Bethlehem, PA-World-rated welterweight Ronald Cruz, who has had all of his pro fights in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and Prenice Brewer, who has boxed professionally in 13 different states, collide for the vacant WBC Continental Americas title in a scheduled 12-round contest on Friday evening, June 1, on the inaugural boxing show in the new 1,800-seat Events Center at the Sands Resort Casino Bethlehem.
The seven-fight card, which will be televised live as part of the NBC Sports Network Fight Night series, also features King Gabriel Rosado, of Philadelphia, PA, against Sechew Powell, of Brooklyn, NY, in a 12-rounder for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental junior middleweight crown in a matchup of top contenders. THe NBC Sports Network Fight Night telecast beings at 9PM ET.
Ranked No. 12 in the world at 147 pounds by the IBF, Cruz (above right) is 16-0, 12 K0s. Eight of his 16 fights have been in Pennsylvania-seven in Philadelphia, one in Bethlehem--and the other eight in Atlantic City, NJ.
In his last fight Feb. 25 in Atlantic City, the 25-year-old Cruz earned a unanimous 10-round decision over Allen Conyers, of the Bronx, NY.
"There are a lot of distractions when you fight in your hometown," said Jimmy Deoria, Cruz' manager and former lightweight pro boxer from the 1990s. "People are always calling for tickets. Reporters want to do interviews. Fans are always around. But Ronald is a warrior. He thrives under pressure. He's a lot more relaxed than I am."
Brewer (above left) has boxed only once in his Cleveland, OH, hometown. He has traveled from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City to the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, CA.
A pro since 2006, the 24-year-old Brewer has boxed in New York (three times), Missouri (three), Michigan (twice), and once each in Illinois, Oklahoma, Florida, California, Washington state, Kansas, Indiana, Connecticut, Ohio and the District of Columbia.
"Brewer had a lot of offers from different promoters when he turned pro," said matchmaker Eric Bottjer, who helps to arrange Cruz' fight schedule. "After awhile he decided to do it on his own and he's done pretty well for himself."
In is last fight Nov. 10, Brewer scored an upset victory over highly touted and previously unbeaten southpaw Emmanuel Taylor in Taylor's backyard of Washington, DC.
The eight-round split decision over Taylor improved Brewer's five-year pro record to 16-1-1, 7 K0s.
ABOUT JUNE 1
The Rosado-Powell and Cruz-Brewer fights top a seven-bout card at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. First fight is 7.30 pm. Tickets are priced at $50 and $75 as well as luxury suite seats for $125.00. Tickets can be purchased through the offices of Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922) or online at www.peltzboxing.com, www.SandsEventCenter.com, and www.Ticketmaster.com. In Bethlehem, tickets are available at Pronto Insurance Notary, 232 East 3rd Street (610-419-6790).
NBC Sports Network will televise the Rosado-Powell and Cruz-Brewer fights, beginning at 9 pm. The card is being promoted by Main Events and Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc., in association with the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem and www.goDaddy.com.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV