NEW YORK, NY (February 14, 2013) - North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super welterweight champion Willie "The Great" Nelson (19-1-1, 11 KOs) plans to make a major statement on March 1, against Michael "El Magnifico" Medina (26-3-2, 19 KOs) in the 10-round co-feature on ESPN Friday Night Fights, airing live from Foxwoods Resort Casino's MGM Grand Theater, in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
The ESPN Friday Night Fights card, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and 50 Cent's SMS Promotions, will air live at 9 p.m. ET. The Nelson-Medina bout is promoted in association with Rumble Time Promotions.
The 12-round main event on ESPN Friday Night Fights features International Boxing Federation (IBF) Featherweight Champion Billy "The Kid" Dib (35-1-0-1NC, 21 KOs), who is promoted by 50 Cent, and fighting in the United States for the first time in four-and-a-half years. The Australian boxer defends his title against undefeated Russian challenger Evgeny Gradovich (15-0, 8 KOs), rated No. 11 by the IBF.
Nelson (19-1-1, 11 KOs) is coming off consecutive victories by impressive 10-round decisions over a pair of previously unbeaten Olympians - two-time Cuban National champion Yudel Jhonson (12-1), on ShoBox, and World Boxing Council (WBC) Youth champion John "Dah Rock" Jackson (13-1, 12 KOs) for the vacant NABF super welterweight title.
Another impressive win for Nelson, who is the top-ranked American in the World Boxing Council (WBC) ratings at No. 5, should move him up the ladder and closer to a world title shot.
"This fight is very important for my career because I'll be showcasing my talent on ESPN and so many people will see me fight," Nelson said. "This fight is going to get me closer to the top of my division in the WBC. Personally, though, it's just another fight that won't affect me in the ring.
"Medina comes straight forward and throws a lot of punches, but he has poor defense, throws looping punches, and doesn't move his head. He likes to throw a lot of body punches. I've fought a lot of guys like him in the amateurs and a few as a pro."
WBC No. 17-ranked Medina will be giving away three-and-a-half inches in height, as well as a nine-inch reach advantage, to the 6'4" Nelson, who has an 84" reach. Medina, whose most notable win to date is a 10-round decision in 2011 over Grady Brewer, has been stopped only once, by Saul Roman, and his only other losses as a professional have been to the undefeated Vanes Martirosyan and John Duddy.
Nelson is co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Steve Smith's Rumble Time Promotions.
The undercard, featuring some of New England's most promising prospects, will soon be announced.