The ESPN “Friday Night Fights” co-feature to Rustam Nugaev (26-6-1, 16 KOs) vs. Marvin Quintero (25-4, 21 KOs), at the Pala Casino Spa and Resort in Pala, CA on March 7 has been announced, undefeated junior featherweight Roman Morales (17-0, 9 KOs) against Russian born fighter Khabir Suleymanov (16-3, 6 KOs), in a scheduled 10-round bout.
This will be Morales’ second scheduled 10-round affair, the first was back in October of last year against Roberto Castaneda. Morales went the distance in that contest, earning a unanimous decision in the process, so it stands to reason that there should be no issues with his stamina and you could make the argument that he will be more comfortable this time around, opening the door to a fight filled with fireworks.
“I learned a lot about myself last time out and I think it was more important to get the rounds in than it would’ve been to get overaggressive, maybe even reckless. I’m still growing both mentally and physically, but I know I’m getting everything out of each experience. This time out I’ll have a better understanding of what I’m capable of at different points in the fight, I may choose to push the gas at several points. My opponent won’t be comfortable in there, I won’t let him get settled. I can wait for him to make a mistake but I know I can help the issue better this time out,” Morales said.
Promoter Gary Shaw feels Morales has the ability to become a force in the Jr. Featherweight division. A good performance against Suleymanov will get Morales one step closer to a world title opportunity.
“Morales has a great chance to elevate his position in the Jr. Featherweight division,” said Gary Shaw. “I’m expecting a lot of action in this fight because I know both fighters are hungry to prove to the world that they are on the championship level. This is a tough fight for both guys and the winner will certainly move on to bigger and better things.
The rest of the undercard will showcase some of the brightest young up and coming stars in boxing.
Opening up the telecast will be Washington DC’s undefeated welterweight sensation, Dusty Hernandez Harrison (20-0, 11 KOs) as he battles Honolulu Hawaii’s Michael Balasi (10-3, 7 KOs) in an 8-round bout.
Whittier, California’s unbeaten lightweight star, Alejandro Luna (16-0, 12 KOs) will take on Mexico’s Sergio Riviera (18-14-2, 11 KOs) in a 6-round bout.
Chicago’s amateur standouts, Kenneth Sims Jr. and Eduardo Martinez will be making their pro debuts. Sims Jr. will face Arizona, CA’s Cory Muldrew (1-5) in a 4-round light welterweight bout, while Martinez goes up against Mexico’s Juan Urbina (0-1) in a4-round super bantamweight contest.
San Antonio’s super bantamweight phenom, Mario Barrios (2-0, 1 KO) will do battle against Kelly Lionell (0-2) in a 4-round bout.
Vista, California’s, Aaron Garcia (13-3-2, 4 KOs) will challenge Mexico’s Gerardo Zayas (20-22-2, 12 KOs) in a 6-round featherweight bout.
New York’s Mike Faragon (19-0, 9 KOs) will fight an opponent to be announced in a 6-round lightweight bout, as will Santa Barbara’s welterweight Francisco Santana (18-3-1, 8 KOs).