Mashantucket, CT: Sullivan Barrera (12-0, 7 KOs) the undefeated light heavyweight from Cuba has set his sights on West Virginia native Eric “The 1 Armed Bandit” Watkins (10-7-1, 5 KOs) for an eight-round battle on the Mchunu-Wilson undercard Sept. 20 at Foxwoods Resort Casino. This will be Sullivan’s first fight training with world-renowned trainer Abel Sanchez. Sanchez is best known for training WBA Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin from Kazakhstan.
Barrera, 32, made his professional debut in 2009 and knocked out his first five opponents in the first or second round. Since then he has had continued success securing both the WBO Latino and WBA Fedelatin Light Heavyweight Titles. Most recently, he knocked out Lee Campbell in the sixth round at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Jun. 21, 2014. This will be his third fight in 2014 (in addition to the knockout of Campbell he defeated Larry Pryor via unanimous decision on Apr. 4, 2014 at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, PA). This will be the first eight-round fight of his professional career and his first in Connecticut (the majority of his professional fights have taken place in his new home state of Florida). Barrera said, “I’m looking forward to Sep. 20. I’ve been in Big Bear training really hard and I’m ready to give the fans another great show. Training with my new trainer, Abel Sanchez, in Big Bear has been a great move for my career. I feel strong, I’m in excellent shape and everyday I continue to sharpen my skills. I’m excited for what’s to come in my career working with Abel.” Sullivan’s co-manager, Luis Molina, added, “We are excited to be back in action again and we are looking forward to another ‘W.’ Sullivan is in great shape. With his new trainer, Abel Sanchez, he has been able to master some things.”
Sullivan now trains at Sanchez’s facility in Big Bear, CA alongside GGG and other top notch fighters. According to Sanchez he and Barrera took some time to adjust to one another but now he has been able to incorporate changes to Sullivan’s routine, “It has taken us awhile to blend together but he is very open-minded and a very diligent worker so we are having fun trying new things out. We are getting him in a different kind of shape because Big Bear tends to do that. Sullivan training around Golovkin and some of the other champions that we have here has been very beneficial because it has helped him understand what it takes to get to that level. We are looking forward to him trying some of these new things out on Sep. 20.”
Watkins, 28, may be four years younger than Barrera but he has 18 professional fights, as compared to Barrera’s 12 professional fights, since making his professional debut in 2010 (Aug. 28, 2010 – four-round unanimous decision victory over Roy Fitzgerald in West Virginia). Eric won his first four professional fights (Fitzgerald; Feb. 4, 2011 – David Markert four-round unanimous decision; Mar. 26, 2011 – Gonzales Jones third-round TKO; and Apr. 30, 2011 – Terrence Watson first-round KO). Watkins is looking to stop and three-fight losing streak (Oct. 12, 2013 – Trevor McCumby via unanimous decision; Jan. 25, 2014 – Dustin Craig Echard via third round TKO; and Mar. 29, 2014 – Bobby Thomas Jr. via ten-round split decision).
About September 20:
The Sep. 20th special afternoon edition of NBC Fight Night will take place at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT and will feature a ten-round cruiserweight match-up between Thabiso “The Rock” Mchunu and Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson for the NABF Cruiserweight Title and a ten-round lightweight match-up between Karl “Dynamite” Dargan and Angino “The Nightmare” Perez for the Junior NABF Lightweight Title. The undercard bouts will be announced shortly. Tickets are $100, $75 and $40 and are available through Foxwoods.com and Ticketmaster.com. The card is presented by Main Events, Peltz Boxing and Showpony Promotions in association with Banner Promotions. The special NBC Fight Night broadcast will begin live at 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT.
NBC Sports Live Extra:
NBC Sports Live Extra: NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will live stream Fight Night at 3 PM ET/12 PM PT on September 20. For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.
About Foxwoods® Resort Casino
Foxwoods Resort Casino is one of the premier entertainment destinations in the Northeast. As the largest resort casino in North America, Foxwoods offers a vast array of gaming in six casinos; AAA Four-Diamond hotels, restaurants from gourmet to express, world-renowned spas, awarding-winning golf, state-of-the-art theaters, and exclusive retailers. Perfect for both recreation and business, Foxwoods provides modern and versatile convention and meeting space to infuse new life into any meeting or event. Foxwoods Resort Casino is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. For a comprehensive look at Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation visit Foxwoods.com.