After having his nine-fight win streak snapped and world title hopes dashed at the hands of Gennady Golovkin in May, middleweight contender Willie Monroe Jr. is ready to make his return to the ring. And fans won’t have to wait much time at all to see him back in action.
On the heels of a report by ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael yesterday announcing that Monroe Jr. (19-2, 6 KOs) will fight on Jan. 29, ThaBoxingVoice caught up with Hitz Boxing promoter Bobby Hitz for a quick chat about Monroe Jr.’s potential opponent and the upcoming card as a whole. Hitz confirmed — as of late Wednesday night — that no opponent has been finalized yet.
“We’ve got a couple (fighters) lined up. We’ll get someone in the next day or two,” Hitz said. “It’s a work in progress. You know, trying to make a fight is the most difficult thing in the world. We’re canvassing the countryside,” he added, with a hint of sarcasm.
Hitz also explained that the fighter selected will definitely be a tune-up type of opponent for Monroe Jr., which makes sense given his several-month layoff combined with the extremely short notice of the fight.
“What (Monroe Jr.’s team is) looking for is just to get him back in the ring, get some rust taken off. So we’re looking for that kind of guy, just a workout kind of guy.”
Hitz elaborated by saying that although the fight will be considered a tune-up, the opponent still needs to be someone “of quality” and cited a fighter with a 23-10 record they were looking as the opponent but it fell through. Hitz didn’t name the fighter but insisted that the opponent will probably be a guy with a similar level of pedigree and experience.
When asked by ThaBoxingVoice if the addition of Monroe Jr. to the card would affect any of the original headlining fights, Hitz replied to the contrary. That means that two other bouts featuring welterweight Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (28-0, 15 KOs) and heavyweight Nick Asberry (8-0, 4 KOs) remain unchanged and will take place as planned.
The Fight Night card goes down on Jan. 29 at The Belvedere in Elk Grove, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. Tickets for the event can be purchased online at BrownPaperTickets.com. All bouts are subject to change.