This Sunday, the 59th annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade takes over the Upper East Side of Manhattan, marshaling pride and honor to the small U.S. island's mainland gentry.
Appropriately, boxing has its stars align in the ‘mecca for boxing’, Madison Square Garden, for a stellar card of Puerto Rican champions looking to stay on top and one looking to remain undefeated.
Saturday, June 11th 2012
Roman “Rocky” Martinez vs. Vasyl Lomachenko & Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo vs. Juan Jose Martinez
(Photo Credit: desdeelring.com)
Three-time world champion and current WBO junior lightweight champion Roman "Rocky" Martinez (29-2-3) represents the beautiful island of Puerto Rico one day before the PR parade against WBO featherweight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko (5-1).
Last April, Martinez wrested the title from Orlando Salido in a unanimous decision win in Puerto Rico. The two immediately re-matched in September, fighting to a split draw, leaving Martinez still the champion.
Now Martinez represents his country against one of the most underrated fighters today, Ukranian Vasyl Lomachenko. The two-time gold medalist only has six professional fights, but the performance he generates is that of a man who’s logged hundreds more professional rounds than what his record indicates.
After beating Gary Russell, Jr., and capturing the WBO featherweight title via majority decision in 2014, Lomachenko has went on a stylistic tear, successfully defending the belt three times. This step up in weight class should be a bigger challenge for Martinez who will definitely be stringently tested against the Ukranian.
Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo (21-0) will risk his WBO Latino lightweight crown and undefeated record against Juan Jose Martinez (25-0) in the co-main event of the championship doubleheader.
In a classic Puerto Rican versus Mexican match-up, Martinez, who is riding a six fight win streak, looks to dethrone the unbeaten champion in a fight that will surely be defined in the center of the ring.
Catch all the Boriqua championship action live from The Theatre at Madison Square Garden on HBO at 10pm EST/7pm PST
Ruslan Provodnikov vs. John Molina, Jr.
(Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)
Russia’s Ruslan Provodnikov (25-4) and John Molina, Jr. (28-6) of Covina, California clash in an eagerly awaited matchup in Verona, NY.
Provodnikov, a former WBO Junior Welterweight World Champion, was involved in the Fight of the Year in 2013 with Tim Bradley. That fight left Tim Bradley feeling admittedly slower as they slugged it out, going into dangerous waters of pugilism.
Former world title challenger Molina was in the 2014 Fight of The Year with Lucas Matthysse and the Mexican-American looks to continue his winning ways since losing Adrien Broner in early 2015. Molina closed out 2015 with a 3rd round TKO over Jorge Romero.
Catch all the action live from Turning Stone Resort & Casino live on Showtime at 9pm EST/6pm PST.