This week’s edition of ESPN’s acclaimed series Friday Night Fights comes live from the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California, featuring the USBA lightweight title fight between undefeated prospect Jonathan “La Cobra” Maicelo and Rustam “Mangust” Nugaev as the main event.
The co-feature of the evening highlights two light welterweights looking to take advantage of TV time and show the boxing world what they have as will be fighting their way to bigger and better names and paydays.
To get the action started undefeated 23-year-old light welterweight Jorge “Machito” Maysonet Jr. (11-0, 10 KO) will take on Gabriel “The Ghost” Tolmajyan (13-2-1, 3 KO).
In his young career, spanning just over two years, Maysonet Jr. has made a statement to each of his opponents, finishing them off in all but one of his bouts, the second of his career back in 2011. He has stayed active inside the ring, fighting consistently and more than a handful of times each year. In doing so he has rapidly escalated up the rankings of the division, and if he produces more of the same going forward in 2013, he can position himself to be nearing the top 10 by the time he is 25.
“I’m my father’s son, yes, that’s true, but I’m my own man and I want to go even further than my father,” Maysonet Jr. said. “I love him being in my corner because it’s reassuring, but he is honest with me and I’m able to work off of the blueprint he created. This April 5th fight will be a good opportunity for me to show some distinction and have a new generation of fans get familiar with me.
But first he will have to get past Tolmajyan, who has fought as a featherweight through most of his career. Not known for his power, it should be interesting to see how well he fares against a devastating finisher like Maysonet Jr., who will undoubtedly be going out looking to end the night early and put on a show for boxing fans worldwide.
Going to battle at the Chumash Casino is nothing new for Tolmajyan, who won the biggest fight of the year at the venue in 2011 when he upset the then undefeated Daulis Prescott.
In the main event, and fighting for the USBA lightweight title, Jonathan “Inca Peruano” Maicelo (19-0, 11 KO) puts his undefeated record on the line as he collides with Rustam “The Mongoose” Nugaev (22-6, 12 KO).
Originally scheduled to be an untelevised bout, Maicelo and Nugaev got bumped up to the headliner after Marvin Quintero had to withdraw from his bout after suffering a broken nose in training camp.
The NJ native Maicelo has been waiting anxiously for his TV debut, and will be joining an impressive list of fighters who have thrown hands on FNF.
“Come April 5, the people of the United States are going to see a technical boxer, a boxer with a lot of drive, a lot of hunger, and a boxer they’re going to want to see again,” Maicello said. “I will not disappoint and I’ll give the fans what they want, which is action.”
Maicelo squares off against the hard fighting Russian Nugaev, who despite being inactive for over a year, was 7-1 in his last eight fights since 2006 (the only loss came in a bout where he fought exactly a month prior).
Conditioning for Nugaev may come into question in the late rounds of the 10-round affair, and it can almost be expected for Maicelo to push him hard through each three minutes to test how much endurance he will have throughout the rounds.
The action gets underway this Friday, April 5 at 9 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.