Maxim “Mad Max” Dadashev suffered a torn bicep in training and has been forced to postpone his originally scheduled Sept. 14 NABF super lightweight title defense against Antonio DeMarco. Jamel Herring versus John Vincent Moralde for the vacant USBA junior lightweight title has been elevated to the ESPN-televised co-feature underneath Jose Ramirez’s WBC super lightweight title defense against Antonio Orozco at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.
Dadashev-DeMarco has been moved to the co-feature slot on Oct. 20 when Ryota Murata defends his WBA middleweight world title against Rob Brant at the Park Theater in Las Vegas.
“I just want to say I’m honored to fight on ESPN,” Herring said. “I was already excited to fight on the same card as my Olympic teammate, Jose Ramirez, but to be placed as the co-main event right before he steps in the ring is a big deal. A win here will land me in position for a world title, so I’m not losing any focus at the real task at hand.”
Ramirez-Orozco and Herring-Moralde will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10 p.m. ET.
Murata-Brant and Dadashev-DeMarco will stream live in the United States beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.
In other news, Top Rank is pleased to announce it has signed the following fighters to promotional agreements, all of whom will see action on Top Rank on ESPN cards in 2018.
Jonathan Guzman (22-1, 22 KOs) — Hailing from the Dominican Republic, Guzman is a former IBF junior featherweight world champion, having knocked out Shingo Wake in the 11th round in July 2016 to capture the title. In his first title defense, on Dec. 31, 2016, he dropped a competitive unanimous decision to Yukinori Oguni in Japan. Guzman has not fought since the Oguni defeat, but he is targeting a return to title contention at 122 pounds.
“I want to thank God for this opportunity. I am excited and fortunate to be given this opportunity by Top Rank,” Guzman said. “This will give me better opportunities in the boxing world. I want to get back to the championship level, and I know Top Rank can get me there.”
Tyler Howard (15-0, 10 KOs) — The 24-year-old from Crossville, Tenn., will fight as a middleweight after spending most of his career at super middleweight. A six-year pro, he last fought on July 14 in New Orleans, knocking out Javier Frazier in the second round.
“Signing with the premier promotional company in the sport of boxing is a huge accomplishment for my team and I,” Howard said. “I trust that my career is in great hands with my manager (Tim Van Newhouse) and Top Rank. I know my team will present me with many opportunities to catapult my career into world contention status.”
Michael Perez (25-2-2, 11 KOs) — A longtime contender at 135 and 140 pounds, Perez will campaign at 140 pounds as he seeks his first career title shot. A native of Newark, N.J., Perez last fought in April 2017 when he defeated Marcelino Lopez via split decision.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank God for this opportunity to become part of the Top Rank family,” Perez said. “I have always respected the way they treat their fighters. I look forward to adding value and excitement to their already amazing shows.”
Eric Puente (0-0) — A decorated U.S. amateur from Vista, Calif., Puente will make the leap to the professional ranks and campaign as a lightweight. He was a gold medalist at the 2016 USA Boxing Youth Championships (132 pounds).
“I’m extremely happy to be signing with Top Rank,” Puente said. “This is an exciting chapter in my life, and I want to make my family and fans happy and hopefully one day become world champion. I know I have the very best promotional company behind me!”