John “The Phenom” Vera will square off against Nigerian Sunday “Golden Child” Ajuwa
By Roberto Montano
2017 has been an eye-opening year for boxing fans old and new. While huge fights this year like the widely success event of Mayweather vs Macgregor and the high anticipated Saul Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin fight have received the most attention- boxing has steady provided week in and out quality and quantity amounts of legit boxing entertainment. The metroplex has always had a presence in the national boxing scene. In recent past years DFW has shown flashes of top level action but still limited to long event droughts both on the national and regional exposure on the pro level.
Local Talent has always been present in the metroplex but the reality of business has limited promotional companies to few dates and fewer fights. Locally we have weathered enough storms to raise more than a few pro level fighters who at times traveled outside of the region to get their opportunity. On September 29th, the metroplex gets its chance to showcase their talents against legit mid-level competition on a national televised stage in their back yards. Roy jones Jr Promotions brings his entertaining televised event to Gilley’s in Dallas, Texas.
The 6-fight card is Roy Jones Jr first trip to Dallas, Texas as a promoter bringing some of the fresh talent that the metroplex and Texas should offer. Sprinkle in a few top talent newbies from around the world and you have the chance for an excellent night of entertainment.
Fights scheduled for the card include.
Texas fighter Jose Rivera (4-0, 2 KOs) is making a return trip to Dallas facing 21 fight veteran Alberto Navarro (3-15-3, 1 KO) in a four-round lightweight contest. Rivera comes in off a 4rd UD win in June where he seemed to tail off late in fight, while Navarro comes in fighting for the 3rd time this year though he has come up winless in his last 10 fights. Still Navarro has fought a who’s who of Texas talent so it should be a good gauge of where Rivera stands in the Texas lightweight scene.
In a Battle of the metroplex we have fresh faced Fort Worth native Edward Vasquez (2-0 1 NC) taking on always tough Thomas smith (3-5-1, 2 KOs) in a 4 round lightweight contest. Thomas smith has not taken an easy road in his professional career traveling out of state in half his fights he has also fought two of the newest top prospects in the nation. He comes into his 4th fight of 2017 off three straight losses. Meanwhile in the other corner Edward Vasquez comes into his 3rd fight of the year off a UD win over in Mexico over a highly regarded Mexican new comer. this could be a strong test for Vasquez while he may be the fresher more talented fighter I think Thomas is the more battle tested and should have a chip on his shoulder to take the 0 from a young lion. This is a great style makes fight matchup expect fireworks. I was able to ask Vasquez about what he was looking to prove and if he thought of fighting a dallas fighter. His response “I’m just coming to do my job and show the fans and promoters that I come ready for war every time, and to show that I just continue to improve every time I get in that ring. It doesn’t matter who I’m fighting or where they’re from, boxing is boxing, we’ll see who is better prepared.” With that said expect a war.
In the lone heavyweight fight of the night Kazakhstan born Ivan Dychko makes his pro debut against Florida native Abur Wright (2-1, 1 KO) in a 4-round contest. This is a coming out party for Ivan. He is a 2012 London and 2016 Rio bronze medalist in the Olympic games. Having won multiple amateur medals, he steps into the ring as a pro for the first time against a winning record opponent. Wright fights for the first time this year after two victories in 2016. This is sure to be fireworks while it lasts.
Lightweight Gabriel Flores Jr (3-0, 2 KOs) fighting out of Stockton, California returns to Dallas for the second time this year to fight Missouri native Donnie Reeves (1-0, 1 KO) in a four-round affair. Flores is the youngest ever top rank boxing signee in its storied history. After going 91-7 in the amateurs and claiming medals in high class championships he signed at 16 years old eventually making his stateside debut in Reno. Flores has been kept busy fighting for the 4th time this year. Donnie reeves will serve as the opponent coming in for the second time this year after his pro debut first round knockout win this past April. While Donnie is an unknown he will provide work for gab has he tries to sharpen skills he will need later in his career.
In the nights, co-main event, Mesquite, Texas cruiserweight Adrian ‘Montu-Ra” Taylor (4-0, 3 KOs) goes to war with Ronald Nixon (8-1, 7 KOs) out of Los Angeles, California in a fight scheduled for 6 rounds. This fight has knockout written all over it. Taylor has been a local amateur favorite fighting alongside many pros as he honed his skills in the minor leagues. In the fall of 2016 he jumped into the pro paid ranks and have taken off on a winning streak. He is fighting on a quick turnaround. having last fought just a month ago winning a four-round UD in Hinckley, Minnesota. He will need to be in tip top shape to turn around a 4 yr pro veteran who is also coming off a fight in July where he made short work of his foe with a first-round KO. Nixon’s only blemish is a first-round knockout loss in august of 2016. Expect fireworks as they claim a foot hold in slim American cruiserweight division.
This nights Main Event the increasing popular and world ranked John “The Phenom” Vera Jr (17-0, 10 KOs) faces Lagos, Nigeria born Sunday Ajuwa (13-2, 10 KOs) in a 8 round main event live on Bein Sports TV Network. John comes in having fought, won, and retaining his WBA-NABA USA Super Welterweight Title in july with a MD win over Daniel Rosario Cruz in Arizona. He returns for the first time since January of 2015 to take on an unknown Nigerian KO artist making his United States debut. This has potential to derail the plans of a world title shot that is on the horizon for Vera Jr. Ajuwa, 26 Years old, comes in having knocked out his last opponent in one round and is looking to make a statement on a national scene while facing his best foe to date. Vera comes home on the biggest card of his career as he headlines a national televised event in front of a home crowd with high expectations.
Vera’s last two fights have been close workmen like decision against mid-level competition after a string of highlight worthy knockouts. Those close hard fights may be a blessing in disguise as I expect Ajuwa to come out swinging and swinging often. Vera has progressed well and should be ready for whatever Ajuwa brings to the ring.
While the above review of the upcoming card is lengthy I sense im am not giving the card the bang it will surely provide. Along with these fights are the event attention to detail that promotors give events. Expect great food, drinks, and music to accompany a great intimate venue. Do yourself a favor and don’t miss this TRU event.