Next Friday night, DiBella Entertainment (DBE) heads to Fallon, NV, for that week’s edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights. Headlining the card will be top-rated junior middleweight world-title contender Willie Nelson (22-1-1, 13KO’s) squaring off against hard-hitting Mexican Luis Grajeda (17-2-2, 13KO’s).
The co-feature pits DBE/Jean Pascal Promotions’ newly signed Hungarian teenage phenom Norbert Nemesapati (14-0, 13KO’s) making his US debut when he takes on fellow knockout artist Jason Escalera (14-2-1, 12KO’s) in an intriguing eight-round super middleweight co-feature.
Nemesapati was originally scheduled to face fellow undefeated super middleweight Lennox Allen, but Allen suffered an injury to his ribs in training, forcing him to pull out of the contest. While the injury and subsequent change of opponent was unfortunate, the confident 18-year-old took the change-up in stride.
“This is part of boxing, things like that happen all the time. I am focused on winning and doing so in impressive fashion. When I first found out that I would be fighting on ESPN, I really picked up the intensity in my training. I am totally 100% focused on the task at hand. Allen or Escalera, it didn’t matter to me, the outcome was going to be the same, with me coming out victorious,” said Nemesapati.
If anything, Nemesapati is somewhat excited about the change in opponent as he feels that his style mixed with Escalera’s will produce fireworks in the ring.
“Escalera is a come-forward brawler and I love that. I won’t have to look for him, he will meet me right in the center of the ring and we are going to fight toe-to-toe. I love these types of fights. This is going to be a very exciting fight from the moment the bell rings and the fans are going to love it.”
After winning a four-round unanimous decision in his pro debut, Nemesapati has stopped 13 consecutive opponents and when asked if he thinks Escalera will be number 14, like his boxing style, Nemesapati was straight forward with his answer stating, “Yes, that is the plan.”
The WBC Youth super middleweight champion Nemesapati got his start in boxing and kickboxing when he was 10 years old, after watching the greatest boxer ever to come out of his country, former two-division world champion Zsolt Erdei, who was also a member of the DBE roster. After a short-but-successful amateur boxing and kickboxing career, Nemesapati made his jump into the pro ranks in May 2012 at just 16 years of age. Nemesapati has quickly made a name for himself in his native Hungary, having fought five times in 2012, seven times in 2013, and already three times this year. He has many people, including Erdei, seeing a world championship in his future, something with which Nemesapati certainly agrees.
“This is a dream come true for me to be making my US debut on ESPN, and I am so thankful to Lou (DiBella) for providing me with this opportunity, but this is only the beginning. There is no doubt that Lou and my team around me will bring me to a world championship within three years. I am the present and the future of the 168lb. division, and everyone will see that come next Friday night.”
ESPN will begin live coverage at 9p.m. ET on ESPN2, broadband Spanish-Language ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN.
Opening up the card will be the highly anticipated pro debut of China’s 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist Zhang Zhilei, in a four-round heavyweight special attraction.
The card is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Let’s Get It On Promotions, in association with Rumble Time Promotions, King Sports, Jean Pascal Promotions, Dynasty Boxing and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.
Tickets are currently on sale and are priced at an extremely affordable $27 ringside and $12 general admission ticket price. Special VIP tables are also available for purchase at $500. The VIP tables accommodate seating for eight guests at ringside and include a complimentary bucket of beer, executive suite restrooms, cocktail service, dedicated full service bar, food station and a Fallon Fights souvenir for each guest. Advance tickets can be purchased by calling (775) 423-4556 or by visiting the Fallon Convention Center or NAS Fallon MWR. You can also purchase tickets by emailing [email protected]