Undercard details for Top Rank's June 29th show in Miami

Press Release


Undercard details for Top Rank's June 29th show in Miami

On Saturday, June 29th at James L. Knight Center in Miami, Florida, Teofimo Lopez will defend his world junior welterweight championship against Canada's Steve Claggett. In the ten-round featherweight co-feature, former title holder Robeisy Ramirez returns against Mexico’s Brandon Leon Benitez. The six-round televised opener sees middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh attempt to avenge his only pro defeat in a rematch against Sona Akale. Teofimo-Claggett, Ramirez-Benitez & Ali Walsh-Akale II will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. 

 Ramirez (13-2, 8 KOs), a two-time Olympic gold medalist, won the WBO featherweight world title by defeating Isaac Dogboe in April 2023. The 30-year-old traveled to Japan for his first defense, battering hometown hero Satoshi Shimizu en route to a fifth-round TKO in the July 2023 co-feature to the Naoya Inoue-Stephen Fulton main event. Ramirez lost the title via majority decision against Rafael Espinoza, dropping the Mexican in the fifth before himself visiting the canvas in the 12th round of a Fight of the Year contender. Benitez (21-2, 9 KOs) looks to capitalize on a seven-fight win streak. His last defeat was against Saul Sanchez in May 2019. His wins since then include a split decision upset over former world champion Xu Can in October 2022 and a body shot knockout over Rigoberto Hermosillo in December.
Ramirez said, “Last December, we put on an action-packed battle, a worthy ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate. While the result was unexpected, we also proved to the boxing world just how amazing a Miami crowd can be. On June 29, I will begin my quest to recapture my world title and return to the top, where I know I belong. It’s Cuba vs. Mexico again, and I’m excited to have the loyal support of the Cuban community of Miami.”
Benitez said, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to show that I belong among the best of the division. But I want Robeisy Ramirez to know that this is nothing new to me. I know what it’s like to go on enemy turf against a tough former world champion. Like I did with Can, I’m going to make it a tough night for Ramirez. I respect him as a fighter, but as soon as I get in the ring, I’m not going to stop throwing punches until my hand is raised."
Ali Walsh (10-1, 5 KOs) went 8-0 before suffering his first pro defeat against Akale last August in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The grandson of “The Greatest” bounced back with a points triumph over Noel Lafargue last December in Conakry, Guinea, and made his 2024 debut with a six-round unanimous decision win against Charles Stanford in March. Ali Walsh thrived in the lone rematch on his dossier. In August 2022, he knocked out Reyes Sanchez in two rounds after edging him by majority decision the previous December. Akale (9-1, 4 KOs) heads into the rematch after decisioning Tray Martin across six last December.
“I’ve had a rematch before. I know how to right my wrongs,” Ali Walsh said. “I appreciate Akale for not running from the rematch, but on June 29, I’ll leave no doubt.”
Akale said, “I’m excited and thankful for the opportunity to fight again for Top Rank on ESPN. I'm going to prove my first win over Nico was no fluke. After this fight, everyone will know I’m the real deal.”
In scheduled undercard action, streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+:
Junior welterweight Rohan Polanco (12-0, 7 KOs), who represented the Dominican Republic at the Tokyo Olympics, returns in an eight-rounder against Mexico's Luis Hernandez (23-4, 20 KOs). Polanco thrilled the South Florida fans last December with a sixth-round TKO over Keith Hunter in Pembroke Pines.

Middleweight Euri Cedeño (8-0-1, 7 KOs), an Olympic teammate of Polanco’s, looks to increase his winning streak to three in an eight-rounder against Colombian southpaw Dormedes Potes (14-6-1, 10 KOs).

Yan Santana (11-0, 11 KOs) of the Dominican Republic seeks his twelfth straight knockout in a ten-rounder against tough Brandon Valdes (15-4, 7 KOs), who is coming off a decision loss to Ruben Villa last September.

South Florida-born heavyweight Lorenzo Medina (10-0, 9 KOs) fights Baltimore native Colby Madison (11-7-2, 7 KOs) in a six-rounder. The 19 year-old Medina has won three straight bouts by knockout, including December’s sixth-round stoppage over Joshua Temple.

Puerto Rican middleweight Bryan Polaco (6-0, 4 KOs) faces fellow unbeaten Richard Acevedo (6-0-1, 5 KOs) in a six-rounder.