ESPN’S Friday Night Fights Returns: Jacobs, Wilder, Escalante-Stark

Daniel JacobsCHICAGO, IL (April 3, 2009) - Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Dominic Pesoli’s 8 Count Productions will team up once again up to present a spectacular evening of world class professional boxing as ESPN’s FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS hits Chicago’s UIC Pavilion on Friday, April 24th with advanced tickets on sale now.

Tickets, starting at $31, can be purchased through Ticketmaster (Online:, Phone: 312-559-1212) and through the 8 Count Productions office at 312-226-5800. Doors on the evening of the event will open at 7:30pm with the first bell at 8:30pm. The UIC Pavilion is located at 525 N. Racine, at the corner of Harrison and Racine in the downtown West Loop area of Chicago.

Headlining the outstanding ESPN FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS live broadcast beginning at 10 pm ET / 7 pm PT on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and is a terrific junior featherweight matchup between El Paso’s Antonio Escalante and Gary “Kid” Stark Jr. from Staten Island, NY.

“We’re looking forward to returning to Chicago with ESPN’s Friday Night Fights,” said Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar de la Hoya. “The great Chicago fight fans always seem to bring out the best in fighters and will them to fight their hardest.”

The 23 year old Escalante, 19-2 (12 KO’s), is a popular favorite amongst Chicago fight fans and will be making his fourth appearance in the Windy City. In his first appearance, he battled local native Jose Andres Hernandez in a ten round war on January 27, 2006 that was named the SOLO BOXEO “Fight of the Year” for it’s dramatic and powerful swings in each fighters’ favor.

Born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Escalante was able to win a unanimous decision, dropping Hernandez in the eighth and ninth rounds after being knocked down earlier in the fight. The win in front of a sold out Cicero Stadium cemented Escalante as a “must see” attraction in Chicago.

Escalante has won five fights in a row, most recently scoring a crushing third round knockout of Mike Oliver on October 24th at the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa in Cabazon, California. He is currently world ranked #5 by the World Boxing Association.

Stark, a favorite amongst fight fans in the New York City area, has compiled a record of 22-2 (8 KO’s) over his seven year career. He is on a four bout winning streak, highlighted by a brilliant display of courage and valor when he won a rematch over Andres Ledesma on March 5, 2008 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York in revenge of a 2007 loss. Fighting with a right eye that had been swollen shut in the middle rounds, Stark, cheered on by a thundering Manhattan crowd, rallied to a unanimous decision win over Ledesma.

Said Dominic Pesoli, “These are two outstanding warriors and the spirit they’ve showed in the ring truly outlines what should be an outstanding fight on April 24th.”

In the co-main event, sensational super middleweight prospect Daniel Jacobs, 14-0 (13 KO’s) will see action in an eight round bout. The former Two-Time National Golden Gloves Champion and U.S. Amateur Champion has thrilled fight fans across the country with his fast, powerful hands since turning pro in December 2007. An indicator of his concussive power, nine of Jacobs’ knockouts have come in the first round.

Making his Chicago debut is 2008 U.S. Olympian Deontay “THE BRONZE BOMBER” Wilder, the only United States Boxing Medalist from the 2008 Beijing Games, who will see action in a four round bout. The Tuscaloosa, Alabama heavyweight has won his first three fights in dramatic knockout fashion and is thought by many to be THE American heavyweight of the future. The 23 year old Wilder, 3-0 (3 KO’s), is trained by 1984 U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist and former World Welterweight Champion Mark Breland.

Also featured in his first eight round bout is Chicago favorite, Ivan Popoca. The junior welterweight, 9-0-1 (7 KO’s), has thrilled the Windy City fight fans with his heavy hands and aggressive style. In his last bout, he won an early career defining battle over Daniel Garcia by unanimous decision in a six round bout.

Also on the card will be newcomer, 2008 Chicago Golden Gloves champion Noe Perez, who will see action in a four round junior lightweight bout. The younger brother of “blood and guts” warrior, Luciano Perez, Noe won his first bout on December 12th, stopping Elijah Linder in the second round at Cicero Stadium.

Opponents for Jacobs and Wilder, as well as a full undercard, will be announced shortly.

Further details for the UIC Pavilion, including directions, can be obtained through their website at

About Golden Boy Promotions

Los Angeles-based Golden Boy Promotions was established in 2002 by Oscar de la Hoya, the first Hispanic to own a national boxing promotional company. In 2007, in its fifth year of promoting, Golden Boy Promotions set a record by selling over 2.5 million in pay-per-view homes in a single night. Also in 2007, Golden Boy Promotions established the record for highest grossing pay-per-view homes in a single year with more than 4 million total. Golden Boy Promotions is one of boxing’s most active and respected promoters, presenting shows in packed venues around the United States on networks such as HBO, HBO Plus, SHOWTIME, VERSUS and ESPN.

About 8 Count Productions

8 Count Productions, HOME OF THE BEST IN CHICAGO BOXING, was started by Dominic Pesoli in 1998 and has consistently presented the highest quality professional boxing events in Chicagoland. In 2003, Pesoli along with former featherweight contender Mike Garcia, opened JABB Boxing Gym, a 6,000 square foot venue dedicated to the finest Chicagoland boxers of all talent levels.

For more information on 8 Count Productions and JABB Boxing Gym, please visit and .

Article posted on 03.04.2009

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