4 of boxing’s most electrifying younger abilities hope to strike the Heisman pose Saturday, Dec. 10, at Madison Sq. Backyard.
Former light-weight champion Teofimo Lopez makes his second look at junior welterweight within the 10-round predominant occasion towards former two-weight world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza.
Within the 10-round heavyweight co-feature, Jared “The Actual Large Child” Anderson goals for his thirteenth straight knockout towards the battle-tested Jerry “Slugger” Forrest.
Puerto Rican junior middleweight star Xander Zayas steps up in school towards 28-fight veteran Alexis Salazar in a scheduled eight-rounder particular function. And, within the televised opener, Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis appears to be like to jumpstart his world title ambitions in an eight-round light-weight duel versus Juan Carlos Burgos.
Lopez-Pedraza, Anderson-Forrest, Zayas-Salazar, and Davis-Burgos shall be broadcast LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT instantly following the Heisman Trophy Ceremony.
Promoted by High Rank, tickets beginning at $51 go on sale Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 12 p.m. ET.
“4 of boxing’s mega abilities, headlined by the good Teofimo Lopez, shall be in motion December 10 on the iconic Madison Sq. Backyard. This shall be a particular night,” mentioned High Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Lopez is concentrating on a junior welterweight title shot in 2023, and Jose Pedraza is a Puerto Rican warrior hungry for one more world title alternative. With Jared Anderson, Xander Zayas, and Keyshawn Davis, this card options three further fighters who will at some point be headlining superstars.”
Lopez (17-1, 13 KOs) toppled pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko in October 2020 to turn into the light-weight champion. 13 months later, he misplaced his titles by way of cut up choice to George Kambosos Jr. He returned August 13 as a junior welterweight and stopped Pedro Campa within the seventh spherical. Lopez isn’t any stranger to “Heisman Evening,” as he’s authored two of probably the most indelible High Rank on ESPN moments on that platform. In 2018, he knocked out Mason Menard in 44 seconds, donned the jersey of Heisman winner Kyler Murray, and topped issues off with the Heisman pose and a backflip. One yr later, he stopped Richard Commey within the second spherical to win the IBF light-weight world title and instantly placed on the jersey of that yr’s victor, LSU’s Joe Burrow. He didn’t overlook the pose or the signature backflip that point, both.
Lopez mentioned, “It’s Heisman Evening at Madison Sq. Backyard. I’m born for this stage. As soon as I beat Jose Pedraza in entrance of my hometown followers, I’m coming for all of the junior welterweight belts in 2023. The Takeback is in full impact, and I’m on a mission to turn into a champion once more.”
Pedraza (29-4-1, 14 KOs), from Cidra, Puerto Rico, gained world titles at junior light-weight and light-weight earlier than shifting as much as the 140-pound ranks in 2019. Regardless of a aggressive choice loss to Jose Ramirez and a draw towards Commey in his final two fights, Pedraza nonetheless ranks among the many most achieved junior welterweight contenders. Ranked No. 10 by the WBO and WBC, Pedraza can earn one other title alternative with a win over Lopez and transfer nearer to his purpose of changing into the primary male Puerto Rican boxer since Miguel Cotto to seize world titles in three weight divisions.
“I’m right here to face the elite fighters of the division, and to me, that’s what Teofimo represents,” Pedraza mentioned. “I’ve come to point out that I’m nonetheless the most effective fighters at 140 kilos. I am nonetheless a risk to everybody within the division, and on December 10, I will show it. For me, the purpose does not change. I need to be topped world champion in a 3rd division, and I do know I will obtain it.”
Anderson (12-0, 12 KOs), the combating pleasure of Toledo, Ohio, has seen his inventory skyrocket since turning professional in October 2019 following a embellished U.S. newbie profession. He has prototypical heavyweight dimension at 6-foot-4 and 240 kilos, and he’s stopped 9 of his 12 foes in two rounds or much less, together with 4 straight second-round stoppages. In August, he returned from an eight-plus month layoff to knock out Serbian veteran Miljan Rovcanin.
“I’m completely happy to lastly be getting a step-up struggle,” Anderson mentioned. “Hopefully, this solidifies my place as a contender and confirms that I’m not a prospect anymore.”
Forrest (26-5-2, 20 KOs) is the last word heavyweight litmus check, a 6’1, 230-pound southpaw who has combined it up with a number of the division’s most notable names, together with Carlos Takam, Michael Hunter, and Zhang Zhilei. His solely stoppage loss got here practically 10 years in the past, and he held Hunter and Zhilei to 10-round attracts in 2021. Forrest returned in Might and dropped a 10-round choice to two-time world title problem Kubrat Pulev.
“I’m in camp now. I’m excited and motivated to make an enormous assertion. Jared is the up-and-coming fighter, and all of the stress is on him,” Forrest mentioned. “After my final efficiency, I really feel everybody has forgotten how good I’m. I’ve been within the ring towards prime fighters, and I do know that I can compete on the prime degree. The query is, what can he do towards an skilled veteran like me? I’m coming to ship the ‘Large Child’ house crying after his first loss. This shall be a fantastic struggle for the followers in attendance at Madison Sq. Backyard and people watching nationally on ESPN.”
Zayas (14-0, 10 KOs), the youngest signee in High Rank historical past, turned professional as a 17-year-old in October 2019 on the identical card as Anderson. Since that debut, he’s developed into Puerto Rico’s latest sensation and has knocked out three of his previous 4 foes. He obtained the co-feature highlight on the Lopez-Campa card, knocking out Elias Espadas in 5 riveting rounds. In March, Zayas shined on the Hulu Theater at Madison Sq. Backyard with an eight-round drubbing over Louisiana-born spoiler Quincy LaVallais. Salazar (24-4, 9 KOs), from Guadalajara, Mexico, has gained 16 of his final 17 bouts, the one defeat coming by way of third-round knockout to rising middleweight contender Carlos Adames. He has not fought since January 28, an eight-round choice over Valentin Martinez Guzman in Tijuana, Mexico.
Zayas mentioned, “I’m very completely happy to be a part of one other wonderful card on the legendary Madison Sq. Backyard, and as all the time, I am grateful to High Rank for giving me these alternatives to showcase my expertise on such an enormous stage. Salazar is a powerful Mexican veteran, and with this efficiency, I am trying to shut the yr sturdy and set the tone for an enormous 2023.
Davis (6-0, 5 KOs) hopes to open the ESPN telecast together with his mix of in-fighting and precision that has already made him a light-weight contender to look at. The 23-year-old phenom from Norfolk, Virginia, fought three fought professional fights in 2021 earlier than changing into one of many standouts of Staff USA’s boxing crew on the Tokyo Olympics. He stopped 2016 Olympic silver medalist Sofiane Oumiha earlier than dropping a decent choice to Cuban sensation Andy Cruz within the gold medal match. Since signing with High Rank final November, he’s scored a pair of knockouts, most not too long ago a fifth-round drubbing of Omar Tienda on the Shakur Stevenson-Robson Conceição invoice in Newark, New Jersey. Burgos (35-6-3, 21 KOs), from Tijuana, is a three-time world title challenger who has fought the likes of retired four-weight world champion Mikey Garcia and undisputed light-weight champion Devin Haney. He has by no means been knocked out and has skilled a profession renaissance of late. In March, he held extremely regarded prospect Angel Fierro to a draw.
Davis mentioned, “I’ll ship one other message to the light-weight division to finish the yr. Burgos is a veteran who calls for respect, and I can’t overlook the person in entrance of me on December 10. It’s an honor to struggle on ESPN after the Heisman Trophy Ceremony, and I plan on representing Norfolk whereas placing on a present for all of the followers tuning in.”
Undercard motion — streaming reside and completely on ESPN+ — is highlighted by featherweight prospect Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington and welterweight standout Jahi Tucker. Carrington (5-0, 3 KOs), the newest prodigy from the Brownsville part of Brooklyn, steps up in his first scheduled eight-rounder towards Texas native Juan Tapia (12-4, 4 KOs). Carrington, a 2020 Olympic Trials gold medalist, shut out Jose Argel on the Stevenson-Conceição undercard. Tapia, who has battled the likes of Stevenson and Olympic bronze medalist Vladimir Nikitin, has by no means been knocked out.
Tucker (9-0, 5 KOs) appears to be like go 10-0 in an eight-rounder towards Ivan Pandzic (14-2-1, 8 KOs). Tucker, from Deer Park, New York, is 4-0 in 2022, together with a near-shutout choice over Jose Luis Sanchez in his final outing.