Top Rank has signed a pair of undefeated standouts, Atlanta-born welterweight Brian Norman Jr. and Dominican junior welterweight Rohan Polanco, to multi-fight promotional agreements.
Norman and Polanco will make their Top Rank debuts Saturday, Jan. 14, at Turning Stone Resort Casino on the ESPN+-streamed undercard of the heavyweight main event between Efe Ajagba and Oscar Rivas.
“Brian and Rohan are elite talents with world championship potential, and we expect 2023 to be the start of something special for both young men,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.
The 22-year-old Norman (22-0, 19 KOs) comes from a fighting pedigree. His father and trainer, Brian Norman Sr., fought the likes of former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal during a 28-fight professional career that spanned from 2003-2011. The younger Norman has gained invaluable experience in the gym working alongside Terence “Bud” Crawford, Gervonta “Tank” Davis, and Jaron “Boots” Ennis. He turned pro in January 2018 and went 11-0 in his first year in the paid ranks. Norman bested Flavio Rodriguez by technical decision in March 2020, earning a hard-fought victory on a nationally televised card. He won four fights in 2021, including a fifth-round TKO over Benjamin Whitaker and a trio of knockout victories in Atlanta. Norman, who hopes to leap toward title contention in 2023, is managed by Fighters First Management.
Norman said, “I’m thankful for this opportunity. I worked hard to get here and will work even harder to push my limits. January 14th will be my first fight in over a year, so I have to put on a big show. I’m doing everything in training camp to make sure I exceed my own expectations.”
“This is our first fighter signed with a major promotional company, and we couldn't be any happier that it is Top Rank,” said Jolene Mizzone, President of Fighters First Management. “We look forward to working together and getting Brian Norman, Jr. to that championship level."
Polanco (8-0, 5 KOs) turned pro before the Tokyo Olympics and went 4-0 with two knockouts in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. In his opening Olympic bout, he lost a split decision to Uzbekistan’s Bobo-Usmon Baturov. “El Rayo” made his stateside debut last November, knocking out Gabriel Fernando Punalef Calfin in three rounds. Two weeks later, he won a unanimous decision over Jonathan Jose Eniz. Polanco won two fights in 2022, most recently knocking out noted journeyman Dedrick Bell with a second-round body shot.
Polanco said, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to sign with Top Rank. I’ve devoted my life to boxing, and I’m blessed to share my talent at this level. I’ll step in the ring again January 14th at Turning Stone, and I look forward to putting on a show for the fans. I want to thank God, my family, my trainer Hector Bermudez, my manager Gary Hyde, and all my supporters along the way. If you don’t know my name, you’re going to know it soon. See you in January!”
“I’m delighted Rohan signed with the best promoter in boxing,” Hyde said. “I’m sure Top Rank will guide my guy to the top, and he will soon be in the mix of an already exciting 140-pound division.”