Unbeaten in 18 fights, Caguas’ Jayson Velez is the latest phenom to emerge from the boxing rich island of Puerto Rico. This Saturday, August 4, the 24-year-old featherweight will fight in the United States for the first time since 2009 when he faces veteran Leivi Brea of Miami in the eight-round co-main event of the FOX Sports Net and FOX Deportes televised card from the Mobile Civic Center Expo Hall in Mobile, Alabama.
In the main event, 2008 United States Olympic Bronze Medalist and Alabama native Deontay Wilder looks to make it 24 knockouts in 24 fights without a loss when he battles Trinidad and Tobago’s Kertson “Warrior” Manswell (22-5, 17 KO’s).
Hailing from the same city as superstar Miguel Cotto, Jayson “La Maravilla” Velez (18-0, 13 KO’s) is on track to follow other Puerto Rican greats to the top of the boxing world. The winner of the WBC USNBC super bantamweight title in 2010 and WBO Latino 122-pound belt in 2011, Velez moved up to featherweight last October and has since scored wins over Jonathan Arias and Jose Angel Beranza. On Saturday night, he’ll test his mettle against the more experienced Brea.
Southpaw Leivi Brea (18-9-3, 9 KO’s) is a veteran of nearly 16 years in the fight game, and easily Velez’ toughest challenge yet. A native of the Dominican Republic now living in Miami, Brea has been in with the likes of Juan Manuel Lopez, Jhonny Gonzalez and Jorge Lacierva over the course of his career. On Saturday, the 35-year-old who has won three of his last four fights, will look to introduce Velez to the loss column.
In other undercard action…
Longtime contender Dmitriy Salita (33-1-1, 17 KO’s) will continue on his road back to a world title shot when he faces an opponent to be determined in an eight round junior middleweight fight. Brooklyn, New York’s Salita has won three straight since his lone career defeat in a world title fight against Amir “King” Khan in 2009.
Fort Washington, Maryland’s Thomas Williams Jr. (9-0, 6 KO’s) will compete for the fourth time this year on Saturday when he meets Wisconsin’s Harley Kilfian (9-10, 8 KO’s) in a six round light heavyweight battle. With Williams owning five first round knockout wins and Kilfian ending four of his fights in the first round, you won’t want to blink during this one.
While Alabama’s finest is headlining this weekend’s card, the best of the state will help to open up the show. Despite only having two professional fights, Tuscaloosa’s Ray Ray Bryant (2-0, 1 KO) is building quite a local fan following, and you can expect to see his supporters out in full force on Saturday when he squares off against fellow Tuscaloosa product Anthony Middlebrook (9-9-2, 7 KO’s) in a four round junior lightweight fight. Birmingham will be well represented by heavyweight Keith Thompson (5-1, 3 KO’s) who will meet Monroe, Louisiana’s Anthony Greeley in a four round contest. Rounding out the show will be Tuscaloosa native Gundrick King (17-8, 11 KO’s) who will take on Monroe, Louisana’s Mikel Williams in a four round light heavyweight matchup.
Wilder vs. Manswell is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona, DeWalt Tools and the Mobile Sports Authority. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. CT on fight night and the first bell rings at 7:00 p.m. CT. The FOX Sports Net/FOX Deportes bilingual simulcast will air live at 10:00 p.m. ET/9:00 p.m. CT/7:00 p.m. PT. FUEL TV will telecast the fight on a delayed basis on Sunday, September 30 at 12:00 p.m. ET/9:00 a.m. PT. Velez vs. Brea is presented in association with Miguel Cotto Promotions.