NEW YORK (February 26, 2013) - Co-promoters DiBella Entertainment and 50 Cent's SMS Promotions have announced a solid undercard supporting this week's ESPN Friday Night Fights event, featuring International Boxing Federation (IBF) Featherweight Champion Billy "The Kid" Dib (35-1-0-1NC, 21 KOs) defending his title against undefeated Russian challenger Evgeny Gradovich (15-0, 8 KOs), airing live (9 p.m. ET start) from the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
The 12-round main event pits Australia-native Dib, promoted by 50 Cent, against Gradovich. In the 10-round ESPN Friday Night Fights co-feature, North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super welterweight champion Willie "The Great" Nelson (19-1-1, 11 KOs) makes his first title defense against Michael "El Magnifico" Medina (26-3-2, 19 KOs). The Nelson-Medina fight is being promoted in association with Rumble Time Promotions. The event is sponsored by SMS Audio.
Undefeated prospect Ryan "Polish Prince" Kielczweski (15-0, 3 KOs), fighting out of Quincy (MA), takes on Houston's Gil "La Metrealleta" Garcia (5-3-1, 1 KO) in an eight-round junior lightweight bout.
Another unbeaten New Englander, New Haven super bantamweight Luis "KO King" Rosa Jr. (12-0, 6 KOs), is matched against New York City-veteran Jhovany Collado (4-5-2, 1 KO) in an eight-rounder.
World Boxing Association (WBA) No. 11-rated welterweight Charlie Ota (21-1, 15 KOs), fighting out of Japan by way of Harlem, has been added to the card in a six-round bout against hard-hitting Brandon "The Business" Baue (12-9, 10 KOs). Ota joined the US Navy in 2000 and was stationed in Japan. Reigning OPBF and Japanese champion Ota was slated to fight this past Thursday in New York City but the fight fell through. Baue, who lives in Troy, Missouri, lost a six-round decision in his last action to former world champion Yuri Foreman.
The fastest rising New England female boxer, New London's (Conn.) undefeated junior featherweight Shelly "Shelito's Way" Vincent (7-0), who is trained by Peter Manfredo Sr. in Rhode Island, faces Mikayla Nebel (0-3) in a six-round fight.
Also fighting on the undercard in four-round bouts are former Southern Connecticut State College football player, New Haven junior middleweight Jimmy Williams (1-0, 1 KO), against Raynard Younger (0-1), from Georgia, and Arizona junior welterweight Luis Olivares makes his professional debut versus Houston's Rafael Munoz (1-1), while Cincinnati lightweight Donte Strayhorn meets Cranston's (RI) Joe Pingitore in a battle of pro-debut fighters.
The event is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and 50 cent's SMS Promotions and sponsored by SMS Audio. Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $75 and $40, may be purchased online at foxwoods.com, by calling the Foxwoods' box office at 800-200-2882, or in person at the Foxwoods' box office.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. ET with the first bout scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV