Boxing: Miguel Cartagena, American 2012 Olympic Hopefuls Face Chinese team

Carlos G Giron@@carlosgironnycContributor IIISeptember 29, 2010

American Olympic boxing hopefuls, including highly touted prospect Miguel Cartagena, will face off against the Chinese Olympic team this Friday, October 1st, in New York City’s Chinatown.

The highly unusual showdown between two of the best Olympic boxing nations is the result of the efforts of renowned boxing promoter Dino Duva. Mr. Duva has developed a working relationship with the Chinese Boxing Federation providing them with training camps and positioning himself to sign and promote Chinese boxers once they decide to become professional prizefighters.

The boxing card will feature bouts in 10 men's weight classes and three women's weight classes. One of the most anticipated fights will be the one featuring flyweight Cartagena. The 18-year-old prospect won the silver medal at this year's national championships. The Philadelphia born fighter of Puerto Rican heritage looks poised and ready to make a big splash at the 2012 Olympics in London and later on as a pro.

"My expectation is to win," Cartagena said at a recent press conference to announce the highly unique and special card. "I think it's a good experience for the Chinese boxers and I will draw as much from this experience as I can."

As for the Olympics, Cartagena would simply say that he is focused on the day-to-day training and does not dream or worry about the future. “I just do the work and the rest will take care of itself” said Cartagena with a rare tone of maturity unusual in an 18-year-old young man.

Also on the U.S. team will be national silver medalists Diego Hurtado (108lbs.), Eric Flores (132lbs.), Santos Vasquez (108lbs.), Alex Martin (152lbs.), Jesse Hart (165lbs.), and Danny Kelly (201lbs.).

"I'm really excited about this event," said Duva's father, legendary Hall of Fame trainer Lou Duva. "The Chinese team has excellent credentials, and reports are that America has an outstanding group of fighters who hope to restore Team USA."

Two Chinese team boxers were present at the promotional press conference, super middleweight Olympian Zhang Jianting and heavyweight Olympic silver medalist Zhang Zhilei. The latter is considered by Duva as one of the top heavyweight professional prospects in the world.

"The Chinese boxers have already reached a good level. With hard work and good competition like this, we will work to get to a higher level," Zhang said through a translator. "The coaches have been giving us good workouts and we will be ready for good competition."

The card takes place on Friday, October 1st at Capitale, in the heart of New York City's Chinatown.

Tickets for “Empire Collide” are priced at $120 for ringside, $70 for reserved, and $25 for standing room/general admission. The reserved and ringside seats include two complimentary beverages. They may be ordered by calling 973-291-4529 or by email at

For more information, fans can go to Special VIP and sponsor packages are also available.