A strong undercard showcasing young, talented boxers from Texas and Southern California will provide support for this Friday night’s “Battle of Rio Grande” card, airing live on pay per view from Galveston Island Convention Center in Galveston, Texas.
Former world super middleweight title-holder Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (40-0, 26 KOs) challenges North American Boxing Federation (NABF) light heavyweight champion Alfonso “El Tigre” Lopez (32-3, 25 KOs) in the 12-round main event. Ramirez’ Zurdo Promotions is co-promoting “Battle of Rio Grande” with Lopez’ company, El Tigre Promotions.
World-rated heavyweight and 2012 U.S. Olympian, Michael “The Bounty” Hunter (18-1-1, 12 KOs) faces Shawn Laughery (10-3, 6 KOs) in the 10-round co-featured event., who has replaced veteran Chauncy “Hillyard Hammer” Welliver.
“Battle of Rio Grande” will be available for live viewing on digital, cable and satellite, starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, on pay per view for a suggested retail price of only $24.99. FITE will stream worldwide on the FITE mobile apps, all major OTT apps and website (www.FITE.tv), and Integrated Sports Media will distribute throughout North America via DirecTV, iN Demand, and DISH in the United States, as well as in Canada on Shaw and SaskTel.
In addition, preceding the live pay-per-view broadcast at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT, fans may view a free LIVE PPV PRE-SHOW featuring some undercard bouts. “Battle of Rio Grande” Pre-Show will be available at FITE, DirecTV, DISH, Shaw and select cable operators.
Los Angeles bantamweight John “Scrappy” Ramirez (no relations to Gilberto), the first boxer signed by Ramirez’ emerging promotional company, Zurdo Promotions, will make his professional debut in a 4-round bout against his Puerto Rican opponent, Jose “El Chavito” Solis (0-2).
The 24-year-old Ramirez, who has no formal boxing experience, played on an L.A. high school football team, which was featured on ESPN because the area from which student-athletes came from was riddled with drugs and gangs. “Scrappy” may not have boxed as an amateur, but he is a fighter.
“I’m still young in the sport but I love it,” ‘Scrappy’ Ramirez spoke about making his pro boxing debut. “I’m just a different breed when it comes to this. At the end of the day, it’s a fight and I’m here to take over not just take part in. Where I’m from past records, accolades and titles don’t mean s*it. It’s all about today and what lays ahead.
“Being around the Champ (Gilberto) and watching him firsthand, I’m more motivated than ever and know what it takes to succeed. The grind is different, and no one can outwork me.”
Unbeaten Pittsburg, CA featherweight Jose Maria Delgado (6-0-3, 2 KOs) faces Armando Frausto (8-1, 5 KOs), of Alvin (TX), in a 6-round match for the vacant American Boxing Organization (ABO) title.
Also scheduled to fight on the “Battle of Rio Grande” undercard in 4-round bouts are Houston middleweight Ivan Vazquez (5-0, 4 KOs) vs. Charon Spain (2-14-2, 1 KO), Houston lightweight Juan Velazquez (5-0, 3 KOs) vs. TBA, Houston junior middleweight Breyon Gorham (6-0 (5 KOs) vs. TBA, Houston junior middleweight Raynard “Alief Ali” Talib, Jr. (2-0, 1 KO) vs. Adam “AD” Ealoms (4-18-3, 2 KOs).
Pro-debuting fighters in additional 4-round undercard fights are Porter, TX junior middleweight Apostle Arias vs. Lucas “God First” McDonald (0-5), Trinity, TX middleweight Charles “Pretty Bad Boy” Baylor vs. Joel “The Assassin” Munoz (0-1), and Delmonte “Sugar Bear” Randle vs. Jarvis Lee (0-2).