The previously announced ESPN Friday Night Fights card has shaken up a bit. The card, being promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Fight Promotions Inc. and New Legend Boxing, at the beautiful Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT, was originally slated to be headlined by Sergey Derevyanchenko (4-0, 3KO’s) taking on Elvin Ayala (27-6-1, 12KO’s). With Ayala facing a legal situation, promoter Lou DiBella has elected to replace the feature bout, moving Derevyanchenko over to his April 10th ShoBox card, and sliding in red-hot undefeated junior middleweight Tony Harrison (20-0, 17KO’s) into the main event slot. Harrison is set to square off against Mexico’s Pablo Munguia (20-6, 11KO’s) in the 10-round feature bout of the evening.
The eagerly anticipated co-feature remains intact, with WBA #10-rated super featherweight Ryan Kielczweski (22-0, 6KO’s) putting his undefeated record on the line against Connecticut’s own Danny Aquino (16-2, 10KO’s) in an eight-round featherweight matchup and battle for New England bragging rights.
Opening up the triple-header is junior lightweight contender Tevin Farmer (18-4-1, 4KO’s) taking on Gabriel Tolmajyan (14-4-2, 3KO’s) in an eight-round 130lb. matchup.
Live coverage will begin at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and will also be available through WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One via an affiliated video provider. In addition ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates will carry the fights live on broadband Spanish-language ESPN Deportes+.
“I want to thank Al Haymon and Lou DiBella for giving me this fight and I also want to thank ESPN for giving me another opportunity to display my talent to the world. Come April 17th, you are going to see another great performance by Tony Harrison. I am coming to put on a heck of a show and display my full arsenal. I know my opponent is tough and he has been in there with some pretty good guys, but I am coming in there in top shape. This is going to be an exciting fight for as long as it lasts, so get there early, get your popcorn ready, and don’t blink,” stated Harrison.
The 24-year-old Harrison, a former protégé of the late great Emanuel Steward, is as good as any up-and-coming prospect in the game right now, and is expected to begin moving into title contention this year. The bout on April 17th will be his second straight headlining bout on the ESPN network in just over a month. On March 6th, Harrison destroyed longtime fringe contender Antwone Smith, dropping Smith twice in the first round before getting the official stoppage in the second. Munguia is expected to be a stern test for Harrison, arguably his toughest to date. Munguia is 3-2 in his last five bouts, but those five opponents have had a combined record of 92-5-2. In his most recent bout in February of this year, Munguia dropped a razor-thin split decision to highly regarded former Cuban silver medalist Yudel Johnson. Munguia knows that a win on April 17th, on national TV, will propel him into the type of fights that he is looking for.
“I want to thank DiBella Entertainment and ESPN for this great opportunity to get my career back on track and moving in the direction I want it,” said Munguia. “I have 20 wins and on April 17, I will secure my 21st victory, the most important of my career. I believe April 17th will be the beginning of a great run for me and my career.”
It is hard to think of another fighter in recent memory that has had as drastic a career turnaround as Tevin Farmer has had.Three years ago, Farmer’s record stood at 7-4-1 and he was considered nothing more than a tough Philly fighter who was a good opponent to match against up-and-coming prospects. Fast-forward three years and 11 impressive wins later and Farmer has not only emerged as one of the prospects he was once put in against, but as a legitimate contender. In his most recent outing in January, his first fight since signing with DBE, Farmer easily defeated once-beaten Victor Chernous (15-1-1), winning a dominant eight-round unanimous decision. Farmer, in whom promoter Lou DiBella sees style comparisons to Pernell Whitaker, comes from a boxing family and has family ties to Hall-of-Famer Joe Gans, who was called the greatest lightweight boxer of all time by boxing historian and Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer.
Farmer is looking to build his own legacy and knows he has the talent and ability to compete against the best the 130lb. division has to offer, but he must first get by the hungry and determined Tolmajyan.
“April 17th is a very big fight for me, the biggest of my career. Every fight out from here on is the biggest fight of my life,” said Farmer. “Every time I step into the ring, I’m looking to make a statement. I have worked so hard to get to this point; I can’t let anyone take this away from me. I want to thank my manager Mark Cipparone and my trainers Raul Rivas and Rashiem Jefferson for believing in me and Lou DiBella and ESPN for giving me this opportunity. Come April 17th, I am going to be at my absolute best. April 17th is going to be the beginning of something special.”
Like Farmer, Tolmajyan’s record is deceiving. Tolmajyan has never been stopped in his career, and three of his four career losses have come against undefeated opponents, including fellow Farmer conqueror, and #1 contender, Jose Pedraza. Tolmajyan holds victories over three previously undefeated foes, including an eight-round decision win over world-rated contender and former featherweight world-title challenger Daulis Prescott.
Additional bouts on the card will be announced shortly.
Tickets are currently on sale and are priced at $100, $70 and $30 (subject to additional fees). Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.mohegansun.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased by visiting the Mohegan Sun Box Office. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. ET with the first bout scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.