Undefeated Russian prospect Dmitry “The Mechanic” Mikhaylenko (17-0, 6 KOs) was scheduled for a 10-round welterweight fight with Emmanuel Lartey (17-2, 8 KOs), of Ghana, as part of NBCSN Fight Night on Nov. 8 at Sands Resort Casino in Bethlehem, PA, but when Lartey pulled out last week, local sensation Ronald Cruz (20-4, 15 KOs) stepped up to the challenge.
The 28-year old Mikhaylenko, who hails from Gelendzhik, Russia, made his US debut Aug. 2 when he defeated Sechew Powell on the undercard of the Sergey Kovalev versus Blake Caparello title fight in Atlantic City, NJ. This will be his first appearance on Fight Night.
About the change of opponent Dmitry said: “I do not see any problems switching to another opponent. At this point of my career it really does not matter who will be in front of me. I come to fight and hope my opponent does as well.”
Cruz, a native of Bethlehem, is no stranger to fighting in front of his hometown crowd. This will be his ninth fight at Sands Resort Casino.
“I feel blessed to once again have another opportunity to fight on NBCSN and this time I’ll be taking advantage of the opportunity,” said Cruz. “I feel great training with a different trainer in Billy Briscoe and feel great with the adjustments that he has made to my style. I’m sure that this time y’all will see an improved Ronald Cruz. I’m excited and I’m confident that I’ll be coming out win an impressive victory on Nov.8th. I’m sure the viewers will be very entertained with two aggressive fighters going head-to-head. I can’t wait!”
Main Events CEO Kathy Duva said: “We hate to lose a scheduled opponent, but in this case, I think we’ve been able to upgrade. Cruz brings a big fan base to the Sands and has fought on Fight Night before, so our audience knows him. He’ll have another opportunity to get a statement win and this fight will tell everyone where Mikhaylenko stands as a welterweight prospect.”