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.”

Plania after victory over Greer: ‘This win is going to change my life’

“Magic” Mike Plania had an evening that was nothing short of magical. The Filipino upstart stunned WBO No. 1 bantamweight contender Joshua Greer Jr. via majority decision Tuesday evening from the MGM Grand Conference Center—Grand Ballroom.

Plania (24-1, 12 KOs) knocked down Greer in the first and sixth rounds and prevailed by scores of 94-94, 96-92 and 97-91.

Greer (22-2-1, 12 KOs) came on strong in the late rounds, but Plania’s lead was too much for him to overcome.

“This win is going to change my life,” Plania said. “I thought I could knock him out after the knockdown in the first round, but he was tough and adjusted his strategy.

“I took this fight on only three weeks’ notice, but I had faith in God that I could win.”

— Giovani Santillan (26-0, 15 KOs) extended his unbeaten record, but former world champion Antonio DeMarco (33-9-1, 24 KOs) sure didn’t make it easy. Santillan, from San Diego, edged DeMarco via 10-round majority decision in the welterweight co-feature (95-95, 96-94 2x). The three judges agreed on only three of the rounds in a fight that some experts had DeMarco pulling out.

“I knew it was a close fight, but I felt like I did enough solid work in there to pull out the win,” Santillan said. “He never hurt me at any point in the fight, but he used his experience in there. He’s a former world champion who has been in there with the best of the best. I want to get back in the ring as soon as possible and use this experience to my advantage.”

— Bobirzhan Mominov (11-0, 8 KOs) outworked noted spoiler Cameron Krael (17-16-3, 4 KOs) to earn a unanimous decision in a six-round junior middleweight bout. Mominov was deducted a point for hitting behind the head in the sixth round. The scores were 57-56 and 58-55 2x.

— In a six-round heavyweight rumble, Hector Perez (7-2, 3 KOs) prevailed via unanimous decision over Juan Torres (5-3-1, 2 KOs). The scores were 60-54 and 59-55 2x.

— Middleweight prospect Nikoloz “The Experiment” Sekhniashvili (6-0, 4 KOs) cruised to a six-round unanimous decision over Detroit native Isiah Jones (8-2, 3 KOs) by scores of 60-54 2x and 59-55.

Photos: Greer-Plania weigh-in

Bantamweight contender Joshua Greer Jr. and Mike Plania weighed-in today as they prepare for their showdown on Tuesday at the MGM Grand Conference Center – Grand Ballroom in Las Vegas. 

Here are the weights and photos for the main event and undercard fighters.

Joshua Greer Jr. 120 lbs vs. Mike Plania 119.5 lbs

(Bantamweight — 10 Rounds)

 Bobirzhan Mominov 152 lbs vs. Cameron Krael 147.8 lbs

(Super Welterweight — 8 Rounds

 Hector Perez 221 lbs vs. Juan Torres 250 lbs

(Heavyweight — 6/4 Rounds)

Nikoloz Sekhniashvili 159.25 lbs vs. Isiah Jones 158.3 lbs

(Middleweight — 6 Rounds)

 Giovani Santillan 148 lbs vs. Antonio DeMarco 147 lbs

(Welterweight — 10 Rounds)

Photos:

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Photos: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing