By Jake Donovan
When Tevin Farmer and promoter Lou DiBella entered a co-promotional pact with Eddie Hearn, it came with the promise of bigger paydays and a steady stream of ring activity.
Two lucrative fights in less than two months qualifies as living up to such a promise.
Photo Credit: Tevin Farmer Twitter Account
Once a hard-luck contender, Farmer will see his name in bright lights as the Philadelphia-bred super featherweight titlist next defends his strap on December 15 at Madison Square Garden. His second title defense will come versus Francisco Fonseca, in supporting capacity to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’ challenge of secondary super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding.
Both bouts will be part of what is already becoming a loaded card which will stream live on DAZN USA.
The late addition of Farmer (27-4-1, 6KOs) to the show fills an undercard void left behind after Artur Beterbiev declined an opportunity to defend his light heavyweight belt versus Joe Smith Jr. Hearn—who promotes Fielding—was guaranteed a certain amount of undercard slots by the event’s lead promoter Golden Boy Promotions and opted to get his 130-pound charge right back in the ring.
It was an easy call for Farmer, who is coming off of a 3rd round knockout of James Tennyson. The bout was so one-sided that the 28-year old titlist immediately afterward called for one more fight on the year.
In landing on the December 15 show, he now gets to end his 2018 ring campaign in stark contrast to a tumultuous 2017 run that saw him hit hard in and out of the ring. Farmer survived a gun shot while attempting to break up an altercation outside of a family function.
The incident put him on the shelf for the next few months, but with his ring return coming in the form of his first career major title fight. The opportunity came about after his divisional rival Gervonta Davis—with whom Farmer has feuded in person and online—missed weight and was forced to vacate his title ahead of a knockout win over Fonseca last August.
Farmer’s shot came last December in Las Vegas, where fans on hand as well as HBO viewers witnessed one of the worst decisions of the year as he dropped a highly questionable split decision to Japan’s Kenichi Ogawa.
Justice came in the form of a post-fight drug test, which showed Ogawa coming up hot for the banned substance androstanediol. With the title still vacant, Farmer willingly traveled to Australia where he dominated local contender Billy Dib over 12 rounds this past August.
He now enters his second title defense, which will come just 14 weeks after realizing his dream of winning a major title.
“I’m in shape and ready to defend my title,” Farmer commented of his being available for the quick turnaround. “I ain’t gotta say much, three (title) fights in four months.”
The pairing with Fonseca is a calculated move by DiBella and Hearn. Both have openly called for a unification bout with Davis, who reclaimed a separate version of the 130-pound crown earlier this year. The forthcoming title defense provides the opportunity to compare Farmer’s performance to that of Davis’ one-sided 8th round knockout.
Fonseca (22-1-1, 16KOs)—a 24-year old from Costa Rica—has since won three straight, all by knockout and all taking place in Panama City, Panama. His upcoming challenge of Farmer will mark his second bid for a major title as well as his second in the United States—his lone career loss to Davis representing the answer to each of those trivia questions.
Farmer and Fonseca join main event players Alvarez and Fielding in all fighting at Madison Square Garden for the first time in their respective careers. The placement of this bout comes on the heels of the announced undercard clash between former middleweight titlist David Lemieux and fringe contender Tureano Johnson, who was the lone boxer to represent Bahamas in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.