Undefeated Bantamweights Payano and Maraon to Meet for Vacant WBA Interim Title on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights
The June 14 edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra will feature undefeated Bantamweights Juan Carlos “Baby Pacquiao” Payano (13-0, 7 KOs) and Jundy Maraon (15-0-1, 12 KOs) in the 12-round main event for the vacant WBA Interim Title. Friday’s show from Richard J. Codey Arena in West Orange, N.J., will air live at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes and Watch ESPN.
Watch Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore preview Friday’s main event
Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be ringside describing the action for ESPN2 HD, while studio host Todd Grisham (@GrishamESPN) will provide the latest boxing news and present video highlights from last weekend’s International Boxing Hall of Fame induction ceremony from Canastota, N.Y. Pablo Viruega and Delvin Rodriguez will call this week’s fights for ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates (Friday Night Fights) with Claudia Trejos and Leopoldo Gonzalez in the studio. Bilingual reporter Bernardo Osuna (@osunaespn) will present live interviews and reports for both shows.
Miami’s Payano, a 2004 and 2008 Dominican Republic Olympian, is coming off a second-round TKO win over Jhon Molina.
Payano said through an interpreter, "My style is similar to Manny Pacquiao – that's why I'm ‘Baby Pacquiao.’ But I feel like I'm a little more organized with my punches, have better technique and better fighting ability. I think Maraon is a great fighter. He's very strong and technically very sound. But I feel that he's a one-way fighter, always looking for the knockout. He hasn't really fought my caliber, so the knockouts have come easy. I consider myself a great fighter, as well – it will be two good fighters facing each other on June 14th, and I'll be prepared.”
California’s Maraon is looking to continue his winning ways after a third-round knockout win over Ernest Marquez in his last fight.
"He's quick and fast. He's strong – Jundy [Maraon] doesn't hit like a bantam, he hits hard,” trainer Nonito Donaire Sr. said. “I watched video of Payano. He's good, but he doesn't have the punching power like Jundy. I think this is going to be a good fight. Payano is not just like ‘any opponent’ – he's a good fighter, too.”
Friday’s 10-round co-feature will pit Junior Featherweights Yenifel “El Rayo” Vicente (24-1-2, 16 KOs) of Miami against New Jersey’s Jorge “King” Diaz (17-1, 10 KOs). Vicente scored a second-round TKO win over Aneudy Mesa in his last fight, while Diaz will look to build momentum following a six-round unanimous decision win over Victor Sanchez.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV