ONTARIO, CALIF.-An East Coast match up takes place in the West Coast when Demetrius Hopkins defends his USNBC welterweight against perennial challenger Mike Arnaoutis on Friday.

You got to build a support base every where,? said Hopkins at a Wednesday press conference.

Hopkins (29-1-1, 11 KOs) and Arnaoutis (22-5-2, 10 KOs) will be supported by heavy representation from desert fighters at the Citizen?s Business Bank Arena. The fight will be shown on ESPN and is staged by TKO Boxing Promotions.

Both Hopkins and Arnaoutis are based out of the New York-New Jersey area and are very familiar with each other. You could say they?re friends.

?They?re good people,? said Derek Harris who manages Hopkins. ?It?s going to be a good fight to watch.?

Arnaoutis was razor close to winning a world title. The Greek prizefighter was on the verge of a knockout victory over KO specialist Ricardo Torres of Colombia back in 2006. He had just dropped the world champion and inexplicably helped the champion back up after hurting him. The fight ended in a split decision loss.

?I worked very hard for this fight,? says Arnaoutis who is on a two-fight losing streak by decision to Delvin Rodriguez and Tim Coleman.

Hopkins hasn?t fought much since losing a close split decision to Kendall Holt back in 2008. A 10-round win over Jesse Feliciano grabbed him the welterweight title he is now defending.

?I was struggling at 140,? said Hopkins who is now cemented in the 147-pound division. ?All of the players are at this weight class.?

Also on the card will be amateur star Randy Caballero of Coachella and debuting pro fighters Eric Mendez and Gabino Saenz.

Caballero has racked up three knockouts in three fights and has yet to be tested.

?This is going to be great,? said Caballero (3-0, 3 KOs) who fights rugged Jairo Delgado out of Denver.

Also on the card is Alex ?Kaboom? Jimenez, Francisco Contreras, Noe Bolanos, Dodie Boy Penalosa, and Austreberto Juarez among others.

It?s a big fight card. Tickets begin at $29 and doors open at 6 p.m. For more information (800)745-3000.