The USNBC Super Middleweight title will be up for grabs when red-hot Super Middleweight prospect D’Mitrius “Big Meech” Ballard (16-0, 12 KOs) rides a five-knockout steak into a 10-round battle against heavy-handed Adrian Luna (18-4-1, 11 KOs) in the co-main event of the May 18 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN. The event was originally scheduled to be live on ESPN2, and has now been upgraded to ESPN and ESPN Deportes. Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya will be ringside watching the action as Diego De La Hoya faces hard hitting Erik Ruiz.
The fight – which will serve as chief support to WBC Youth World Champion Diego De La Hoya’s (17-0, 9 KOs) fight with Erik Ruiz (16-6-1, 6 KOs) — will take place at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona and be televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes starting at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST. Calling the action live ringside for ESPN will be Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins.
A slew of Golden Boy’s top prospects will round out the stacked card.
Hoping to make TV, super featherweight prospect Hector “El Finito” Tanajara Jr. (8-0, 4 KOs) will face in a four or six-round fight against Daniel Bastien of Monterrey, Mexico. Tanajara is quickly returning from a brutal war in March in which he tasted the canvas for the first time in his career only to rise and win a unanimous decision over Daniel Perales.
Longtime Mexican super lightweight superstar Roberto “Tito” Manzanarez (34-1, 28 KOs) will square off in his second fight in the U.S. under the Golden Boy banner in an eight-round battle against Tijuana, Mexico’s Erick “Platano” Martinez (13-6-1, 7 KOs). Manzanarez was last seen in February taking out longtime contender former world champion Gamaliel Diaz with a brutal body shot in the fourth round.
Phoenix, AZ native Eben Vargas (4-0, 3 KOs) will take on Rodolfo “Rudy” Gamez (1-2) in a four-round welterweight fight. Vargas, a decorated amateur, will return to the ring only weeks after a stellar first-round knockout against Jose Mesa.
Staying active, undefeated super lightweight prospect Jonathan “Thunder” Navarro (9-0, 6 KOs) will return for the second time in just over a month and look for a repeat of his April knockout performance. He will fight Ciudad Juarez’s Ricardo “Maniac” Fernandez (3-4-4) in a six-round super lightweight bout.
Opening up the card, undefeated super flyweight prospect Joshua “The Professor” Franco (9-0, 5 KOs) will battle for six rounds against Mexicali, Mexico’s Marco Sanchez (9-4-2, 4 KOs).
De La Hoya vs. Ruiz is a 10-round super bantamweight bout set for May 18, presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Showdown Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate “Born BOLD” and Hennessy, never stop, never settle. ESPN and ESPN Deportes will transmit the fights live from Casino Del Sol beginning at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST. ESPN3 live stream of the fight will begin at approximately 8:30 p.m. EST/5:30 p.m. PST.
Tickets are on sale and range from $30.00-$105.00 (includes convenience fee). Tickets are available for purchase at the Casino Del Sol gift shop and online at casinodelsol.com.