Dominican welterweight boxer Jonathan Batista is a brave man.
Not only will he face his toughest opponent to date, former world champion Kermit “El Asesino” Cintron, in this week’s ESPN Friday Night Fights-televised 10-round welterweight co-main event, but he will be also be fighting in the USA for the second time, after having been outright robbed of a victory in his first trip Stateside.
Last April at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City and live on Friday Night Fights, Batista made his American debut as a fighter by taking on Ghana’s Emmanuel Lartei Lartey and solidly out-boxing his tough foe, only to lose a bizarre unanimous, near shutout, six-round decision. The loss was, at first, a devastating blow to his career… until Batista was later able to watch the broadcast and hear ESPN boxing expert Teddy Atlas’s commentary on the fight.
“After hearing Teddy Atlas’s translation of the commentary, it gave me more confidence in my boxing career. I was robbed and Teddy made that clear for everyone. I was extremely disappointed, but then hearing Teddy, who is very knowledgeable, say that I won the fight, it gave me my confidence back. He is a hero in the Dominican for his honesty. After hearing him, I felt a lot better and that’s why I’m in this tough fight and feeling as though I am still undefeated.”
Batista (14-1, 7 KOs) and Cintron (33-5-2, 28 KOs) will collide this Friday night (August 2) at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma, in the chief support bout to the explosive 10-round featherweight main event between former interim WBA Featherweight Champion Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (22-0, 16 KOs) and former Cuban Olympian Luis “La Estrella” Franco (11-1, 7 KOs).
The night of world-class boxing is being presented by Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing and Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing (in association with Tony Holden Productions and the Buffalo Run Casino) and will air live at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, broadband Spanish-language ESPN Deportes+ and WatchESPN.
Tickets are priced at: Reserved: $25.00, Premium: $40.00 and Platinum: $60.00 and are available here or by calling The Buffalo Run Box Office (918) 542-7140. On fight night, doors open at 7 pm.
“I believe he’ll be my stepping stone to becoming better-known to the American public,” said Batista of a victory over Cintron. “I still believe he’s dangerous; he was a great fighter, but now is my time and he will get knocked out.”
Batista says he’s had an “amazing” training camp and is ready to begin making a name for himself. And as far as the travesty in Atlantic City… he’s over it, thanks to Teddy Atlas.
“I believe that justice has been done with me and that fight and I have full confidence in the judges in Oklahoma. I’m ready to fight 10 rounds, but I will be there going for the knockout.”