Welterweights Sadam Ali and Johan Perez, both aiming for a notable victory, can get one by coming out on top of their seemingly even-money fight.
They will square off in the scheduled 10-round main event of a Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN card on July 29 (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes, midnight ET, same-day tape delay) at the Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona, Golden Boy Promotions announced on Friday.
“When we launched Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN, I promised that we would showcase competitive fights every time out,” Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. “We have delivered on each and every card, and the July 29 main event between two hungry contenders in Ali and Perez will give fans exactly what they have come to expect from this series.”
Both fighters have been on the cusp of major fights but fallen just short. Ali faced Jessie Vargas for a vacant welterweight world title in March 2016 but was knocked out in the ninth round of a crowd-pleasing fight.
Perez won an interim junior welterweight belt in 2011 by stopping Fernando Castaneda in the fourth round but lost it in his first defense, a seventh-round technical decision to Pablo Cesar Cano in 2012.
Ali (24-1, 14 KOs), 28, a 2008 U.S. Olympian from Brooklyn, New York, has won two fights in a row since the loss to Vargas, but Perez is a step up in the level of those opponents. He believes a victory against Perez will put him back on the path to another title opportunity.
“A win in this fight puts me right back in position to compete for a world championship,” said Ali, who owns quality wins against Luis Carlos Abregu and Francisco “Chia” Santana. “I can’t wait to get back in the ring and demonstrate the speed and power that has led me to be a top contender in the welterweight division.”
Perez (22-3-2, 15 KOs), 33, of Venezuela, has also won two fights in a row, but each was against a sub-.500 opponent.
“The time has come for me to re-establish my name in the welterweight division, and that’s exactly what I’m planning to do on July 29,” said Perez, who owns wins against Yoshihiro Kamegai and Paul Spadafora.
“Whether it’s by knockout or decision, when the fights come to an end, I know I will have my hand raised in victory.”
In the co-feature, middleweight Patrick Teixeira (26-1, 22 KOs), 26, of Brazil, will face an opponent to be determined in an eight-round bout. Teixeira has been out of action since May 2016 and will be looking to bounce back from his lone defeat, a second-round knockout to former world title challenger Curtis Stevens.