Junior lightweights Tevin Farmer (23-4-1, 5 KOs) and Dardan Zenunaj (12-2, 9 KOs), both promoted by DiBella Entertainment, will face off in the main event of tomorrow’s Peltz Boxing “Philly Fight Night”, held at the 2300 Arena. The Philadelphian southpaw Farmer, an expert boxer-puncher, will be defending his NABF belt for the first time against the come-forward brawler Zenunaj, in a matchup that is guaranteed to be action-packed.
“Tomorrow’s main event between Farmer and Zenunaj is a competitive, high stakes battle,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “I am happy to be working on this show with Russell Peltz, a fellow promoter for whom I have tremendous respect and admiration. A win for Tevin means that a title shot is not far down the road. For Dardan, a win gets his career back on track. This is a strong matchup and given their styles, I expect a very entertaining fight for the fans.”
Following a handful of amateur bouts and a 7-4-1 start as a pro, Tevin Farmer’s career prospects looked dim. However, he rededicated himself after his last defeat in 2012 to Jose Pedraza, now the IBF junior lightweight champion, and has since won 16 bouts in a row, consistently beating the odds, while signing with DiBella Entertainment (DBE) in 2014.
Farmer made his New York debut this year on a DBE Broadway Boxing event in March to win the NABF junior lightweight title and, four months later, secured his biggest victory thus far with a 10-round unanimous decision over 19-1 lightweight contender Ivan Redkach on July 30, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. On October 14, Farmer returned to a Philadelphia ring for the first time in three years, defeating fellow southpaw Orlando Rizo via a dominant eight-round unanimous decision. Currently ranked #3 by the WBC, #7 by the IBF, and #10 by the WBO, Farmer, a great, great nephew of legendary lightweight champion Joe Gans, is on the cusp of a world title opportunity and is eager to end the year with another impressive victory as he works his way toward that goal.
“This fight is very important for my career,” said Farmer. “A win on Friday helps put me in line for a world title shot next year. I don’t know much about Zenunaj, but I am ready for anything he brings. I had a great training camp and really focused on running and testing my endurance. I also spent a week training in Monte Carlo with my coaches Raul Rivas and Rashiem Jefferson, as they prepared my stablemate Jason Sosa for his world title defense. I’m thrilled to be fighting in front of my hometown fans again. It adds more pressure, but it’s a great feeling.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Lou (DiBella) tomorrow and sitting down with him after the fight to discuss my next step, moving closer to a world title shot or an eliminator. I feel I’ve earned it and have proven myself. I’m going to be around for a long time.”
After seven years of Thai boxing, Albanian Dardan Zenunaj, who was born in Kosovo and later moved to Belgium, decided to fully devote himself to boxing. As an amateur, Zenunaj won the 2009 Belgian Championships and was a two-time champion of the Francophone Boxe League. Two years after turning pro in 2011, Zenunaj had already amassed the Belgium featherweight and IBO International junior lightweight titles. Though he lost his second pro bout to Andrei Moldoveanu, Zenunaj avenged that defeat 15 months later with a fifth-round knockout in a rematch. In November 2014, Zenunaj seized the WBA International junior lightweight title with a ninth-round knockout of Karim Chakim. That victory made him an attractive late-replacement opponent to challenge rising prospect Bryant Cruz in a Showtime “ShoBox” co-featured bout in December 2015. Taking full advantage of the opportunity in his US debut, Zenunaj handed Cruz his first defeat via seventh-round stoppage in a war. To move his career forward, Zenunaj relocated to the United States, settling in Los Angeles, signed with DiBella Entertainment and now trains out of the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy. Coming off a closely contested decision defeat to Jose Salinas on September 1, Friday’s bout against Farmer is a must-win for Zenunaj.
“I’m very happy and proud to be fighting a guy like Tevin Farmer,” said Zenunaj. “I’m extremely ready and prepared to do battle with Farmer and put on a performance that the fans will enjoy. My dream is to become the first Albanian world champion in boxing history. This fight brings me one step closer to accomplishing my goal. I would like to thank my promoter Lou DiBella for giving me this great opportunity.”