Bantamweights Take Center Stage On Friday Night Fights: Philippines vs Dominican Republic


This Friday’s episode of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights not only brings us another night of action packed boxing, but a main event that could determine who will be the next bantamweight star. Taking at Richard J. Codey Arena in West Orange, NJ; Promoters Greg Cohen and Acquinity Sports will bring back big time boxing to the area for the first time in almost 20 years. The main event has two time Olympian and Dominican Republic native Juan Carlos Payano (13-0 7KO’s), putting his undefeated record and minor belts at stake when he faces off with relatively unknown, but dangerous Filipino Jundy Maraon (15-0-1 12KO’s) in a WBA title eliminator over 12 rounds. The co-feature will showcase the talents of New Jersey’s Jorge “King” Diaz (17-1 10KO’s) against fellow featherweight Yenifel Vicente (24-1-2 16 KO’s) of the Dominican Republic; for the WBC Fecarbox title.

Amassing a standout amateur resume, Miami resident Juan Carlos Payano has risen up the ranks facing fairly tough competition since removing his head gear and lacing up with 8 ounce gloves. The pedigree includes various medals and most importantly appearances in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games for his native country but not is his chance to seize the opportunity to be next in line for a title shot with a WBA eliminator in front of a worldwide audience.  The hard hitting Philippines native Jundy Maraon, will take his own undefeated record in to battle and try to become the next pride of his boxing friendly country. Making only his second appearance in the states and up against the most impressive opponent to date, Maraon has the cards stacked against him as well as the hopes of his team behind him as he tries to score the upset Friday night.

If fighting in front of your home town wasn’t enough, fighting on ESPN2 should help add to the experiences had by New Brunswick, NJ’s Jorge “King” Diaz. With a solid record behind him, Diaz is on a two fight win streak since suffering his first and only loss to Teon Kennedy over two years prior, being dropped himself, the heavy handed fighter is looking to never experience that again in the ring. With Acquinity Sports being based out of Miami, many Latino fighters like Dominican Yenifel Vicente have been brought along to share the wealth that boxing has to offer. Vicente’s 7 year career has mostly taken place in his native country but now he has another opportunity to showcase his talents stateside since losing a 10 round decision to Chris Avalos last year, with both men looking to keep the fire burning in their careers, we should expect to see fireworks for however long it lasts.