USMANEE STEPS IN FOR MARTINEZ ON BRADLEY-PACQUIAO SHOW
Afghani-Canadian super featherweight Arash Usmanee (20-1-1, 10 KOs) will step into the highest-profile fight of his life on short notice and face Raymundo Beltran (28-6-1, 17 KOs) this Saturday, April 12th on the pay-per-view card featuring the Timothy Bradley-Manny Pacquiao rematch in Las Vegas.
An extended illness suffered by Roman "Rocky" Martínez caused Martinez to cancel, creating the opportunity for Usmanee, who was already in the gym preparing for another fight.
Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, he and his family moved to Alberta, Canada, when he was three years old. He now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. The aggressive 32-year-old's career has been marred by controversy thus far, as his two biggest career fights have both ended with questionable outcomes. In his only defeat, Usmanee dropped a controversial 12-round decision to Rances "Kid Blast" Barthelemy on January 4th of last year.
And then, in August of last year, Usmanee missed winning a championship by a single point when he fought to a draw with IBF champion Argenis Mendez in Verona, New York.
Beltran has also seen his share of hard luck in the ring. He was last seen fighting to a ridiculously judged draw with then-world champion Ricky Burns in September of last year. Burns was down in the eighth and suffered a broken jaw in the second round that subsequently required the insertion of a titanium plate to repair. And yet it was not enough to sway the judges, as the fight was held in Burns' homeland of Scotland.
As tough as they come, 32-year-old Beltran was born in Los Mochis, Mexico, but now lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
The pair will not only be vying for a place in the front of the line to face current WBO titlist Terence Crawford, who defeated Burns by decision in March of this year.
Usamanee's promoter, Greg Cohen of Greg Cohen Promotions, says the match-up has explosive written all over it.
"Neither of these guys take many backwards steps in the ring. It's going to be a war of attrition from the first round. You could easily say this is a battle between the uncrowned IBF Champion and the uncrowned WBO Champion. It's a very high-level match-up between two of the toughest guys in the sport."