Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) world champions ÓSCAR VALDEZ and GILBERTO “Zurdo” RAMIREZ will headline and exciting world championship event this Friday, September 22, at Tucson Arena.
Valdez (22-0, 19 KOs), a two-time Mexican Olympian with strong roots in Tucson, will be defending his WBO featherweight title against the WBO’s No. 4 world-rated contender GENESIS SERVANIA (29-0, 12 KOs), of Bacolod City, Philippines.
WBO super middleweight champion Ramirez (35-0, 24 KOs), from Mazatlan Mexico, will take on No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger JESSE “Hard Work” HART (22-0, 18 KOs), of Philadelphia, PA, in the grudge match of the year. The four warriors boast a perfect combined record of 108-0 (73 KOs) with nearly 70% of their victories coming by way of knockout. Here is what they had to say at today’s media workout:
“I worked so hard in this training camp with Manny [Robles]. I am prepared for Servania. He is rugged and strong. He has my upmost respect
“Bob Arum is a great human being helping the Dreamers. The Dreamers just want to work, raise families and be peaceful. Bob is doing all he can to help them. I want to thank him personally.
“ESPN is seen all over the world. It’s an honor to fight on this great network. Our fights will be seen everyplace imaginable.”
“Oscar had a great camp like he always does. He never looks past an opponent. He has a high level of respect of all who get into the ring against him. He is happy to be fighting in Tucson. His fans and family will be in the arena on Friday night. Oscar is ready. Trust me.”
This is my first time getting into the ring and fighting for a world title. It’s exciting. It’s my fight to win because I have trained so hard for this opportunity. It will be my hardest fight but you will soon see I came to Tucson to win and become the new world champion.”
“Jesse Hart is a good fighter. A tough fighter. He earned the right to be my mandatory challenger. But that does not give him the right to say bad things about me. I do my talking in the ring. On Friday night he will hear my response loud and clear.”
“When I beat Zurdo for the world title I am going to wrap the championship belt right around my Dad’s waist. This fight on Friday is for my father Cyclone Hart and what he never got in all of those years in the big ring – a shot at the title.”
The event will be further enhanced with the addition of Irish Olympic hero MICHAEL “MICK” CONLAN, 2016 U.S. Olympian MIKAELA MAYER and the battle for the vacant NABF welterweight title between EGIS KAVALIAUSKAS and MAHONRI MONTES. Conlan (3-0, 3 KOs) will rumble in six-round featherweight bout against Kenny Guzman (3-0, 1 KO), Kalispell, Montana, and Mayer (1-0, 1 KO) will take on Allison Martinez (1-2, 1 KO) from Spring, Texas, in a four-round lightweight bout.
Both world championship fights and Conlan’s six-round featherweight battle against Kenny Guzman (3-0, 1 KO), of Kalispell, Montana, will be televised live and exclusively at 10:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream live on the ESPN app. The entire card will be available via the ESPN app beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT.
All photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank