By Francisco Salazar
It is the classic crossroads bout between an unbeaten, yet untested fighter against a veteran boxer, who has faced strong opposition.
After the smoke clears up in the ring, will the unbeaten fighter have past a significant test in his career? Or will the veteran boxer be able to see one more payday after Friday night?
Unbeaten lightweight Jonathan Maicelo will take on Rustam Nugaev in a scheduled 10 round bout at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez , CA .
The bout will headline a Gary Shaw Productions card and will be televised live on an ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” telecast.
Maicelo (19-0, 11 KOs) hails from Callao, Peru and currently resides in North Bergen, NJ . In his last bout on January 26th, he stopped Tyler Ziolkowski in the second round of a scheduled eight round bout Tunica, MS.
He has so far faced average opposition while learning the pro ranks so to speak. His best victory to date was a close and hard-fought nine round unanimous decision over former world title challenger Fernando Angulo on May 19th.
Maicelo fought at Chumash Casino on July 20th, stopping faced former world title challenger Daniel Attah in the third round of a scheduled eight round bout.
Nugaev (22-6-1, 12 KOs) of Perm, Russia, is coming off the longest layoff of his career on Friday night. He has not fought since winning an eight round majority decision over Shavkat Madaminov on July 2nd, 2011.
Prior to that bout, Nugaev lost a unanimous decision to Alisher Rahimov on March 26th of that year.
Nugaev has pulled off minor upsets and victories over more modest opposition than Maicelo. He stopped Anthony Mora in the fifth round in March of 2006, ironically at the Chumash Casino. He holds victories over Luís Antonio Arceo, Efrén Hinojosa, and José Antonio Izquierdo.
The eight round lightweight bout between Jorge Maysonet Jr. and Gabriel Tolmajyan also mirrors Maicelo-Nugaev in that Tolmajyan has faced the better opposition.
The Puerto Rican-born Maysonet is the son of former world title challenger Jorge Maysonet Sr. The younger Maysonet looks like he possesses his father’s genes as a puncher so far, even though it has been against below average opposition.
Although Maysonet Jr. has built an impressive record of 11-0, 10 KOs, he has faced only two opponents with winning records. He is coming off a second round knockout over Pedro Salcedo on February 23rd in his last fight.
Tolmajyan (13-2-1, 3 KOs), was born in Armenia, but now resides in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale. He is coming off a one-sided six round unanimous decision over Juan Sandoval on December 22nd.
The fight against Sandoval was the first in nine months, when he lost a disputed eight round unanimous decision against Abraham Lopez. Most at ringside felt Tolmajyan did enough to win or that the fight should have been scored a draw.
Tolmajyan’s most impressive victory to date was an eight round split-decision victory over Daulis Prescott in December of 2011.
Also on the card is a six round lightweight bout between Alejandro Luna (12-0, 9 KOs) and Mario Hermosillo (11-9-3, 2 KOs) and a six round middleweight bout between Alex Theran (11-0, 8 KOs) and David Lopez (4-8-3, 1 KO).
Flyweight Maria Suarez (3-0-1) from nearby Santa Maria will fight Elizabeth Cervantes (3-9, 1 KO) in a scheduled six round bout.
Junior middleweight Eric Prado (1-2-1) of nearby Santa Maria will fight Julian Cruz in a scheduled four round bout. Cruz will be making his professional debut. Heavyweight John Makani Sarellano of Santa Ynez will make his professional debut against Avery Gibson (1-2-2).
Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased by calling 1-800-CHUMASH. Doors open at 5PM local time, with first bell scheduled at 5:15PM.