Newly crowned WBA world super featherweight champion Javier "Drone" Fortuna (28-0-1, 20 KO) will make the first defense of his title on Tuesday in the main event of the next Fox Sports 1 Premier Boxing Champions event.
Live from the Palms Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, Fortuna will face Carlos "Twin Dream" Velasquez (19-1, 12 KO). In the co-feature, two undefeated 154-pound fighters will attempt to ruin each other's unblemished record.
Dominique Dalton (19-0, 9 KO) will take on 2012 Olympian Oscar Molina (13-0, 10 KO) in a classic measuring-stick bout.
When: Tuesday, September 29 at 9 p.m. ET
Where: Palms Casino and Resort in Las Vegas
TV: Fox Sports 1
A Test for Fortuna?
At 26 years old—and having already won two world titles—there's no doubt Fortuna is one of the best young fighters in the world. With every bout, fans are expecting to see him perform impressively.
Physically, Velasquez would appear to represent a challenge for the young Dominican in his first title defense since winning the vacant belt in a battle with Bryan Vasquez in May. Velasquez is 5'9." That gives him a four-inch height advantage over the 5'5" champion.
Also, Velasquez is an experienced fighter. While he has only 20 professional fights, the 31-year-old Puerto Rican has an extensive amateur career. Fortuna is aware of Velasquez's pedigree but does not appear to be concerned with the way he matches up with his opponent. Per a Premier Boxing Champions press release posted by WorldBoxingNews .net, here's how Fortuna described Velasquez:
He's a good amateur fighter, making the transition to pro, but he has not yet completed that task. At times, he keeps his guard up really high and shows no regard of people going to his body. But this is a huge opportunity for him, so I will be at my absolute best that night. I think I will knock him out. He stands up too straight and I will catch him, but he's a good boxer with a good record. Hopefully he'll show up with no excuses.
Velasquez has some talent, as his record would indicate. In his only loss, he was on the verge of victory as he had dropped and dominated Rico Ramos—a once highly touted featherweight—through nine-plus rounds. Then Ramos caught Velasquez with a huge punch in the 10th and final round and knocked him out in spectacular fashion.
Since then, Twin Dream has won four fights in a row, but this will be his first bout scheduled for more than six rounds since the loss. Fortuna has explosive power that he's seemingly carried from 126 pounds to 130. In his three fights as a super featherweight, he's scored two stoppage wins.
He'll be looking to make it three out of four on Saturday.
According to Stephen Edwards of Boxing Scene, the Dolton vs. Molina scrap has excellent potential:
When two unbeaten 25-year-olds square off, the matchup should grab a bit more attention than this fight is receiving. When you consider another talented 25-year-old junior middleweight, Julian "J-Rock" Williams—who is also under the PBC banner—stopped Luciano Cuello last week in the first round, it's clear the division is gaining some hype.
Dolton, a Detroit native, missed making the 2008 Olympic team when he lost to Keith "One Time" Thurman in the trials, but he's handled all of his professional opposition with little-to-no problem. Dolton has won all but one of his fights by stoppage or unanimous decision.
That said, he'll be meeting the best opponent he's seen as a pro in Molina.
While Molina did not medal at the 2012 Games, he's been unbeatable as a pro. That could be because he's been untested. None of his fights have been scheduled for longer than eight rounds, and Dolton should be the most skilled opponent he's faced.
Before the main event takes place, we'll probably find out which one of these talented fighters has the goods to move to the next level in his career.
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