Conceição vs Martinez part of ESPN+ double-header on Jan 29
A doubleheader of fighters all hoping to earn a title bout in the near future will be in the spotlight Saturday, Jan. 29, on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET as Top Rank visits the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa in Oklahoma.
The main event features a 130-pound title eliminator with Robson Conceição facing Xavier Martinez, preceded by a co-main featherweight battle between Rene Tellez Giron and Luis Melendez. Both bouts are 10-rounders.
The undercard – streaming exclusively on ESPN+ at 6 p.m. ET – includes a four-round middleweight meeting of Nico Ali Walsh and Jeremiah Yeager.
Walsh is the grandson of Muhammad Ali and undefeated at 3-0 (2 KOs) while Yeager is 1-1 (1 KO). Other fighters of note in the nine-fight undercard are U.S. Olympian Tiger Johnson (welterweight), Brooklyn-born Bruce Carrington (featherweight) and Tulsa native heavyweight Jeremiah Milton.
Joe Tessitore will call the action, alongside Hall of Famer and 2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward and future Hall of Famer Timothy Bradley for analysis. Mark Kriegel and Bernardo Osuna will serve as reporters and handle interviews.
The Main Event
Conceição (16-1, 8 KOs) captured a gold medal for Brazil at the 2016 Rio Olympics, capping a 400-plus fight amateur career that included wins over the likes of Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez and a razor-thin defeat to Vasiliy Lomachenko at the 2011 World Championships. After nearly five years as an unbeaten pro, Conceição challenged WBC world champion Valdez in September. Conceição built an early lead, but Valdez rallied late for the unanimous decision.
Martinez (17-0, 11 KOs) compiled an 85-10 amateur record before turning pro in 2015. He stepped up in 2019 with knockout wins over Jessie Cris Rosales and John Vincent Moralde and survived a gut check versus former interim world champion Claudio Marrero the following year. Martinez was knocked down twice in the eighth round, but outboxed Marrero in the championship rounds to earn a unanimous decision. He last fought in May and dominated veteran Juan Carlos Burgos over 10 rounds.
The Co-Main Event
The 22-year-old Giron (16-1, 10 KOs), whose only pro loss was a decision against Michel Rivera, burst onto the world stage in 2019 by knocking out then-unbeaten U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas. He’s since won two straight, both by stoppage. Melendez (17-1, 13 KOs), a rising contender from Puerto Rico, has won 15 straight fights.