By Jake Donovan
The January 16 edition of ESPN2 Friday Night Fights was to feature the two winners from the network's Boxcino tournaments held last year. The show will go on for one, while lightweight Petr Petrov is forced to sit on the sidelines for a little while longer.
Petrov, out of the ring since last May, is now without an opponent after Hank Lundy showed up well over the contracted weight for their scheduled 10-round lightweight contest Friday evening at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York.
In hindsight, there was a considerable risk of such being the case; Lundy fought at super lightweight (140 lb.) just six weeks ago, and didn't come very far down the scale as he checked in at 139 lb. Petrov was well under at 133.5 lb, but was all for naught as he now remains inactive since his Boxcino Lightweight tournament finals win over Fernando Carcamo last May.
The headlining bout remains intact, as Willie Monroe Jr. faces veteran Bryan Vera in a scheduled 10-round regional middleweight title fight. Both fighters came in at the 160 lb. divisional limit.
Monroe Jr.—the nephew of the famed former Philly-bred 1970's middleweight contender of the same name—claimed top honors in the Boxcino Middleweight tournament, scoring a lopsided 10-round decision over previously unbeaten Brandon Adams (who appears on Friday's undercard) last May.
Vera has lost two straight—three, if you count his knockout loss to Gabriel Rosado in a Big Knockout Boxing (BKG) Global event last summer, which does not go on fighters' official records. His two losses within the Marquess of Queensberry rules both came at the hands of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., dropping a widely-disputed split decision in their Sept. '13 bout, before coming up well short in their rematch last March.
The good news for Vera is that his last win—two wins, in fact—came in this very venue, scoring knockouts over Donatas Bondorovas and Serhiy Dzinziruk in 2013, both of which aired live on ESPN2.
Monroe Jr. plays the Turning Stone Resort Casino—less than two hours from his home in upstate New York—for the third straight time.
Willie Monroe Jr. 160 lb. vs Bryan Vera 160 lb. - 10 rounds, middleweight
Petr Petrov 133 1/2 - Hank Lundy 139 - *** Fight off due to Lundy being 4 lbs. overweight
Greg Jackson 145 1/2 vs. Cornelius Whitlock 145
Brandon Adams 160 vs. Lekan Byfield 158
Vitor Jones De Oliveira 132 vs. Michael Doyle 126
Taras Shelestyuk 148 vs. Antonio Chaves Fernandez 146
Borngod Washington 172 vs. Cameron Allen 172
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox