Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will feature a pair of once-beaten welterweights battling it out as Jamal James (20-1, 9 KOs) meets Samuel Figueroa (11-1, 4 KOs) in a 10-round matchup.
Cruz and Martin first clashed on a PBC card this January, with both men looking to bolster their perfect records at the time. It was a matchup featuring two distinct styles as the lankier orthodox Cruz favored using power punches throughout the fight while the southpaw Martin tried to box and ride his speed and jab to victory. The young welterweights delivered consistent exciting exchanges before the decision went to the judges, who delivered a split decision with one judging scoring the fight for Martin and two favoring the work of Cruz.
“I won the first fight between us and I’m here to prove that,” said Cruz. “I will be victorious again and this time everyone will be able to do it. I’m going to get the win in even more convincing fashion. I’m looking forward to this fight and I’m not planning on letting it go the distance.”
“This fight will not go the distance,” said Martin. “It will end early. He is not as good as his record says. Everyone who has seen the first fight knows it was a bad decision. I think even he knows he lost. I will make a more emphatic statement this fight. I will do in this fight what I should have done last night.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by King’s Promotions, are priced at $50, $75 and $100, not including applicable service charges and taxes and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com. To charge by phone call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.
Born in Aguada, Puerto Rico and now residing in Lake Mary, Florida, the 26-year-old Cruz was a member of the Puerto Rico National Team as an amateur. He turned pro in 2012 and picked up five victories in 2015 as he ended fights with Virgil Green, Daniel Rodriguez, Eli Addison, Juan Rodriguez, Travis Hartman and Anthony Abbruzzese inside the distance. Cruz also earned a decision victory over previously unbeaten Samuel Figueroa in their May 2016 showdown before his triumph over Martin in January.
A highly-regarded amateur fighter out of Chicago, Martin was a 2012 Olympic alternate in addition to earning multiple National Golden Gloves titles and boasting a 340-10 record. The 27-year-old turned pro in April 2013 and stopped his first five opponents inside of the distance. Martin picked up two victories in 2016 beating experienced opponents Juan Carlos Abreu and Rosemberg Gomez before facing Cruz to start 2017.
A tall welterweight at 6’2″, James looks to bounce back after a decision loss to Yordenis Ugas last August in which the 28-year-old accepted the fight on less than a week’s notice. Fighting out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, James was unbeaten in his first 20 fights as a pro including impressive victories over Javier Molina and Wale Omotoso to begin his 2016 campaign.
Representing Anasco, Puerto Rico, Figueroa defeated previously once-beaten Ismat Eynullayev in March to get back in the win column after losing a narrow split-decision to the unbeaten Cruz last May. The 26-year-old won his first 10 professional fights including decisions over previously unbeaten fighters Javontae Starks and Fernando Paliza in 2015.