Key West, FL/New York, NY - 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 JonathanDBE Cepeda, 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."