FORTUNA-CRUZ IS NEW MAIN EVENT FOR ESPN2 ON JULY 6
Press Release: Featherweight Javier "El Abejon" Fortuna (19-0, 14 KOs) of the Dominican Republic, will face ex-IBF featherweight titleholder Cristobal Cruz (39-13, 23 KOs) of Mexico, on Friday, July 6th, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and televised live on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights. An injury to original main event participant Marvin Sonsona left an opening on the show, which Fortuna and Cruz have eagerly jumped in to fill. In the co-feature, Russian heavyweight Magomed "Mago" Abdusalamov (14-0, 14 KOs) will face Maurice "Freight Train" Byarm (13-1-1, 9 KOs) over ten rounds.
The 22-year-old southpaw Fortuna's previous fight was also on Friday Night Fights, when he demolished Yuandale Evans in 2:02 of the first round. Beating Cruz, however, will be a calling card to the world that Fortuna has arrived as a world title contender.
In his last four fights, Cruz has had two technical draws and dropped close decisions to Orlando Salido and Juan Carlos Burgos. A victory over Fortuna will propel him right back into the world picture.
31-year-old Magomed Abdusalamov was born in Makhachkala, Russia, but now lives and trains in Oxnard, California.
Abdusalamov was the 2005 and 2006 Russian Amateur Champion at super heavyweight before turning professional in 2008.
The 29-year-old southpaw heavyweight Maurice Byarm lives in Washington, DC, and was born in Philadelphia. Byarm is the son of Lionel Byarm, a professional fighter who most notably fought the legendary Evander Holyfield. Maurice was undefeated as a professional until his last fight, a decision loss to fellow Philadelphian Bryant Jennings in January of this year.
Headlining the undercard, popular heavyweight"Bronco" Billy Wright (37-4, 28 KOs) will continue his successful comeback in a 10-round bout.
Also scheduled to fight six-round bouts are Las Vegas, via Puerto Rico, super middleweight Carlos De Leon Jr (21-3-2, 14 KOs); Las Vegas via Accra, Ghana, middleweight KO artist Bastie Samir (10-0-1, 10 KOs); and undefeated Las Vegas featherweight Rocco Santomauro (8-0).
Scheduled for a four-rounder is Jackson, Michigan, cruiserweight William "Lil' Tyson" Williams (5-2-1, 4 KOs).
Tickets are available at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino box office daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and through Ticketmaster, either by calling 702-474-4000 or 800-745-3000, or by going online at ticketmaster.com. On fight night, doors open at 5:00 p.m. and the event starts at 5:30 p.m.