Exciting light heavyweights Edwin Rodriguez (26-1, 17 KOs) and Craig Baker (16-0, 12 KOs) enter the ring on Saturday, May 23 in Boston as part of a special Memorial Day weekend edition of Premier Boxing Champions on NBC.
The live PBC on NBC event starts at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT and goes until 6:00 pm. ET/3:00 p.m. PT when the action switches over to NBCSN from 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT until 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT.
Further undercard action pits a pair of dangerous junior lightweights as Javier Fortuna (27-0-1, 20 KOs) and Bryan Vazquez (34-1, 18 KOs) do battle at Boston University’s Agganis Arena. These undercard bouts will support the super middleweight contest between Andre Dirrell (24-1, 16 KOs) and James DeGale (20-1, 14 KOs).
“I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity to be on this great card,” said Rodriguez. “I will show the world and all the top light heavyweights, especially Kovalev, Stevenson and Fonfara, that I am a force to be reckoned with by taking Craig Baker’s undefeated record in an entertaining fashion.”
“I’m well prepared to seize the opportunity that this fight presents,” said Baker. “A win on May 23 puts me closer to a world title fight and I’ve only dreamed of actually accomplishing something that big. I’ve seen Rodriguez in action before and he’s a good fighter, but I’m working to be in great condition so that I can put on a show for the fight fans in Boston. We’re having a great camp and making major accomplishments, things should be pretty interesting.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Murphys Boxing, are priced at $250, $200, $100, $75, $50 and $35, not including applicable service charges and taxes, and are on sale now. Tickets will be available at www.ticketmaster.com. To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.
An accomplished amateur who won a 2006 National Golden Gloves gold medal and a 2005 U.S. National Championship gold medal, the 29-year-old Rodriguez enters this fight as the winner of his last two bouts. Born in the Dominican Republic but fighting out of nearby Worcester, Mass., Rodriguez’s lone loss came to undefeated star Andre Ward in 2013 and he owns victories over previously undefeated fighters Will Rosinsky, Jason Escalera and Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna.
An undefeated fighter who turned pro in 2008, Baker enters this fight having stopped his last four opponents inside the distance. The 31-year-old took home victories over Anthony Greeley and Sergio Cordoba in 2014 and kicked off 2015 by knocking out Umberto Savigne. Fighting out of his hometown of Baytown, Texas, Baker will look for a big victory as he takes a step up in competition.
Undefeated and owner of a 4-0 record in 2014, the 25-year-old Fortuna is a prospect on the rise looking to make an impression on May 23. After a split draw decision against Luis Franco in 2013, he has bounced back to win five straight fights. Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Fortuna owns victories over Abner Cotto, Miguel Roman and Patrick Hyland.
A former world title challenger whose only loss came to Takashi Uchiyama in 2012, Vazquez comes into this fight on an impressive five fight-winning streak. The 27-year-old began his career with 29 wins and has recently added victories over Sergio Thompson, Jose Feliz Jr. and Rene Gonzalez. Fighting out of Costa Rica, Vazquez has a big chance for a signature victory on May 23.