The WBA interim featherweight champion Javier Fortuna (21-0, 15 KO) will defend his title on ESPN's Friday Night Fights against Miguel Zamudio (25-1-1, 13 KO).
Despite capturing the interim title with a unanimous decision victory over Patrick Hyland in Dec. 2012, Fortuna looked a little green in that performance, in my opinion.
The 23-year-old Dominican is a highly-touted prospect, but I will be looking for him to improve upon his last performance.
Zamudio is a relative unknown.
This will be his first opportunity at a title. Fortuna represents a significant step up for him. Is he ready to meet the challenge, or is he just a handpicked opponent placed in this match to make Fortuna shine?
Here's how you can watch:
When: Friday, April 19 at 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: Tropicana Showroom in the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City
The Book on Fortuna
Strengths—Speed, power and overall athleticism
Weaknesses—Stamina and focus
Is Fortuna a Budding Star or Overrated?
Fortuna has been spectacular on ESPN in his previous bouts.
He scored impressive KO wins over Cristobal Cruz and Yuandale Evans in the fights before the Hyland bout. Here is a look at those bouts. He drops Evans in the first round and finishes Cruz in the second.
On the strength of those performances, I was excited to see him battle Hyland.
I knew Hyland would be a tough opponent, despite being outclassed athletically. Fortuna certainly had the speed advantage, but what I noticed most about him in that fight was a lack of focus at times.
Early on it appeared he was going to run through Hyland in a matter of four or five rounds. The more Hyland took his shots and began to cut off the ring and counter, Fortuna seemed to slow and get careless.
He suffered a few defensive lapses that caused him to take punches he should have slipped. By the end of the fight, I thought he had lost his legs and was fortunate he wasn't in the ring with a more talented opponent.
Fortuna has the physical talent to be a very good fighter, but I'm not convinced he has the intangibles required.
The Book on Zamudio
Strengths—Good balance, experience
Weaknesses—Slow hands, plodding foot movement and only average power
Is Zamudio Biting Off a Bigger Chunk Than He Can Chew?
If Zamudio came away with the win in this fight it would be a huge shock. He does have 27 professional fights in his four-year career, but the talent gap is huge here.
Take a look at Zamudio in his last fight with Gilberto Bolanos.
How will this fight end?
He won the fight by split decision. But it you compare what you see there with the speed and power Fortuna possesses, it would seem Zamudio is headed for a rough night.
This is an opportunity for him to get exposure and likely the biggest payday he's had in his career. That will likely be the only positive things he can take from this experience.
Fortuna will end this fight very early, unless he just wants to get some work in. I can't see it lasting more than three rounds. The less punishment Fortuna takes, the quicker he can take his next fight.
He'll barely break a sweat in this one.
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