(image courtesy of Top Rank Promotions)
A very intriguing fight, that we kind of tongue in cheek already knew would happen, was officially announced Wednesday by Top Rank Promotions. Jesse “Hollywood” Hart, best remembered for his two-fight battles with Mexican Champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, will move up to Light Heavyweight to face former world title challenger himself, Sullivan Barrera.
Their scheduled 10 round bout will be featured as the co-main event to the still lineal Heavyweight Champ Tyson Fury as he takes on Tom Schwarz. Both fights will be aired exclusively on the ESPN+ App June 15th 10 pm ET live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Jesse Hart is best remembered, while campaigning at Super Middleweight, for his two narrow losses to Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez. Both were for title bouts and in both, Jesse displayed the grit and effort that became customary of his first nickname: “Hard Work” Hart. His first opponent was set to be Eleider “Storm” Alvarez, the first man to knockout “Krusher” Kovalev. An injury to Alvarez derailed those plans.
“On June 15th, I’m coming to knock him out.” Hart (25-2, 21 KO’s) said. “I refuse to lose. This is a legacy fight. I want the big names. I need a big name, and Barrera is the name. I don’t want to just win and coast to some boring decision. I’m coming to prove to the world that I can fight with these bigger guys. After I knock Barrera out, I’m coming for all the champions. The light heavyweights better watch out because “Hollywood” Hart is here.”
Cuban Sullivan Barrera (22-2, 14 KO’s) has been here before. He was the second fight of Andre Wards 2016 introduction to the Light Heavyweight division. No shame in losing for the first time to a special talent such as Andre Ward. More recently, Barrera was stopped by WBA Champ Dmitry Bivol, in the 12th round of their 2018 bout. Bivol himself is a force in the division. Barreras last action was in an uneven win against American Sean Monaghan towards the end of 2018.
“I am excited to face Jesse Hart, a great fighter who has also been in there with world champions,” Barrera said. “This is a must-win fight. Simple as that. Camp has been great for me, and I am looking forward to June 15. It’s going to be a great card, and I am going to show everyone in Las Vegas and watching on ESPN+ what I’m truly made of.”
This is basically a Top Rank Light Heavyweight eliminator fight. The winner has almost assured a title shot due to the ridiculous depth Top Rank, and ESPN, currently have in their stable. They include current Champions Sergey Kovalev, Artur Beterbiev and are involved with Oleksandr Gvozdyk. Aforementioned Eleider Alvarez will eventually return from injury sometime in the Summer. Also throwing his name in the mix is undefeated former champ Mexican Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez with his recent move one division north. Indeed one of the boxings more exciting divisions since all these fights realistically can easily be made.
The rest of the undercard will air live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes beginning at 7 pm ET before switching to ESPN+ for the top two fights.
The final bout on the ESPN+ portion of the card will feature 2016 Olympian Mikaela Mayer (10-0, 4 KO’s), 28, of Los Angeles. She will fight former world title challenger Lizbeth Crespo )13-4, 3 KO’s), 28, a native of Bolivia, in a 10 round junior lightweight bout.
“It’s been a dream of mine to see women fighting alongside marquee names like Tyson Fury, and I’m grateful to be fighting at the MGM Grand on June 15,” Mayer said. “There’s still a lot the world hasn’t seen when it comes to my style and I’m ready to show everyone something special.”
In other preliminary bouts that will be on the ESPN 2 and ESPN Deportes portion of the card: Heavyweight Guido Vianello (3-0, 3 KO’s), 25, a 2016 Italian Olympian, will face an opponent to be determined in a six-rounder.
British featherweight Isaac Lowe (17-0-3 6 KO’s), 25, who is stablemate of Fury’s, will fight an opponent to be named in a 10-rounder.
German super middleweight Cem Kilic (13-0, 8 KO’s) will take on an opponent to be determined in an eight-round bout.
Heavyweight Sonny Conto (2-0, 2 KO’s), 23, of Philadelphia, will fight a four-rounder against an opponent to be determined.
Heavyweight prospect Peter Kadiru (3-0, 1 KO), 21, of Germany, will face an opponent to be determined in a four rounder.
Article Written By
Manuel “Hopper” Dominguez