Juarez, Litzau promise to steal show
Story by Andreas Hale
Photos by Chris Cozzone
Prior to Roy Jones Jr (54-6, 40 KOs) and Bernard Hopkins (50-5-2 1NC, 35 KOs) settle their 17-year-old score on April 3rd at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, both Square Ring and Golden Boy will showcase their rosters on the undercards.
Roy Jones Jr attended the undercard press conference and spoke on not only being a fighter, but a promoter.
“I am proud to be on both sides of this event as a fighter and a promoter,” the future hall of famer explained. “To be in the main event is a wonderful thing, but to see and help these young fighters start their careers is just as important to me. I felt obligated to come here and speak on behalf of these guys because my concern is the future of boxing.”
Leading the charge will be NABF super featherweight title bout between champion Jason Litzau (26-2, 21 KOs) and perennial contender Rocky Juarez (28-5-1, 20 KOs).
Juarez is coming off of a unanimous decision loss to the undefeated Chris John back in November and is looking to get back on track this Saturday.
“I’ve had five tough losses in my career to the greatest fighters in the world,” Juarez said. “This coming Saturday our careers are on the line. We’re going to give it our all and I’m sure the fans are going to enjoy it.”
With 21 knockouts in his 26 victories, Litzau proves to be an exciting fighter. Since being knocked out by Robert Guerrero two years ago, Litzau won his next three bouts impressively and is looking to make his fight with Juarez a fan pleasing slugfest.
“Rocky is a friend of mine and a former training partner so we’re going to give it our all on Saturday night,” said the “The American Boy.” “No disrespect (to Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins), we may be the co-main event but I know (Juarez) and I know me, we might just be the main event.”
Elsewhere on the card, “The Latin Snake” Sergio Mora (21-1-1, 5 KOs) will look to bounce back from 2008’s loss to the late Vernon Forrest when he takes on Calvin Green (21-4-1, 13 KOs).
Mora will be fighting his first bout under the Golden Boy umbrella and is looking to take his career to new heights. Still frustrated that a proposed fight with Kelly Pavlik fell apart, Mora knows he has something to prove against relative unknown Calvin Green.
“I’m going to look forward to the next phase of my life,” Mora said. “I’m going to do what I have to do to win the middleweight title…I’ve got a lot to say, but more to prove.”
Mora must be careful to not look too far past Green. Hailing from Texas, Green is facing his stiffest test to date against “The Latin Snake.” With former IBF middleweight champion and the 1984 Summer Olympics light middleweight gold medalist Frank Tate in his corner, rest assured that Green will come ready to derail Mora’s path to success.
Opening the televised portion of the PPV will be Daniel Judah (23-4-3, 10 KOs) taking on undefeated Ukraine boxer Ismayl Sillakh (11-0, 10 KOs) for the vacant NABF light heavyweight title.
Daniel – brother of Zab Judah – recently dropped a decision to Glen Johnson and is getting no favors against the undefeated prospect that Roy Jones Jr finds to be a rare jewel. Not simply because of his talent, but because of his background.
“When they told me I had a black Russian I lost my mind,” Jones joked in regards to Sillakh’s ethnicity. “A Black Russian? Wow! They make those?”
All jokes aside, Sillakh is looking to get his 8th straight knockout against Judah.
Other bouts on the card include Ghana’s Ray Narh (23-1, 20 KOs) vs Angel Hernandez (14-4, 10 KOs), undefeated Scotland native Craig McEwan (17-0, 9 KOs) pitted against Kris Andrews (15-8-2, 4 KOs), James McGirt Jr (21-2-1, 10 KOs) taking on John Mackey (11-4-2, 5 KOs), Yaundale Evans (5-0, 3 KOs) vs Juan Baltierrez (2-1-2, 1 KO), Julian Williams making his pro debut against Jason Montgomery (1-0) and top amateur junior welterweight Frankie Gomez (pictured at right) making his debut against Clayvonne Howard (2-3, 1 KO).
The Hopkins vs. Jones II pay-per-view telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and has a suggested retail price of $49.95.