NEW YORK, NY – Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions are pleased to announce their next co-promotion as part of the HBO Latino Boxing series. On Saturday, Dec. 5, former WBO Junior Featherweight World Champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (24-1-5, 19 KOs) of Bayamon, Puerto Rico will take on undefeated Rafael Rivera (20-0-2, 14 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico in a ten-round featherweight showdown from the Osceola Heritage Park Exhibit Hall in Kissimmee, Florida televised live on HBO Latino beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.
In the televised co-feature, Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (28-0, 15 KOs) will take on Steve Claggett (23-1-3, 16 KOs) in a ten-round welterweight co-featured bout. Opening the HBO Latino telecast will be a ten-round light heavyweight tilt featuring Colombian slugger Alexander Brand (24-1, 19 KOs) and Russian knockout artist Medzhid Bektemirov (16-0, 12 KOs) which is presented in association with Camponovo Sports and Gary Shaw Productions.
Tickets are priced at $67 and $35. Tickets go on sale Thursday, November 19 at 12:00 PM ET and will be available at www.ticketmaster.com and www.ohpark.com . To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.
“I’m very happy with my team and blessed by God to have the opportunity to do what I do best which is fight,” said Vazquez Jr. “I can see that Rivera is an excellent fighter looking to go far in this business, but I am coming to give it my all. I need to overcome this challenge in order to climb back to a number one rating and win a world title belt. It’s always exciting to be part of this great rivalry between Puerto Rico vs. Mexico and this one won’t be an exception.”
“It's a real honor to be able to fight a former world champion and to do it on national television with HBO Latino,” said Rivera. “I'm young and hungry to be successful in the sport of boxing and I can't wait to trade shots with Papito Vazquez.”
“Once again, Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions are committed to providing fight fans with an action-packed night of boxing on Dec. 5,” said David Itskowitch, COO Boxing, Roc Nation Sports. “The HBO Latino broadcast will showcase three exciting fights featuring some of the brightest young talents in the sport.”
“We are excited to come back to Orlando, Florida to give the fans great fights,” said Hector Soto, Vice President of Miguel Cotto Promotions. “On Dec. 5, Vazquez Jr. has the opportunity to show that he still has what it takes to be at the top level of boxing when he faces a tough Mexican fighter that is hungry and willing to make a great fight. This will be another great chapter in the storied rivalry of Puerto Rico vs. Mexico.”
Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. has emerged from the large shadow of his father, Puerto Rican legend Wilfredo Vazquez, to make a name for himself inside the squared circle. The 30-year-old former world champion from Bayamon is on a quest to capture a world title belt in the featherweight division. After storming out of the gates with an 18 fight unbeaten streak, Vazquez captured the WBO junior featherweight world championship by defeating then fellow unbeaten Marvin Sonsona via a fourth round knockout on February 27, 2010 in his hometown. Two successful title defenses followed before Vazquez lost his title to Three-Time World Champion Jorge Arce in an all-out war that the judges had a draw at the time of the twelfth round stoppage. Another world title challenge came against Six-Time World Champion Nonito Donaire on February 2, 2012, but Vazquez came up short, dropping a split decision to the champion. In his last bout on June 6, Vazquez lost via a unanimous decision against Fernando Vargas in an eight-round bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on the undercard of Miguel Cotto vs. Daniel Geale. Dec. 5 is a true crossroads fight for the former world champion.
Undefeated featherweight boxer Rafael “Big Bang” Rivera made his pro debut on Aril 27, 2012 against Mario Lemus and came out with a technical knockout win in the second round. Since drawing in two of his next four fights, Rivera has reeled off 17 wins with 12 of them coming by way of knockout. In his last fight, Rivera scored an eight round unanimous decision win against Cancun, Mexico native Ruben Garcia in an eight round bout at Cache Creek Casino Resort in Brooks, California. On Dec. 5, Rivera will look to hold on to his undefeated record when he battles Vazquez Jr.
Washington, DC’s Dusty Hernandez-Harrison made his professional debut as the youngest licensed professional fighter in the United States on June 11, 2011, less than a month following his 17th birthday. Twenty-four straight victories would follow before Hernandez-Harrison headlined Roc Nation Sports’ inaugural throne boxing event at The Theater at Madison Square in a fight televised by FOX Sports 1 on January 9, 2015, capturing the vacant WBC Continental Americas Welterweight Championship with a dominant ten-round unanimous decision victory over Tommy “The Razor” Rainone. Since then, he’s continued his winning ways, scoring three more wins, including a first round knockout over James Wayka in his last fight on September 26. On the 5th of Dec., he’ll look to keep that momentum going against Steve Claggett.
Claggett (23-3-1), from Alberta, Canada, holds the Canada Professional Boxing Council welterweight title over his most recent fight over Stuart McLennan in a third round TKO and the Canada Welterweight Title from his win by unanimous decision earlier this year against Tebor Brosch. He looks to finish his winning year, and Hernandez-Harrison’s unbeaten streak, on Dec. 5.
Bogota, Colombia native Alexander Brand is riding a seven fight winning streak dating back to July 2012. That streak began following his only professional defeat which came at the hands of current World Champion Badou Jack via an eight-round split decision on May 11, 2012. Since that fight, Brand has passed every ring test with flying colors, notching seven consecutive victories. In his last bout on August 9, he defeated Bernard Donfack by unanimous decision. He faces the sternest test of his professional career on Dec. 5 when he faces Bektemirov.
Born in Makhachkala, Russia, Medzhid Bektemirov began his professional career in 2009 in Houston Texas, where he currently resides. The undefeated Bektemirov’s 16-0 record includes 12 KOs. He most recently fought on April 18, 2015 at the University of Texas against Michael Gbenga, where he won an eight-round bout by unanimous decision. He looks to stay undefeated against Brand on Dec. 5.
Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. vs. Rafael Rivera, a ten-round featherweight bout, takes place Saturday, Dec. 5 at Osceola Heritage Park Exhibit Hall in Kissimmee, Florida and will be televised live on HBO Latino. The fight is presented by Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions.