Roc Nation heavyweight boxer Zhang Zhilei and super middleweight boxer Junior Younan made triumphant returns to China and Brooklyn, respectively, where they each delivered sensational knockouts in front of their hometown fans.
For Zhilei (20-0, 16 KOs), he dazzled in his appearance in Changsha, China on Friday, when he recorded a third-round knockout over Donald Haynesworth (15-3-1, 13 KOs) to retain his WBO Oriental Heavyweight title. The showing marked Zhilei’s first fight in China since January 21, 2017, when he defeated Peter Graham to claim his championship belt. Zhang is now ranked No. 6 in the WBO World Heavyweight ratings and firmly establishing himself into world title contention.
Meanwhile, Younan (14-0, 10 KOs) wasted little time with his veteran opponent Evert Bravo (24-9-1, 18 KOs), dispatching him via first-round knockout at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn. It was quite a performance for Younan, who hadn’t fought in Brooklyn – and in front of his hometown friends and family – since his bout against Mike Sawyer the Barclays Center on June 6, 2015.
“I’m proud of Zhilei and Junior’s performances and glad they had an opportunity to enjoy these victories in their home areas,” Roc Nation Sports promoter Dino Duva said. “Overall, this was a fantastic weekend for Roc Nation Boxing and we look forward to sharing details for Junior and Zhilei’s next fights in the near future.”
Given Zhilei’s statement victory, Roc Nation Sports is working to negotiate an opportunity for the 35-year-old to fight a world class heavyweight contender for his next bout. Duva is tentatively looking at scheduling that fight for November 24 in Monaco.
He is also evaluating options for Younan’s next opponent as soon as possible as the Brooklyn native continues his ascension in the super middleweight rankings.
A terrific night of action is rounding into place as Hard Hitting Promotions presents an eight-bout card THIS Saturday, October 6th at The 2300 Arena.
In the main event, undefeated heavyweight Darmani Rock (12-0, 7 KOs) of Philadelphia takes Pedro Julio Rodriguez of Miami, Florida, via Cuba in an eight-round bout.
Rock of Philadelphia, who was the number-one amateur heavyweight in the United States and former Youth Amateur champion, has a record of 12-0 with seven knockouts.
The 22 year-old Rock is a two-year professional who has a 1st round stoppage over Carlos Cotto (8-1-1) on his resume. Rock is coming off a six-round unanimous decision win over Marquis Valentine on July 20th in Sloan, Iowa.
This will be Rock's 3rd appearance in Philadelphia.
Rodriguez has an impressive mark of 23-5 with 19 knockouts.
The 32 year-old Rodriguez is a n eight-year professional, who has defeated four undefeated fighters. Rodriguez holds a win over Andy Perez, who was 19-2 at the time.
Rodriguez is coming off a loss to Andrey Afonin on May 19th.
In the six-round co-feature, Jeremy Cuevas (10-0, 8 KOs) of Philadelphia will fight Jerome Rodriguez (7-9-3, 2 KOs) of Allentown, PA in a lightweight contest.
Branden Pizarro (11-1, 5 KOs) of Philadelphia will take on 24 fight-veteran Justin Johnson of Pittsburgh in a six-round junior welterweight fight.
Gadwin Rosa (7-0, 6 KOs) of Ocala, Florida takes on David Berna (16-5, 15 KOs) of Budapest Hungary in a super featherweight bout.
In four-round bouts:
Christian Tapia (5-0, 4 KOs) of Coamo, Puerto Rico fights Hector Marengo (7-13-4, 4 KOs) of Arecibo, Puerto Rico in a lightweight bout.
Marcos Suarez (5-0-1,1 KO) of Bronx, New York battles Israel Suarez (4-6-2, 1 KO) of Luquillo, Puerto Rico in a lightweight bout.
Benny Sinakin of Philadelphia makes his pro debut against Alexander Lara in a light heavyweight bout.
Marcel Rivers (6-0, 4 KOs) of Philadelphia takes on an opponent to be named in a welterweight bout.
Tickets available now! $50 GA , $70 Premium, $125 VIP +fees