Top 10 contenders ÓSCAR VALDEZ, JESSE “Hard Work” HART and CHRIS “The Hitman” AVALOS and AARON PRYOR JR. headline the fall season debut of “The MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout on truTV,” kicking off the Mexican Independence Day weekend on Friday, September 11, at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
The fight will be televised live on truTV, beginning at 10:00 p.m. EDT. The telecast will open with Hart defending his North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and United States Boxing Association (USBA) super middleweight championship titles against contender Pryor, followed by the featherweight battle between Valdez and Avalos. Both bouts are scheduled for 10 rounds. The live boxing series is presented by truTV and Top Rank®, and produced in association with HBO Sports®. Find truTV on your TV: http://trutvishere.com/
These young warriors boast a combined record of 79-11-1 (59 KOs) – an 87 percent winning ratio with 3/4 of their victories coming by way of knockout.
Promoted by Top Rank®, tickets to the Valdez-Avalos / Hart-Pryor event go on sale Today! Monday, August 17 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. Priced at $100, $85, $65, $45 and $20, tickets will be available for purchase at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 and www.ticketmaster.com. Room and ticket packages are also available.
“I am very happy to be fighting on September 11 in Las Vegas,” said Valdez. “I have a difficult opponent that night but the plan is to win and get myself closer to that world title shot I desire.”
“I am excited for the fight. It’s an interesting matchup because not a lot of prospects get matched up with tough opponents these days,” said Avalos. “I am looking forward to not only winning the fight but moving on to another world title shot. The best part about facing undefeated fighters is erasing the zero from their loss column. Valdez is next on my hit parade.”
“This is the battle of fighters’ sons. We will see who is the better fighters’ son inside the ring,” said Hart. “I am predicting it won’t go past four rounds. Pryor is an OK fighter but he is old news, and I believe I am the future of boxing, so he has to go!”
“I am looking forward to fighting Jesse Hart on September 11,” said Pryor. “Hart is a tough opponent, and it’s a great opportunity for me. See you at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, live on truTV.”
“As Mexico’s only fighter to compete in two Olympics, who else but Óscar Valdez will be his country’s star-featured fighter in Las Vegas’ Mexican Independence Day weekend? This historic weekend was originally anchored by Julio César Chávez, and the mantle is being passed to Valdez at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas which will be filled with Mexico’s most avid fight fans,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank. “Valdez will be joined by Jesse Hart. Valdez and Hart have more in common than identical undefeated records. They have carried the promise of stellar amateur careers into the pro ranks becoming fan favorites. They have leapt from exciting prospects into sensational bona fide Top 10 world-rated contenders. When you win 14 of 17 bouts by knockout like they each have, any opponent who faces them in the ring knows he will be in harm’s way.”
Valdez (17-0, 14 KOs), who represented Mexico in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, was the first Mexican fighter to qualify for two Olympic games and is considered one of the bright lights of the featherweight division and a top prospect in boxing. On the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao – Timothy Bradley welterweight world championship rematch last year, Valdez captured the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super featherweight junior title, knocking out Adrian Perez in the fourth round. Valdez successfully defended that title twice in 2014, knocking out Noel Echevarria and Alberto Gonzalez in the sixth and seventh rounds, respectively. From Nogales, Sonora, Mexico Valdez, at age 24, returns to the ring looking for his third victory of 2015. On April 11, he fashioned a third-round blasting of Jose Ramirez in Laredo, Texas. In his last bout, on June 27, he made his live HBO debut, winning a dominant 10-round unanimous decision over one-time world title challenger Ruben Tamayo in Carson, Calif. He is currently world-rated No. 2 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO).
Avalos (26-3, 19 KOs), from Lancaster, Calif., challenged for his first world title on February 28, and lost to defending International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior featherweight champ Carl Frampton via a fifth-round TKO in Belfast. Known for his aggressive, all-action fighting style, Avalos is a fan favorite because he always puts on exciting fights. Highlights from his impressive resume include winning the vacant WBO Inter-Continental junior featherweight via a 10-round unanimous decision over undefeated Khabir Suleymanov, an NABO junior featherweight title victory over former world champion Drian Francisco and becoming the IBF’s mandatory junior featherweight contender last year when he knocked out Yasutaka Ishimoto in the eighth round which set up his title shot against Frampton. He returned to the winner’s circle on August 1, winning a unanimous decision over Rey Perez in Frisco, Texas. Avalos is currently world-rated No. 9 by IBF.
Hart (17-0, 14 KOs), the son of Philadelphia boxing legend Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, has transformed from a sensational prospect into a hot contender. He will be defending the NABO and USBA super middleweight titles he won in his last fight, a sixth-round TKO of undefeated Mike Jimenez on the pay-per-view undercard of the Floyd Mayweather – Manny Pacquiao world welterweight championship in Las Vegas. Trained by his father, the highly-rated middleweight contender of the late ’60s and early ’70s, the younger Hart, at age 26, enters this fight riding a four-bout victory by knockout streak. He is currently world-rated No. 6 by the WBO.
Pryor (19-8-1, 12 KOs), from Cincinnati, is the son of former world junior welterweight champion and Hall of Famer Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, who manages and trains the younger Pryor. He enters this fight with a 3-1-1 record in his last four fights, which includes a United States National Boxing Council (USNBC) super middleweight title victory over Kurtiss Colvin.