Super prospect Chris Pearson and two others that should have performed together on Team USA in this past summer’s Olympics are appearing together in Las Vegas.
Junior middleweight Pearson, junior welterweight Frankie Gomez and junior featherweight Joe Diaz are all on the Golden Boy Promotions fight card on Saturday at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. USA FOX Espanol will televise the event.
With lightning fast hands, technique and knockout power Pearson should have been a solid favorite to be a major part of the USA Boxing team. Instead the Ohioan opted to turn professional.
“I’m looking forward to my first fight in Vegas,” said Pearson (7-0, 6 Kos) who fought for the L.A. Matadors two years ago in the World Boxing League. “I train a lot longer. You’re training for a 10 or 12 round fight now. But boxing is boxing.”
“I look forward to beating and dominating guys and look forward to Al Haymon putting me in against the best,” said Pearson. “My goal is be ranked in the top 10 by the end of the year.”
Pearson was a heavy favorite to make the Olympic team but bid good bye to his fellow Team USA members back in November 2011.
“The Olympics is not what it used to be. I didn’t have the motivation to be in it,” said Pearson who will be fighting in an eight round fight. “My goal is to be a world champion.”
Another who was supposed to be on Team USA was East L.A.’s Gomez. Like Pearson he felt that amateur boxing was not his cup of tea and turned professional back in April 2010. He hasn’t looked back.
Gomez (14-0, 11 Kos) is scheduled to fight Lanard Lane (13-2, 8 Kos) in a 10-round bout in the main event. The heavy-handed Gomez fought only two times in 2012 but looks to be more active this coming year.
Diaz (1-0) is the only one of the three who actually did participate in the London Olympics this past summer. The South El Monte prizefighter meets Jose Ruiz (2-2) in a scheduled four round contest. Diaz, 20, made his pro debut this past December at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles.
Junior middleweight contender Carlos “King” Molina (20-5-2, 6 Kos) fights former welterweight and junior middleweight champion Cory Spinks (39-7, 11 Kos) on Friday Feb. 1. The battle for the number one spot on the IBF rankings takes place in Chicago at the UIC Pavilion. ESPN2 will televise.
WBA female middleweight titlist Teresa Perozzi (9-4-2) fights Tori Nelson (6-0-2) in a rematch on Saturday Feb. 2. Their middleweight clash will be held on Pembroke, Bermuda. Perozzi fights out of Bermuda and Nelson is from Virginia.
In a middleweight contest in France, Julien Marie Sainte (34-2, 24 Kos) meets Max Bursak (25-1-1) for the vacant EBU European middleweight title. Their encounter takes place Saturday Feb. 2, at Saint-Denis. Bursak is from the Ukraine.
Eduard Gutknecht (24-1, 9 Kos) defends the EBU light heavyweight title against Juergen Braehmer (38-2, 30 Kos) on Saturday Feb. 2. Their match is set for 12 rounds in Berlin, Germany.
IBF female bantamweight champion Yazmin Rivas (26-7) defends against Maria Elena Villalobos (12-8-1) on Saturday Feb. 2. Their title match will be held in Queretaro, Mexico and is scheduled for 10 rounds. Rivas, 25, is making her fourth title defense. FOX Espanol will televise.
Former junior featherweight world champion Juan Manuel Lopez (31-2, 28 Kos) of Puerto Rico fights Aldimar Santos (18-3, 9 Kos) of Brazil on Saturday. This is Lopez’s first fight since losing the WBO world title by knockout to Mexico’s Orlando Salido. Subsequently, Salido lost the title to Riverside’s Mikey Garcia. DirecTV will televise.
Andre Dirrell (20-1, 14 Kos) fights Milton Nunez (25-6-1, 23 Kos) at McAllen, Texas on Saturday Feb. 2. Dirrell, 29. Lost only to current world champion Carl Froch. Nunez, 25, fights out of Colombia. Telefutura will televise.
Argentina’s Yesica Bopp (23-0, 10 Kos) retained the WBO and WBA junior flyweight world titles by decision against Marisa Portillo (13-7-2). Their match was held in Buenos Aires. Portillo is also from Argentina.
Norwalk’s Oscar Molina (1-0) won his pro debut by unanimous decision against Hector Mendoza (1-5-1). Molina is a former Mexican Olympian. Also, Ava Knight (11-1-3) defeated Susana Vazquez (8-8-1) by unanimous decision.
Jorge Paez Jr. (34-4-1, 19 Kos) defeated Francisco Fuentes (16-4, 13 Kos) by unanimous decision in a welterweight clash. Their bout was held in Michoacan, Mexico on Saturday Jan. 26. Paez is the son of former featherweight and junior lightweight world champion Jorge “Maromero” Paez.
A battle between Argentina female junior featherweights Yesica Marcos (21-0-2) and Marcela Acuna (37-6-1) ended in a split draw after 10 rounds. The fight for the WBO and WBA titles was held in Marcos hometown Mendoza. Acuna fights out of Buenos Aires.
Roman Morales (14-0, 7 Kos) knocked out Jose Iniguez (6-15) at 1:32 of round five of a featherweight match. Their encounter took place at Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California. Francisco Santana (15-3-1, 8 Kos) knocked out Dustin Reinhold (5-4) at 2:52 of the first round of a junior middleweight bout.
Heavyweight contender Franklin Lawrence (19-2-2, 14 Kos) knocked out Mark Brown (15-5) at the end of round two. Their clash took place on Friday Jan. 25, at the Dover Downs Hotel in Dover, Delaware.
Brian Vera (22-6, 13 KOs) knocked out former junior middleweight world champion Serhiy Dzinziruk (37-2-1, 24 Kos) at 1:50 of round 10. Vera knocked down Dzinziruk a total of three times in capturing the vacant NABO middleweight title on Friday Jan. 25, in Verona, New York.
Former US 2008 Olympian Demetrius Andrade (19-0, 13 Kos) defeated Mexico’s Freddy Hernandez (30-4) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds of a junior middleweight clash. Huntington, New York was the location of the fight.
Female boxer Jessica Rakoczy (33-3, 12 Kos) of Las Vegas defeated Puerto Rico’s Ada Velez (20-5-3) for the vacant WIBA junior featherweight world title by unanimous decision in Oklahoma City on Thursday. Rakoczy is a former lightweight world champion who dropped down three weight classes. Velez is a former junior featherweight and bantamweight champion.
UFC 156 features Jose Aldo (21-1) against former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar (14-3-1) in a mixed martial arts fight card at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Saturday Feb. 2. Also on the card is Rashad Evans (22-2-1) vs. Antonio Nogueira (20-5) in a light heavyweight clash.
One Fighting Championship features a featherweight mixed martial arts championship between Eric “The Natural” Kelly and Honorio “The Rock” Banario. The MMA fight card takes place from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday Feb. 2. Many of Asia’s top fighters are participating on the fight card that streams live at 3 a.m. Pacific Coast time. The cost is $9.99. Go to www.onefc.livesport.tv.