World-rated super middleweight contender “Dangerous” Dyah Ali Davis (20-2-1, 9 KOs) headlines against Alfonso “The Tiger” Lopez (22-1, 17 KOs) in this week 2012 season-opening ESPN Friday Night Fights show, held outdoors in Mallory Square in Key West, Florida.
Presently rated No. 9 by the World Boxing Council (“WBC”) and No. 10 by the World Boxing Association (“WBA”), Davis will not be fighting too far from his Fort Lauderdale home in the 10-round main event versus Lopez, who fights out of Cut and Shoot, Texas.
“Friday night is very important for me because it’s the first ESPN show of the year and my first fight on ESPN,” Davis said as he concluded training camp. “I think ESPN has an even broader range of coverage than HBO or Showtime because everybody has it. It’s my coming out party. I’m looking forward to having a great 2012, so why not start things off with a great performance on a big stage?”
The son of 1976 Olympic gold medalist and Most Outstanding Boxer, Howard Davis, Jr., Dyah’s signature victory of date occurred last April on ShoBox, when he won an impressive 10-round decision in Texas against previously unbeaten (20-0) and highly-ranked Marcus Johnson. Davis also has a decision win against USBA middleweight champion Osumano Adama, who was undefeated (13-0) in 2009 going into their six-round bout in Miami Beach. Adama, who recently defeated former world champion Roman Karmazin (TKO9) in an International Boxing Federation (“IBF”) eliminator, is the No. 1 contender in line to fight IBF champion Daniel Geale.
Lopez’ lone loss as a pro was to former world champion Kelly Pavlik, by way of a 10-round majority decision, last May in Las Vegas.
“Lopez is a good boxer who didn’t have a lot of amateur fights,” noted Davis, who didn’t have a single amateur match. “He’s a quick learner, too. He has good movement and he puts his punches together. He can make for a difficult fight with his movement, but we’ve been working hard to nullify that.”
Dyah’s head trainer the past 2 ½ years, two-time world champion John David Jackson, has been where Davis aspires to reach. “This training camp was productive and pleasant because of the addition of Mr. Craig Gibson, who worked with Dyah on strength conditioning and planning his diet,” Jackson commented. “That made my job in the gym that much easier because I didn’t have to worry about Dyah losing weight. He’s on weight and looks great.
“The biggest improvements I’ve seen since working with Dyah is the confidence he has in himself. He never had an amateur background, so fighting had been like on-the-job-training for him. And he doesn’t move around as much in the ring; his footwork is still there but he’s executing much better, and less movement has resulted in him throwing better punches with additional power. His punches now have more impact when they hit his opponent.
“I haven’t seen much of Lopez other than his fight against Pavlik, but I don’t see anything special. He has decent movement and power, but doesn’t have one dominant area. This fight is about Dyah. If he wins impressively for TV people watching, it should lead to bigger fights and better paydays for Dyah. The way in which he wins, spectacularly, will get him to that next level.”
Key West, FL/New York, NY – (1/4/2012) – This Friday night, the Bronx’s fast-rising junior middleweight prospect Steven Martinez (11-0, 9KO’s) will be in the most important fight of his young career when he takes on Denis Douglin (13-1, 8KO’s) in an eight-round contest in the opening televised bout of the 2012 Season Premiere of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights”, from Mallory Square in beautiful Key West, Florida. The card, promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with D & J Management Productions, is headlined by world-rated Dyah Davis (20-2-1, 9KO’s) taking on Alfonso Lopez (22-1, 17KO’s) in a 10-round super middleweight showdown. ESPN2/ESPN3 will begin live coverage at 9PM ET.
Martinez, a former three-time NY Golden Gloves champion and 2008 National Golden Gloves 152lb. champion, was originally scheduled to take on fellow undefeated prospect JonathanCepeda, until Cepeda was forced to pull out after being in a car accident. (Editors Note: Cepeda’s injuries are neither life- nor career threatening.) Now Martinez is set to meet a much more familiar face in the 2008 National Golden Gloves 165lb. champion Douglin.
“I had a great training camp,” said Martinez. “I am expecting a tough fight come Friday night. He is a good solid southpaw who knows what he is doing in that ring. We were in a couple of different tournaments together back in our amateur days, but we never fought one another because we fought in different weight classes.”
For those who haven’t yet caught a glimpse of the 21-year-old Puerto Rican prospect, be sure to tune in on Friday night. Managed by well-known boxing manager Pat Lynch and New York Giants starting running back Brandon Jacobs, Martinez is one of the most promising and exciting prospects to come out of the New York area in years.
Standing 6’1″ with lightning-quick hands and devastating knockout power, Martinez has been dominant since turning pro back in August of 2009. Eight of his nine knockouts have come in three rounds or less, and Martinez promises to put on another exciting performance when he steps into the ring on Friday night.
“This is going to be an explosive and crowd-pleasing fight. My style of fighting is always action-packed, and Friday night will be no exception. I am going to bring my A-game and I hope that he brings his. I have been working so hard in the gym. I am just anxious to get in there and showcase my talent in the national spotlight.”
Martinez, who gained valuable experience this past summer serving as one of the lead sparring partners for Middleweight Champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, is not only looking to put on a good show Friday night but also to make a statement to the boxing world.
“I’m looking to show everyone who Steven Martinez is and that I am here to stay. I know this is a tough fight, but I am ready to make my move right now, and for that to happen, these are the types of fights that I need to have. Keep your eyes on me because 2012 is my year.”