Spencer-Salgado, Aleem-Plania added to Ruiz-Ortiz undercard

Unbeaten super welterweight Joey Spencer will battle Mexican contender Kevin Salgado in a 10-round showdown highlighting PBC action live on FOX and FOX Deportes beginning at  8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on September 4 during Labor Day Weekend from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

Prior to the FOX broadcast, undefeated top super bantamweight contender Ra’eese Aleem takes on Mike Plania in a 10-round attraction live on FS1 and FOX Deportes beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

These two exciting matchups will lead up to a stacked FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT which is headlined by the highly-anticipated heavyweight clash between former unified heavyweight world champion Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. and hard-hitting top contender Luis “King Kong” Ortiz meeting in a WBC Heavyweight Title Eliminator.

The 22-year-old Spencer (15-0, 10 KOs) turned pro in February 2017 and immediately caught the eye of fans and pundits with his combination of speed, power and athleticism. Following an impressive 2020 campaign, the Linden, Michigan native added three more victories to his ledger in 2021, including his first eight-round fight as he earned a unanimous decision over James Martin in July. Most recently, Spencer kicked off his 2022 with another unanimous decision victory, this time besting Ravshan Hudaynazaro in March.

“I can’t wait to get back in the ring on September 4,” said Spencer. “I’m training extremely hard and I’m in amazing shape. This is a great opportunity for me to shine on a big stage and really show what I’m capable of. I’m looking forward to bringing the fans lots of excitement!”

A native of Mexico City, Salgado (14-0-1, 9 KOs) is the younger brother of former super featherweight champion Juan Carlos Salgado and now fights out of San Antonio, Texas. The 24-year-old turned pro in late 2016 and delivered knockouts in six of his first nine outings. After scoring three-straight knockouts between September 2019 and February 2021, Salgado returned to the ring in October 2021 to defeat Ricardo Banuelos Cernas by unanimous decision before most recently fighting Bryant Perrella to a split-draw in his U.S. debut in April.

“Training camp has been great and I’m way ahead of schedule heading into this fight,” said Salgado. “I know I’m facing a solid fighter who’s a good counter puncher, but I’m preparing to counter that style. This is going to be a very interesting fight, because I’m training to deliver a knockout and win in tremendous fashion.”

Owning a top-10 ranking at 122-pounds from multiple sanctioning bodies, Aleem (19-0, 12 KOs) put on the most impressive performance of his career in January 2021 to capture the interim WBA title. Aleem dominated in a battle of unbeatens, dropping Victor Pasillas four times before eventually stopping him in round 11. Raised in Michigan and training out of Las Vegas, the 31-year-old Aleem had stopped his past seven opponents inside the distance before most recently earning a decision victory over Eduardo Baez in November 2021. 

“The time is now to take that next step in my career toward a world title shot and I know that a win in this fight will put me on the right path,” said Aleem. “I’ve been waiting for the chance to show everyone why I’m the best super bantamweight in the world. I’m never in a boring fight and you can expect fireworks once again on September 4. I’m going to let my hands send a message to the rest of the division.”

The 25-year-old Plania (26-1, 13 KOs) dropped Joshua Greer twice in their June 2020 clash on his way to a career-best decision victory, which he followed up in April 2021 by defeating Emmanuel Mogawa, before stopping Ricardo Nunez in November. A native of General Santos City in the Philippines, Plania has put together an 11-fight winning streak since a 2018 decision loss against former champion Juan Carlos Payano. Plania has fought professionally since 2014, with five of his last six outings taking place stateside.

“Ever since I beat Joshua Greer to put myself in the world rankings, I have been looking for an opportunity to fight the best at 122 pounds and to secure a world title shot,” said Plania. “On September 4, I will show everyone I deserve to fight for the title. I want to thank my whole team for putting me in this position and I can’t wait to get in there and show what I can do.”

Spencer-Hudaynazarov added to Tszyu-Gausha undercard

Unbeaten rising prospect Joey Spencer will battle Ravshan Hudaynazarov in an eight-round middleweight attraction that highlights the non-televised undercard lineup on Saturday, March 26 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from The Armory in Minneapolis.

Top super welterweight contender and rising star Tim Tszyu will make his long-awaited U.S. debut in the main event when he takes on U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha in a 12-round showdown live on SHOWTIME.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will feature rising undefeated lightweight contender Michel Rivera dueling fellow unbeaten Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno in the 10-round co-main event, plus hard-hitting super lightweight contender Elvis Rodríguez faces Juan José Velasco in the 10-round telecast opener.

The undercard lineup will also include super welterweight contender Brian Mendoza (19-2, 13 KOs) squaring off against San Antonio’s Benjamin Whitaker (15-7, 3 KOs) for eight rounds of action, undefeated Australian heavyweight Joseph Goodall (7-0-1, 6 KOs) facing Matthew McKinney (8-4-2, 5 KOs) in an eight-round fight and unbeaten super welterweight contender Bakhram Murtazaliev (19-0, 14 KOs) in a 10-round bout against Ahmad Cheikho (18-7, 13 KOs).

Rounding out the card are a trio of unbeaten prospects as 21-year-old Travon Marshall (4-0, 3 KOs) takes on fellow unbeaten Timothy Parks (3-0, 2 KOs) in a six-round super welterweight tilt, 25-year-old Michael Angeletti (4-0, 3 KOs) steps in for a six-round super bantamweight contest against Angel Luna (15-9-1, 8 KOs), and 19-year-old lightweight Breeon Carothers (1-0, 1 KOs) battles Deljerro Revello (0-2) in a four-round attraction.

The 21-year-old Spencer (14-0, 10 KOs) turned pro in February 2017 and immediately caught the eye of fans and pundits with his combination of speed, power and athleticism. Following an impressive 2020 campaign, the Linden, Michigan native added three more victories to his ledger in 2021, including his first eight-round fight as he earned a unanimous decision over James Martin in July. Most recently, Spencer delivered a sensational Christmas Day knockout of Limberth Ponce in the fifth-round of action.

A native of Uzbekistan, Hudaynazarov (19-4, 14 KOs) now fights out of Las Vegas as 12 of his last 14 bouts have taken place stateside. The 37-year-old was unbeaten in his first 17 pro fights before suffering four defeats from 2018 to 2020. Hudaynazarov bounced back to win his last two fights, stopping Eduardo Ayala in April 2021 before most recently winning a decision over Sergio Sarabia in June 2021.

Vito Mielnicki Jr. to headline show in Newark on Christmas Day

Welterweight prospect and New Jersey-native Vito Mielnicki Jr. will battle Nicholas DeLomba in a 10-round matchup on Saturday, December 25 headlining FOX PBC Fight Night action and on FOX Deportes on Christmas Day from Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

The broadcast will begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and feature sensational unbeaten prospect Joey Spencer taking on Mexico’s Limberth Ponce for eight-rounds of middleweight action in the co-main event.

Representing Roseland, New Jersey, Mielnicki (9-1, 6 KOs) makes his second straight appearance at Prudential Center, as he bounced back from his first career defeat to stop Noah Kidd in Newark in July on FOX. The 19-year-old began turning heads during an exceptional amateur career where he compiled a 147-22 record and was named the Most Outstanding Boxer of the 2011 Junior National Golden Gloves, amongst many accolades before turning pro. Mielnicki was able to add four victories to his ledger in 2020 and he kicked off his 2021 campaign with a knockout of Noe Lopez in February on FOX.

“I want to thank my whole team for giving me this great opportunity to headline Christmas Night at the Prudential Center live on FOX,” said Mielnicki. “I’m excited to showcase my talent as the main event in front of my family, friends and fans in my home state of New Jersey. This is my toughest opponent to date. I expect the best version of Delomba on fight night. Everyone get your tickets and tune in because you don’t want to miss this one. Expect fireworks on Christmas Night!”

DeLomba (16-3, 5 KOs) put together a five-fight winning streak heading into his most recent bout, which saw him drop a decision to super lightweight contender Richardson Hitchins in February 2020. The 31-year-old has fought professionally since 2013, turning pro after losing to Robert Easter Jr. in the 2012 U.S. National Championship quarterfinals. Fighting out of Cranston, Rhode Island, DeLomba won 11 of his first 12 pro fights before a 2017 decision defeat to Jimmy Williams.

“Vito is a good, young fighter and I’m impressed with what he’s done so far, but I have experience on my side,” said DeLomba. “I’ve faced some of the best fighters in the world, and I’ve never backed down from a challenge. This is a great spotlight for me to show what I’m all about. Make no mistake, I’m coming to win.”

The 21-year-old Spencer (12-0, 9 KOs) turned pro in February 2017 and immediately caught the eye of fans and pundits with his combination of speed, power and athleticism. Following an impressive 2020 campaign, the Linden, Michigan native opened 2021 with a first-round TKO over Isiah Seldon in January on FOX. Spencer continued his march toward world title contention with a wide unanimous decision triumph over James Martin in July.

“I’m very excited to give the fans in New Jersey a great show on Christmas Day,” said Spencer. “I’ve been preparing well and am excited to show what I can do against a durable opponent like Ponce. I can’t wait to be back in the ring on FOX to continue displaying everything I’ve been working on.”

Born in Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico, Ponce (18-4, 11 KOs) fights out of Rock Island, Illinois throughout his pro career that dates back to 2012. The 30-year-old followed up a 2016 defeat to Neeco Macias with seven-straight wins before a 2019 split-decision loss to Thomas Hill. Ponce returned to the ring in June of this year to stop Chris Grays in three rounds.

“I know this will be a tough fight, but I’m going to be prepared for whatever my opponent brings on fight night,” said Ponce. “On December 25, I’m leaving everything in the ring. I want to give the fans a great fight and make my mark with this performance.”

Coffie-Washington, Mielnicki Jr.-Martin set for July 31 in Newark

Rising unbeaten heavyweight Michael Coffie will square off against former world title challenger Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington in the 12-round main event of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes Saturday, July 31 from Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Welterweight prospect and New Jersey-native Vito Mielnicki Jr. will battle James Martin in an eight-round rematch in the co-main event, as Mielnicki looks to avenge the first loss of his career. Kicking off the broadcast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, unbeaten prospect Joey Spencer takes on Dan Karpency in an eight-round battle.

A Marine Corps veteran who picked up boxing after returning from overseas, Coffie (12-0, 9 KOs) quickly impressed in amateur tournaments enough to earn sparring assignments with Deontay Wilder and Adam Kownacki. The 35-year-old was born in the Bronx, but now fights out of Brooklyn. Coffie broke through in 2020 by stopping previously unbeaten Luis Pena in the fifth round of their August matchup before earning a TKO over Joey Abell in November. Coffie added a highlight-reel knockout over previously unbeaten Darmani Rock in January of this year.

“This is going to be a really good fight,” said Coffie. “It’s a fight I need to get me moving in the right direction. I’ve been wanting to fight Washington for a while now. He’s only been beat by top level guys, and this is a way to prove that I belong in that class. It’s amazing to be headlining on FOX. This is a ‘no guts, no glory’ kind of fight. I have to take advantage of this opportunity in a step-up fight.”

Washington (20-4-1, 13 KOs) is a six-foot-six heavyweight contender who was a former college football standout at the University of Southern California and a U.S. Navy veteran. Born in San Jose, California, Washington most recently lost a contest against former heavyweight champion Charles Martin in February 2020. Prior to that fight, Washington had delivered a knockout of veteran contender Robert Helenius in July 2019. Washington was unbeaten in his first 19 pro fights before dropping his world title challenge to Deontay Wilder in February 2017.

“I’m real excited to be back in the ring and back on FOX,” said Washington. “This is another major opportunity for me and I’m going to do everything in my power to fully capitalize on it. Michael Coffie is a good fighter. I like what I’ve seen from him so far. Not to mention, we’re both veterans. I’m looking forward to this fight and I expect fireworks. I believe my experience will carry me to victory. “

Representing Roseland, New Jersey, Mielnicki (8-1, 5 KOs) will look to bounce back after losing by decision to Martin in April on FOX. The 19-year-old began turning heads during an exceptional amateur career where he compiled a 147-22 record and was named the Most Outstanding Boxer of the 2011 Junior National Golden Gloves amongst many accolades before turning pro. Mielnicki was able to add four victories to his ledger in 2020 and he kicked off his 2021 campaign with a knockout of Noe Lopez in February on FOX.

“I believe everything happens for a reason and everyone has their own path,” said Mielnicki. “James Martin was the better man that night in our first fight, and I know what to expect from him come July 31. You won’t see a young prospect doing what I’m doing, making a rematch only four months after my first career loss, in my hometown and in front of my family and friends. Expect nothing but fireworks on July 31. I can’t wait to show the world why I’m different! Tune in and get your tickets now.”

The 24-year-old Martin (7-2) scored a career-best victory in upsetting the previously unbeaten Mielnicki in April. Martin first turned pro in 2017 and won his first four fights to begin his career. Fighting out of Philadelphia, Martin has won three of his last four showdowns dating back to late 2019, including dropping a decision to unbeaten prospect Xander Zayas in February.

“I am going for the knockout this time,” said Martin. “You will see me fight better. I feel I have the advantage, because I gave him his first loss, and he will always have that in the back of his head. I don’t think that he can bring anything different in the rematch.”

The 21-year-old Spencer (12-0, 9 KOs) turned pro in February 2017 and immediately caught the eye of fans and pundits with his combination of speed, power and athleticism. Following an impressive 2020 campaign which included a KO victory over Shawn West in August, the Linden, Michigan native kicked off 2021 with a first-round TKO over Isiah Seldon in January on FOX. Spencer will continue his march toward world title contention against Adah, Pennsylvania’s Karpency (9-3-1, 4 KOs).

“I can’t wait to get in the ring on July 31,” said Spencer. “I’m training hard to become the first person to knock out Karpency. I’m going to bring the fight for the fans like I always do and give everyone watching a great show.”

“I’m excited to fight one of boxing’s top prospects in Joey Spencer and I’m having a great training camp leading up to fight night,” said Karpency. “He’s an excellent fighter, but make no mistake, I’m coming to win on July 31. I’m a boxer-puncher and I can rely on either style. We’re going to adjust to what we see in the ring and take it from there. I’m grateful for this opportunity and I’m planning to make the most of it.”

Plant: ‘I feel like I’m the best super middleweight champion in the world’

 Undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant successfully defended his title with a masterful unanimous decision victory over former champion Caleb “Golden” Truax in the main event of FOX PBC Fight Night on Saturday night from the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles.

Using blazing hand speed, a stiff jab and punches from multiple angles, Plant battered Truax and kept him off balance over the course of the 12 rounds. It was a game effort from Truax, but Plant proved to be too much to handle. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Plant 120-108, a 12-round shutout.

Plant sought the knockout but hurt his left hand early in the fight, forcing him to be less aggressive and more hesitant on offense.

“I felt great. I dominated every round. I hardly got touched. He wasn’t giving me much either,’’ Plant said. “I felt like, early on, he was just looking to survive and move away. Then a third of the way into the fight, I hurt my hand. It’s kind of swollen. I felt something similar before. I’ve got to sit down and get it checked out but we’ll see. I don’t think it will hinder any upcoming fights.

“A champion can adjust to anything. It’s about staying focused, staying disciplined and sticking to the game plan. Maybe the injury hindered me here and there but I felt I used it well – I got a dominant victory, a shutout on all three cards.”

The 28-year-old Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) had scored back-to-back stoppage victories on FOX in his two title defenses, beating then undefeated Mike Lee in July 2019 before most recently turning away Germany’s Vincent Feigenbutz in a homecoming event last February in Nashville, Tennessee.

The victory over Truax (31-5-2, 19 KOs) was the third successful title defense for Plant, who captured the title in 2019 with a victory over Jose Uzcategui. Plant, who is from Nashville, Tennessee but now lives and trains in Las Vegas, was the underdog coming into the Uzcategui fight, before turning the tables with two early knockdowns on his way to a unanimous decision. There wasn’t nearly as much drama in the fight against Truax as Plant took control from start to finish, never allowing Truax to get into the fight in any measureable way.

“I wanted the stoppage. I’m a little disappointed that my hand got hurt early in the fight. But I feel like I put on a good performance,’’ Plant said. “I feel like I’m the best super middleweight champion in the world. I want to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion. I’m ready for whoever, whenever. You line ‘em up and I’ll knock ‘em down.”

For the 37-year-old Truax, the fight against Plant represented his last real chance to rejoin the world championship ranks. Truax had his championship-winning victory in December 2017 as he traveled to James DeGale’s native U.K. to wrest the title away from DeGale in one of the year’s biggest upsets. Truax, who fights out of Saint Michael, Minnesota, dropped a narrow decision to DeGale in their 2018 rematch. Plant never allowed him to get close to his championship belt.

“I’m a little disappointed. I wanted to put pressure on him and make it a dogfight, but he was elusive. He was able to escape out the back door. I wasn’t able to put a glove on him,” Truax said. “I knew he was going to be quick, but he was a little more elusive than I expected. It wasn’t a fast paced fight and credit to him for that. I wanted it to be a fast paced fight and put pressure on him, but he controlled the pace and he was very elusive.

“I was never buzzed or hurt. I felt like my conditioning was very good the whole fight. He just jabbed the heck out of me. I’m going to go home and talk to my family and see what the next step is. I still feel like I have something to offer the game.”

In a battle between young, undefeated heavyweights. Michael Coffie (12-0, 9 KOs) kept his record unblemished with a powerful third-round knockout victory over Darmani Rock (17-1, 12 KOs).

Coffie, a 34-year-old Marine Corps veteran from The Bronx, N.Y., took a couple of rounds to figure out Rock of Philadelphia. When he did, it was lights out for Rock. Coffie went to work in the third round, dropping Rock with a left uppercut. Rock was able to make it to his feet to beat the count of referee Jack Reiss. A few seconds later, Coffie clipped Rock again with a short left hook that sent him to the canvas a second time. Reiss waved off the action at 0:59 seconds of the round, giving Coffie the victory and handing the 24-year-old Rock the first loss of his professional career.

“He had quick hands we knew that, but timing beats speed,” Coffie said. “They said he shuffles his feet and drops his hands. They told me to wait for him to shuffle his feet and then drop that left hand on him.”

“I don’t want to sound like I’m jumping the gun or anything like that or downplaying the need for experience. But I don’t think I’m that far off. I think I have power, movement, and I think just my style of fighting that can really contend with anybody.”

Unbeaten super welterweight prospect Joey Spencer continued his fast rise up the ranks with an impressive first-round KO victory over Isiah Seldon (14-4-1, 5 KOs). In a bizarre sequence of events, the 20-year-old Spencer (12-0, 9 KOs) dropped Seldon with a hard right hand. Seldon rose at the count of eight. When action resumed, Seldon unleashed several punches to the back of Spencer’s head, prompting referee Jerry Cantu to deduct two points for the fouls. It didn’t take long for Spencer to bring a conclusion to matters. He landed another right hand that sent Seldon to the canvas again. This time Cantu didn’t bother counting, waving off the fight at 2:15 of the first round.

“I just knew that I was going to put hands on him, and that’s how I was going to retaliate. I definitely put in the back of my mind that maybe I’d punish him a little further if I would have gotten a chance. But I didn’t. The ref stopped him, and that’s the way it ended,’’ Spencer said. “My man strength is coming. I’m only 20. I turn 21 in March. I’m getting stronger and stronger. I’m getting a lot more confident because people aren’t able to take my punches in the same way.”

In other undercard action, Rances Barthelemy (28-1-1, 14 KOs) scored a unanimous 10-round decision over All Rivera (21-5, 18 KOs) in a super lightweight bout. Barthelemy, a two-division world champion from Cuba, put together a workmanlike performance against Rivera, who hails from Bobon, Philippines. The 34-year-old Barthelemy has won world titles at 130 and 135 pounds.

“After almost two years of being out of the ring, it was hard making sure we stuck to the game plan to make sure we didn’t get anxious or desperate,” Barthelemy said. “I felt we controlled the fight from start to finish and that’s exactly what we wanted to do. I’m looking at Alberto Puello next, going after that 140 WBA belt and hoping that sets us up for bigger opportunities before the end of the year.” 

Middleweights Brandyn Lynch (10-1-1, 8 KOs) and Mark Hernandez (14-4-2, 3 KOs) fought to an eight-round draw. In a light heavyweight bout, Atif Oberlton (1-0, 1 KO) pounded out a victory in his pro debut, stopping Nathan Sharp (4-3, 4 KOs) via TKO at 0:48 seconds of the third round.

Photo: Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions