Roc Nation Sports and Main Events are pleased to announce the addition of four non-televised and two free-view fights, featuring a talented slate of ones to watch, to the undercard of Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” on Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The championship event featuring the highly anticipated main event and a full undercard, presented by Corona Extra, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
The non-televised portion of the action-packed undercard include Georgian Enriko Gogokhia (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. Jonathan Steele (7-0, 5 KOs) of Dallas, Texas, in a six-round welterweight bout; Russian Bakhram Murtazaliev (8-0, 6 KOs) vs. Gerald “G5” Sherrell (6-0, 2 KOs) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a six-round middleweight bout; North Bergen, New Jersey’s John Bauza (6-0, 3 KOs) vs. an opponent to be announced, in a four-round junior welterweight bout; and Brooklyn, New York’s Junior “The Young God” Younan (11-0, 8 KOs) vs. Hungarian Zoltan Sera (28-12, 19 KOs) in a six-round super middleweight bout.
The special free-view will begin at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT and will be available on YouTube.com/HBOBoxing, cable, satellite, and telco channels prior to the main event lineup. The first of two free-view telecasts pits undefeated top prospect Tramaine “Mighty Midget” Williams (10-0, 3 KOs) of New Haven, Connecticut, against tested veteran Christopher Martin (30-8-3, 10 KOs) of San Diego, California, in an eight-round junior featherweight showdown.
"A lot of people don't even get one chance in life but I’m blessed to have gotten two, so I have to take advantage of it,” said Williams. “I don’t feel any different going into this fight, it’s just another day. My past success came from hard work and that was a gift. Christopher Martin is a good and tough fighter. He has been in there before against good opponents but they're not Midget.”
“I’m looking to use my experience against Tramaine Williams on June 17,” said Martin. “I believe that is going to play a big part in me winning—whether by decision or knockout.”
“There are two main traits that are common amongst all successful people—sheer hard work, and the ability to overcome hardships and keep pushing. Tramaine possesses both of these traits, coupled with his God given talent, Midget is the real deal and soon everyone will know his name,” said Williams’s manager, Andre Prince.
“It’s great to see Tramaine Williams back on track and in the ring again,” said Michael Yormark, Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy. “He has always had the ability to ignite an audience which makes him the perfect fighter for the free-view portion of an action-packed night. Don’t miss the rise of a new star on June 17.”
In the second free-view telecast, a sure to be exciting eight-round middleweight fight, Vaughn Alexander (9-0, 6 KOs) of St. Louis, Missouri will take on Fabiano “Pit Bull” Pena (16-7-1, 13 KOs) originally from Miraselva, Parana, Brazil, but now fighting out of Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico.
When asked about the fight Alexander said, “I want to thank God, Main Events and my team. This has been a long time coming. I am inching closer to my dream and making steps towards domination.”
“I am prepared 100% to win this fight and then have a chance to face a top ten middleweight in my next fight,” said Pena.
Alexander’s manager, George Jakovic, added, “Vaughn can't wait to get in the ring again. Fabiano Pena has been in with some experienced fighters but I can tell you that Vaughn takes no one lightly and he's prepared for another victory. Vaughn’s story in and out of the ring is unprecedented and this is another step towards his goal, which is to become middleweight champion. With his mindset and having Main Events in his corner, the sky is the limit for Vaughn.”
“Whatever challenges we throw at Vaughn he rises to the occasion,” said Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events. “He is jumping at the opportunity to perform in front of an international audience. I always look forward to watching him fight. He is always exciting!”
Enriko Gogokhia, (4-0, 2 KOs), 26, is originally from the country of Georgia and now lives and trains in Oxnard, California. He is a former professional kickboxer who ended his kickboxing career with a professional record of 42-7, 21 KOs. In his most recent fight, Gogokhia stopped Bryan Goldsby in the second round on the Sullivan Barrera vs. Paul Parker HBO Latino Boxing non-televised undercard at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. This will be his first fight in Las Vegas and his first time fighting on a Pay-Per-View non-televised undercard as well.
Jonathan Steele (7-0, 5 KOs), 26, is a native of Dallas, Texas. In seven professional bouts, he has stopped five of his opponents for a 71% knockout-to-win ratio. He made his professional debut in 2013 with a second-round knockout over Christian Daniels in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Steele would go on to stop his next two opponents as well. In his most recent bout, he secured a close majority decision victory over the always-tough Marcus Beckford in Charenton, Louisiana. The judges scored the bout: 59-55, 57-57 and 58-56. This will be Steele’s fight time fighting in Las Vegas.
Bakhram Murtazaliev (8-0, 6 KOs), 24, is originally from Chelyabinsk, Russia, the same hometown as former light heavyweight world champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev. He made his professional debut in 2014, in Russia, where he defeated the first six opponents he faced, stopping four of them. In November 2016, he made his US debut on the non-televised undercard of the first Kovalev-Ward bout with a second-round knockout over Botirsher Obidov of Andijan, Uzbekistan. In his most recent fight, he stopped Josue Ovando in the fourth round in Studio City, California in January of 2017. This young prospect is undefeated with a stellar 75% knockout-to-win ratio (six of eight).
Gerald “G5” Sherrell, (6-0, 2 KOs), 23, was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He made his professional debut in 2016 in his hometown with a first-round knockout over Turner Williams. He went on to win his next four fights, closing out 2016 with five wins and two knockouts. In his most recent bout, he defeated Danny Rosenberger via a unanimous decision victory. This will be his first fight outside of his home state of Pennsylvania.
John Bauza (6-0, 3 KOs), 19, was the number one rated youth amateur fighter in the nation at 141 pounds before turning professional on April 23, 2016 at the Roger L. Mendoza Coliseum in Caguas, Puerto Rico, where he scored a first-round knockout over Leroy Padilla. Bauza’s successful debut was followed by a televised fight on the acclaimed Boxeo Al Maximo series on Mega TV which took place in his family’s hometown of Cataño, Puerto Rico on June 4, where he notched a second round technical knockout victory over Mike Erosa. Bauza rounded out 2016 with three subsequent unanimous decisions against Jose Carmona, Christopher Russell and Rafael Francis. On April 22, 2017, at Claridge Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, the prospect wasted no time knocking out Francis Gakpetor at the 17-second mark of the opening round. Bauza will put his undefeated record on the line in his Las Vegas debut, on June 17 against an opponent to be announced.
Junior “The Young God” Younan (11-0, 8 KOs), 21, has been touted as one of New York City’s best boxing prospects. An acclaimed amateur, Younan was the 2011 National Junior Golden Gloves champion and U.S.A. Boxing’s number one rated junior boxer in his weight class. Making his professional debut in 2013, Younan would go on to score six knockouts in his first seven fights. A nagging injury kept him out of the ring for most of 2015 but he has since returned with strong victories against Cristian Solorzano, Rodrigo Almeida and Jinner Guerrero. On March 28, at the Mountaineer Casino Ballroom in West Virginia, Younan pounded out a six-round unanimous decision over Miami’s Victor Darocha. Younan scored a knockdown in the third round and planted some vicious left hooks on Darocha, leaving no doubt on the judges’ final score cards (60-53 twice and 58-55). Younan will make his Las Vegas debut against Zoltan Sera on June 17.
Zoltan Sera (28-12, 19 KOs), 32, will be making his return to the American ring on June 17, after splitting his two most recent bouts in Germany (loss) and Hungary (win). The veteran boxer, who primarily fights in his native city of Budapest and Eastern Europe, was last seen stateside on the undercard of David Lemieux vs. Curtis Stevens in Verona, New York, where he was handed a fourth round technical knockout by D’Mitrius Ballard. Sera has had an active 2017 with five fights, already, in the first half of the year and will face Junior “The Young God” Younan on June 17 in Las Vegas.
Tramaine “Mighty Midget” Williams (10-0, 3 KOs), 24, showed no ill effects from a two-year layoff, impressively out boxing Eduardo Garza of Texas to win a unanimous eight-round decision at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas on March 25, 2017. The undefeated southpaw floored Garza in the first and fourth rounds, wowing a live national television audience on CBS Sports Network. Touted since his teens, the Connecticut-native was a ten-time National amateur champion, a two-time Ringside World champion and a four-time Silver Gloves champion. On June 17, Williams returns to the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas where he made his pro boxing debut at age 19.
Christopher Martin (30-8-3, 10 KOs), 30, has shared the ring with world champions Gary Russell Jr., Jhonny Gonzalez and top prospects including Miguel Marriaga, Daniel Roman, Roberto Castaneda, Teon Kennedy, Luis Orlando Del Valle and Chris Avalos. Most recently, Martin stopped USBA Featherweight Champion Daniel “Twitch” Franco in the third round of a non-title fight, handing the young lion his first career loss.
Vaughn Alexander (9-0, 6 KOs), 31, is the older brother of former world champion Devon Alexander. Alexander made his professional debut back in 2004 with five straight victories, four of which were knockouts. Then he was sent to prison for 12 years and was released early last year. Since returning to the ring, he has four straight victories and has added two more knockouts to his resume. In April, he made his television debut with his appearance on HBO Latino Boxing. Alexander was originally scheduled to fight on the non-televised undercard of the Sullivan Barrera vs. Paul Parker telecast but when the co-feature fell out at the last-minute Alexander’s match-up with Andres Calixto Rey was extended from eight to ten rounds and added to the HBO Latino telecast.
Fabiano “Pit Bull” Pena (16-7-1, KOs), 29, made his professional debut back in 2012 and has been a very active fighter over the last five years. Last year, he fought on six separate occasions including a bout against current WBC International Light Heavyweight Champion, Joe Smith Jr. in April. Smith managed to stop Pena in the second round but Fabiano had four more fights in 2016 going 3-1, 3 KOs in the remainder of 2016. In his most recent fight, he took on the always-dangerous Tureano Johnson in March of this year. Like Smith, Johnson managed to stop Pena early but this has not stopped him from continuing to pursue bouts with top middleweights.
Ward vs. Kovalev 2: “The Rematch,” a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight World Championships, is presented by Roc Nation Sports, Main Events, Andre Ward Promotions, Krusher Promotions and Corona Extra, sponsored by Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Jetlux, Life10 Water, Zappos and Powered by Monster. The championship event takes place Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Tickets for Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” are available on axs.com and at the Mandalay Bay Events Center box office.