Former pound-for-pound king and future Hall of Famer Roy Jones, Jr. will be the special VIP guest for the April 12 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. The main event will feature two-time Fight of the Year winner and former WBC Super Featherweight World Champion Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas (24-1-2, 17 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight against “Lightning” Rod Salka (24-4, 4 KOs).
Doors to the Special Events Center will open at 4:00 p.m. PT and the first fight begins at 4:45 pm PT. ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will air the fights beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT, and stream live on ESPN3 starting at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT.
After a stellar trajectory as an amateur, Roy Jones, Jr. begin his legendary career in 1989, defeating one opponent after another with the kind of blinding speed and devastating power that made him invincible in his prime. The native of Pensacola, Florida defeated the likes of Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins and James “Lights Out” Toney, and captured world titles in the middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. These accomplishments have made many consider Jones, Jr. to be very best fighter of the 1990s, especially as he only lost one fight during that entire decade via a controversial disqualification loss against Montell “Ice” Griffin that was quickly vindicated in their rematch. Jones, Jr. will be in attendance for this event to meet fans, sign autographs and take pictures inside the Fantasy Springs Special Events Center before the ESPN transmission begins. The meet-and-greet is open to the public with the purchase of a ticket to the event.
In the co-main event, Aidar Sharibayev (7-0, 6 KOs) of Miami, Florida will take on Andrew Cancio (17-4-2, 13 KOs) of Blythe, Calif. in a 10-round fight for the WBA Intercontinental Super Featherweight Title. Sharibayev is a native of Almaty, Kazakhstan who is quickly moving up the 130-pound rankings and is already battling in 10-round fights in just his eighth fight.
Hometown favorite Rommel Caballero, the younger brother of former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Randy “El Matador” Caballero, will make his professional debut against Eric Rodriguez (1-2) of Los Angeles, Calif. in a four-round 130-pound fight. Javier Padilla (5-0-1, 5 KOs) of Indio, Calif. will face Ricardo Arias (1-2-1) of Mexico City, Mexico in a four-round fight in the 122-pound division.
Irish prospect Aaron “Silencer” McKenna (2-0, 1 KO) will make a quick return as he battles in a scheduled four-round welterweight fight, while Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (7-0, 5 KOs) will return in an eight-round clash in the lightweight division. Opponents for both will be announced shortly.
Jonathan Navarro (13-0, 7 KOs) of East Los Angeles, Calif. will face Japanese pugilist Shoki Sakai (22-7-2, 12 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight battle that will open the night of action.
Vargas vs. Salka is a 10-round super featherweight fight presented by Golden
Boy Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle.” Doors to the Special Events Center will open at 4:00 p.m. PT and the first fight begins at 4:45 pm PT. ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will air the fights beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT, and stream live on ESPN3 starting at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the event start at $25 and are available at the Fantasy Springs
Resort Casino box office, by calling 1-800-827-2946, or by purchasing online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com.