*FRESNO, Calif. (June 26, 2018)* – The Mean Machine, Egidijus Kavaliauskas,
is looking to cement his name as a welterweight to watch when he defends
the NABF title against Juan Carlos Abreu, July 7 at the Save Mart Center in
Fresno as the ESPN-televised co-feature to Jose Ramirez’s WBC super
lightweight title defense against Danny O’Connor.
The undercard will also feature heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr. against
veteran Kevin Johnson in a 10- round bout, 18-year-old wunderkind Gabe
Flores Jr. versus James De Herrera in a six-round lightweight bout, and
Andy Vences defending the WBC Continental Americas super featherweight
title against Frank De Alba.
Ramirez vs. O’Connor and Kavaliauskas vs. Abreu will be televised live on
ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET.
The entire undercard, including Vences-DeAlba, Ruiz-Johnson and Flores-De
Herrera will be streamed on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Promoted by Top Rank
in association with Star Boxing and Murphys Boxing, tickets to this world
championship event, priced at $150 (floor), 90, $60, $35, $20, and $10,
plus applicable fees, are ON SALE NOW and can be purchased online at
charge by phone at 800-745-3000, or at the Save Mart Center box office. For
more information and box office hours, visit www.savemartcenter.com
*“*This is a great opportunity to show everyone watching on ESPN what the
‘Mean Machine’ is made of,” Kavaliauskas said. “I want a title shot soon,
but I have to take care of business against Abreu to make my dreams a
reality. It’s going to be a toe-to-toe battle, and I know I will be
*“*I am excited to show what I’m capable of doing. I’m more anxious than
anything to show everyone the improvements I’ve made,” Vences said. “I am
fighting another southpaw, so I feel like I’m picking up where I left
off. I have a lot of family and friends coming out to support me, which
gives me extra motivation.”
“This is my first fight in California as a pro, and I can’t wait to
entertain my people,” Flores said.
Kavaliauskas (19-0, 16 KOs), ranked in the top 10 by three of the four
major sanctioning organizations, is on the precipice of a world title shot.
A native of Lithuania who trains out of the Boxing Laboratory in Oxnard,
California, Kavaliauskas has won four consecutive fights by stoppage. He
won the NABF title last September with a seventh-round TKO over Mahonri
Montes and defended the title in February with a sixth-round TKO over
former WBA welterweight world champion David Avanesyan. Abreu (21-3-1, 19
KOs) has won two in a row since a split decision loss to then-unbeaten Alex
Martin in June 2016.
Ruiz (30-1, 20 KOs) is on the comeback trail after dropping a majority
decision to Joseph Parker on Dec. 10, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. He
took 15 months off after the Parker loss, but came back March 10 in Carson,
California, knocking out Devin Vargas in the opening round. Johnson
(32-9-1, 16 KOs) is a 15-year pro who challenged Vitali Klitschko for the
WBC heavyweight title in 2009, losing a unanimous decision.
Flores (8-0, 5 KOs), an 18-year-old recent high school graduate from
Stockton, California, signed with Top Rank in November 2016 at 16 years
old, becoming the youngest fighter ever to sign with the promotional
company. He is seeking his fourth win of 2018, most recently scoring a
four-round unanimous decision June 9 in Las Vegas on the Terence
Crawford-Jeff Horn undercard.
In his last bout, Vences (20-0-1, 12 KOs) fought to spirited draw against
Erick De Leon as the ESPN-televised co-feature to the Oscar Valdez-Scott
Quigg bout March 10 in Carson, California. De Alba (22-3-2, 9 KOs) is
looking to get back into the win column following an eight-round majority
decision defeat to O’Shaquie Foster on April 13 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
*In other undercard action: *
19-year-old phenom Joseph Adorno (7-0, 7 KOs) will face Guadalupe De Leon
in a six-round super featherweight bout. Adorno has six first-round
stoppages on his ledger.
130-pound prospect Bryan Lua (5-0, 2 KOs) of Madera, California, will take
on Sergio Ramirez (4-2, 4 KOs) in a six rounder. Lua is riding a two-bout
Indio, California, native Ruben Rodriguez (2-0, 1 KO) returns to action
after a nearly nine-month layoff against Richard Howell (2-1-2 1 KO) of
Dallas in a six-round super lightweight fight.
Super bantamweight Santos Ortega (1-0, 1 KO) will put his unbeaten record
on the line against Ivan Martino (2-1, 2 KOs) in a four-rounder.
Fresno native Manuel Manzo (3-6-1, 1 KO), winner of three straight, will
look to thrill the home fans against Sergio Lopez (3-5-1, 0 KOs) in a
four-round super bantamweight bout.