By Jonathan King: One of the most magnificent things to witness in the world of Boxing is when a young fighter makes the transition from a talented prospect to a bona fide contender. Perhaps this is why Top Rank’s Solo Boxeo on Unimas shows are so popular among the diehard fans. Anyone can buy a ticket on the champion train at ‘Fair-Weather Station’ but ‘Solo Boxeo’ offers fight fans a chance to invest in both local and international blue-chip prospects before they become household names.
On January 27th, local fight fans have the opportunity to witness this once again in person as Top Rank once again teams up with Bash Boxing to bring ‘Solo Boxeo’ to the San Fernando Valley. The event takes place at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City, California and is headlined by a Junior Lightweight showdown between undefeated Detroit (by way of Mexico) contender Erick De Leon (14-0, 8KO’s) and New Mexico’s Jose Salinas (10-2-1, 5KO’s). De Leon has recently showcased an increased ferocity in 2016, having finished all of his last three opponents. His opponent Jose Salinas is coming off a huge upset win over the formerly undefeated Dardan Zenunaj in his last fight and will be looking to use that momentum in this nationally televised bout.
Equally intriguing the supporting TV bout features another undefeated top prospect, South El Monte’s own Arnold Barbosa Jr. (14-0, 5KO’s) as he returns to action against Denver native Johnny Rodriguez (8-1-1, 5KO’s). Barbosa is coming off of a one-sided unanimous decision victory that saw him paint a pugilistic masterpiece from bell to bell. That fight was just over a month ago after a brief layoff by Barbosa to heal from a hand fracture. The short notice turn around for Barbosa could be a very dangerous decision against a bulldog like Rodriguez. With five of his eight wins coming by way of KO, Rodriguez has knack for turning the lights out. This could be the classic boxer vs brawler matchup we all love.
The undercard is also filled with exciting prospects from both near and far, and will also showcase a 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist. Robson Conceicao (1-0, 0 KO’s), the first ever Brazilian Olympic Gold medalist in the sport of Boxing is set to face off with Kansas native Aaron Ely (3-1, 0 KO’s). Victorious over Clay Burns in his debut, Conceicao is looking to build off that fight and is not only looking for a win, but an impressive one! His opponent Aaron Ely is currently riding a two fight win streak, and a victory over an Olympic gold medalist could help define a career.
Undefeated Russian knockout specialist Alexander Besputin (5-0, 5 KO’s) is scheduled to face Brazilian slugger Gilberto Pereira dos Santos (12-4, 9KO’s) in a super welterweight fight that is guaranteed to put you on the edge of your seat. Power will meet power in this fight that is almost guaranteed to produce a finish.
Another knockout specialist Maxim Dadashev (5-0, 4KO’s) will square with Allentown Pennsylvania’s favorite son Jerome Rodriguez (7-4-3, 2KO’s) in a super lightweight battle. Dadashev will be fighting for the 3rd time in the Sportsmen’s Lodge, a place that has been quite kind to the young Russian pugilist.
Local fan favorite Brian Flores (5-0, 1 KO) is also set to appear when he takes on Even Torres (5-2, 5KO’s) in a super welterweight showdown that should land on TV as a swing bout and produce some serious fire works.
The card is filled with several intriguing young prospects that are looking to make the transition to contenders. And the top notch matchmakers at Top Rank and Bash Boxing have once again done their best to treat the fans to great 2-way action. The bright lights and big city locale of Sportsmen’s Lodge will set the backdrop but who is going to separate themselves from the pack? This is why “Solo Boxeo” is crucial to the sport. It offers a unique opportunity for these young fighters to gain a national following early in their careers.
Tickets starting at $50 can be purchased online at www.valleyfightnight.com or
by calling (626) 388-8888.
Doors Open at 6:00pm; First Bout at 6:15pm. All bouts are subject to change.