Ossie “The Ghanaian Gladiator” Duran (28-11-2, 11 KOs) will step in to face hometown hero Caleb “Golden” Truax (23-1, 4 KOs) of Minnesota, as the ESPN Friday Night Fights-televised 10-round co-featured bout on Friday, January 3, 2014, at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Presented by Iron Mike Productions, Seconds Out Promotions and Warriors Boxing, Truax vs. Duran will serve as the main supporting bout to the year’s first installment of the 17th season of ESPN Friday Night Fights, featuring a 12-round main event for the IBF Super Featherweight Championship fight between champion Argenis Mendez (21-2-1, 11 KOs) of Brooklyn, New York via San Juan, Dominican Republic vs. #1-ranked undefeated challenger Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (19-0, 12 KOs) from Miami, via Cuba.
Tickets for Friday Night Fights are priced at $35, $65, $100, $150 and $250. They are available at Target Center’s Box Office, online at AXS.com or by calling 888.9.AXS.TIX (888.929.7849).
With original opponent Derek Ennis forced to withdraw, Duran says he’s more than ready to step in and halt the momentum of the streaking Truax.
In a distinguished career spanning 17 years, 36-year-old Duran, born in Accra, Ghana, and now residing in Paterson, New Jersey, won the Ghanaian lightweight title, World Boxing Federation(WBF) Pan-European welterweight title, World Boxing Federation (WBF) European Welterweight Title, United States Boxing Association (USBA) Atlantic Coast Region middleweight title, Commonwealth welterweight title, and Commonwealth light middleweight title.
He also drew with Eromosele Albert for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) Continental Africa light middleweight title, and was a challenger for the Commonwealth lightweight title against David Tetteh, World Boxing Organization (WBO) North American Boxing Organization(NABO) middleweight title against Fernando Guerrero, and World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver middleweight title against Avtandil Khurtsidze.
Duran and Truax share a common opponent. Both have beaten Minnesota fan
favorite Matt Vanda by decision.
“Ossie Duran is always ready for war,” said Leon Margules. “Caleb Truax had better take this challenge seriously because Duran has made a career out of surprising fighters who were favored to beat him. I am looking forward to watching how this interesting battle will unfold. It will surely be a great test of what Caleb is truly made of.”
On fight night, doors open at 6 pm, first bell is at 7 pm. ESPN Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra will begin at 9 p.m. ET live on ESPN2, WatchESPN and broadband Spanish-language ESPN Deportes+.
ESPN Deportes – which will re-brand its coverage as Noche de Combates (formerly Viernes de Combates) with some telecasts on Saturdays – will air the bouts on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 9 p.m.
Blow-by-blow commentator Joe Tessitore and ringside analyst Teddy Atlas will return to describe the action for ESPN2. Both are recipients of the prestigious Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism presented by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA): Atlas (2001), Tessitore (2010). Studio host Todd Grisham (@GrishamESPN), who will fill-in ringside for Tessitore during the season opener,will return for his second season providing all the latest boxing news and highlights. Bilingual reporter Bernardo Osuna (@osunaespn), who last year became the series’ first-ever on-site reporter, will contribute to Friday Night Fights in English, and Noche de Combates (Fight Night) in Spanish.
ESPN Deportes Commentators/Studio:
Delvin Rodríguez will call the fights with Pablo Viruega for Noche de Combates
on both ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes+, while Leopoldo González and Claudia Trejos will anchor the studio. Hall of Fame referee Joe Cortez will join Trejos and González in studio throughout the season, with Osuna providing reports and interviews.
About Iron Mike Productions (IMP)
Previously known as Acquinity Sports, Iron Mike Productions is a full-service boxing promotion company co-founded and led by CEO Garry Jonas. In partnership with Hall of Famer Mike Tyson, IMP is committed to changing traditional boxing promotion by advocating for its fighters’ successes, inside the ring and out, throughout their professional careers and into retirement.