Having eclipsed the four-million views mark to close out the 2018 calendar year, FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Powered by Everlast opens the first quarter of 2019 with an outstanding six-card lineup featuring six different promotions and spanning five cities, beginning on Friday, Feb. 8 in South Philadelphia.
The free and interactive Facebook series rings its opening bell next Friday at 2300 Arena in South Philly by showcasing an exceptional, standing-room-only card put together by Raging Babe. Partnering with forward-thinking promoter Michelle Rosado on next week’s “Philly Special” featuring several undefeated prospects – including bantamweight Christian Carto (17-0, 11 KOs) and heavyweight Darmani Rock (13-0, 8 KOs) – FIGHTNIGHT LIVE is sure to get its 2019 schedule off to a hot start.
“We’re excited to partner with FIGHTNIGHT LIVE for our debut Philly event,” said Rosado. “The fights on the card and the fighters themselves have captured the attention of fight fans all over, even outside of the Philadelphia area, so we’re thrilled to give people the opportunity to see the fights live.”
Carto meets veteran southpaw Victor Ruiz (22-10, 15 KOs) in the main event, as the 22-year-old prospect looks to continue to make his case as a contender.Rock will fight in the card’s co-feature, while undefeated Marcel Rivers (6-0, 4 KOs) of North Philadelphia meets Derrick Whitley (4-0-1) of Springfield, Mass. in a special welterweight attraction. Amateur heavyweight standout Sonny Conto of South Philadelphia – a recent signee of monolithic promotion Top Rank – will also be featured in his pro debut as part of a seven-bout card.
“We couldn’t be happier to begin our New Year at 2300 Arena with the outstanding lineup that Raging Babe has assembled for the Feb. 8 ‘Philly Special,'” said Mark Fratto, Principal and Director of Business Development, Linacre Media. “We’ve been able to showcase nearly 500 up-and-comers on our platform, and Christian Carto is special prospect who we’re really pleased to feature on Facebook. Darmani Rock always brings the thunder, and watch out for the pro debut of Top Rank signee Sonny Conto as well.”
Now in its second season, FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Powered by Everlast is the fan-friendly Facebook platform that – among other aspects – prides itself on the real-time conversations held between fight commentators and the viewing audience. FIGHTNIGHT LIVE has showcased more than 450 fighters and 15 promotions during 26 live event broadcasts from 18 different cities since May 2017, and in doing so, the interactive platform has generated the loyal interest of fight fans from across the United States and around the globe, including significant audiences in Mexico, the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, and even fans in South America, Asia and Australia.
Since May 2017, the numbers on the 26-show FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series showed promise and potential for the new platform with an average of 166,508 views per event and more than 4.3 million total views for the franchise. Since Sept. 2018,Season II shows have averaged almost 323,000 views.
The Sept. 2018 “Kings Boxing Tuesday Night Fights” (594,447) from the Sands in Bethlehem, the Dec. 2018 “Queens and Kings of Queens Card” (379,758) in New York, the Nov. 2018 “Hard Hitting Showtime Collaboration” (372,662), the Dec. 2018 “Roy Jones Jr. Texas Throwdown” (318,886), the Oct. 2018 “Hard Hitting Philly Special” (297,545), the Oct. 2018 hour-long Bareknuckle “Freeview” (292,253), the Nov. 2018 “Titans In The Capital” (256,871), the Sept. 2017 “Real Deal Promotions: Empire State” from Resorts World Casino (225,000), and the August 2017 CES “Super Saturday” from Foxwoods (203,000) all logged 200,000 or more views, and collectively the 26-show series has seen a total of more than 4,329,206 views across all devices.
In addition to the raw viewership numbers, the fully-interactive, fan-friendly productions have seen more than 377,000 collective live post engagements (more than 14,500 per show), including more than 293,000 “likes” or “loves,” more than 46,000 comments and almost 16,000 shares.
The Sept. 2018 “Kings Boxing Tuesday Night Fights” from the Sands in Bethlehem set a new bar with 594,447 views and the Sept. 2017 DiBella-CES doubleheader carried the series to three-quarters-of-a-million views in just over four months. The Sept. 2017 DiBella card saw more than 40,000 viewer interactions including almost 39,000 “likes” or “loves” and the March 17, 2018, Murphy’s “St. Patrick’s Day Clash” set a new high-water mark for shares with 2,182.
The FIGHTNIGHT LIVE page on Facebook has more than 86,000 fans and more than 92,000 followers.
Created and produced by Linacre Media out of New York City, the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series features professional announcers, multiple camera angles, television graphics, replays and behind-the-scenes access and interviews. The streamed shows are available globally wherever Facebook is available. The initiative not only enables fans from around the world to tune in, but also gives up-and-coming fighters a global platform to showcase their abilities, gives promoters an accessible “broadcast” solution and gives sponsors the ability to reach a mass audience via branded content.
FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Winter and Spring 2019 dates will be officially announced in the coming weeks.
Undefeated bantamweight prospect Christian Carto, of South Philadelphia, faces veteran southpaw Victor Ruiz, of San Diego, CA in the eight-round main event Friday evening, Feb. 8, at the 2300 Arena.
The Carto-Ruiz fight tops an eight-fight card, dubbed the “Philly Special” by promoter Michelle Rosado, of Raging Babe, in her first solo promotion in Philadelphia.
Carto, 22, has won all 17 of his pro fights, 11 by knockout. A pro since mid-2016, Carto has developed into one of the most popular fighters in the Philadelphia/Atlantic City area. In his last fight Nov. 9, Carto earned a six-round decision over Antonio Rodriguez, of Durango, Mexico.
Ruiz, 27, comes into the fight the more experienced of the two. He turned pro in 2011 and has boxed some of the best “little men” in the world. In 2015, in Corpus Christi, TX, he got off the canvas in the second round and went on to win an eight-round split decision over former IBF world super flyweight champion Daiki Kameda, of Tokyo, Japan.
Ruiz also boxed former WBC world-title challenger and current NABF bantamweight champion Oscar Negrete, of Rosemead, CA, losing their 2017 fight in Las Vegas, NV, via an eight-round decision. Overall, Ruiz is 22-10, 15 KOs.
“I’m eager to test my skills against (Victor) Ruiz,” said Carto. “We’ve watched tape and he’s got plenty of experience. Ruiz has fought some great fighters: McWilliams Arroyo, Oscar Negrete and current WBO Bantamweight Champion Zolani Tete. As for 2019, I’m ready to start the year strong and I’m happy to be back in South Philly at the 2300 Arena. Training camp is going great. Billy (trainer Briscoe) and I will leave no stone unturned and we’ll be ready for Ruiz.”
Promoter Michelle Rosado: “This is no walk-in-the-park fight for Christian. If he wants to crack the world ratings, this is the kind of guy he needs to fight and this is the kind of guy he needs to beat. Ruiz has been in with some of the best at flyweight, super fly and bantamweight.”
Heavyweight Darmani Rock will fight in the card’s co-feature, with welterweight Marcel Rivers, of North Philadelphia, heavyweight Sonny Conto, of South Philadelphia, bantamweight Alejandro Jimenez, of New Hope, PA, lightweight Gerardo Martinez of Coatesville, PA, bantamweight Jonathan Torres, of Bethlehem, PA, and bantamweight Jeremy Adorno of Allentown, PA rounding out the card.
ABOUT FEB. 8:
The Feb. 8 card consists of eight fights. Doors open at 6:30 pm and first bout is at 7:30 pm. This event is all ages.
Tickets are priced $50, $75 and $125. They can be purchased online at www.2300arena.com or by calling 215-765-0922