battle for the vacant NABF middleweight title.
“2017 is going to be a big year for me, and I can’t imagine a better way to kick it off than by headlining the first edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN,” said Quigley, who is coming off victories over contenders Jorge Melendez and James De La Rosa. “Glen Tapia has faced some of the best in the middleweight and super welterweight divisions, but I am excited to show a huge audience what I’m capable of in the ring.”
“I’ve been in Quigley’s position before, so I know exactly what he’s feeling. He’s trying to prove himself and he’s looking at me like his step up,” Tapia said. “At the end of the day, because of my last performances, I feel like I really don’t have the privilege to speak on what I’m going to do, but just know that I’ll be more than ready to show Quigley and the boxing fans that I am more than just a step up.”
In the co-main attraction, Coachella hometown hero Randy “El Matador” Caballero (23-0, 14 KOs) will launch his campaign to become a two-division world champion when he goes head-to-head with Victor “Pitufo” Proa (28-2, 21 KOs) in a 10-round super bantamweight affair.
“I am so happy to be coming back to the ring, and to do so in front of my hometown fans and on ESPN – I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Caballero said. “I know Proa will be hungry and looking to get back into the winner’s column, but I am going to show everyone that I am back and better than ever.”
Hoping to make the TV broadcast, 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist and highly decorated amateur Marlen Esparza will make her professional debut against a fighter to be announced in a four-round flyweight fight.
Two additional fights of the card will be live streamed on ESPN3, and available in English and Spanish. Former interim world champion Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (22-7, 7 KOs) will be in action against rugged veteran Hector “Charro Negro” Velazquez (57-28-3, 39 KOs) in an eight-round welterweight showdown. Herrera, who has been on the short side of controversial decisions to a number of world champions, will return to his Southland roots looking to get back into title contention.
Also, Azat “Attack” Hovhannisyan (10-2, 9 KOs) will look to build on a four-fight winning streak when he faces off in an eight-round super bantamweight fight against Hugo “Olimpico” Partida (21-8-2, 16 KOs). Opening up the card, highly regarded prospect and local Indio resident Saul Sanchez (2-0, 1 KO) will appear in a four-round bantamweight battle against an opponent to be named later.