– Popular lightweight Victor Vasquez
, of Philadelphia, hopes to extend his modest three-fight winning streak when he takes on Tyrell Samuel,
of Baltimore, MD, in the six-round semifinal as part of the Puerto Rican Boxing Classic on Friday evening, Oct. 2, at the 2300 Arena at 2300 South Swanson Street.
Headlining the seven-bout card is an eight-round junior lightweight contest between world-rated Jason Sosa, of Camden, NJ, and Jorge Pazos, of Chumuchil, Mexico. First fight starts at 7pm.
Vasquez (above left), 32, has won three straight at the 2300 Arena, stopping Jose L. Guzman, of The Bronx, and Osnel Charles, of Atlantic City, and earning a six-round decision over Gerald Smith, of Philadelphia.
Vasquez is known as the Fighting Barber since he works in that profession atConsider It Done in North Philadelphia.
A pro boxer since 2006, Vasquez has a record of 19-9-1, 9 K0s.
Samuel (above right), 33, has been fighting as a pro even longer, having turned pro in 2005 and winning his first nine fights. He has beaten Gustavo Dailey, of Philadelphia, Joey Tiberi, of Newark, DE, and Carlos Vinan, of Newark, NJ.
In his most ambitious starts, Samuel dropped decisions to Eric Hunter, of Philadelphia, over eight rounds, and to Dorin Spivey, of Virginia Beach, VA, over 10 rounds.
Junior middleweight Ismael “Tito” Garcia, of Vineland, NJ, considered by boxing insiders to be one of the best prospects in the area, goes against Yusmani Abreu, of Cuba, in a six-round match.
Garcia, 28, has been plagued by inactivity since turning pro in 2010 and has boxed only nine times in more than five years, winning eight-four by knockout-and fighting one No Contest.
In his last fight May 8 at the 2300 Arena, Garcia knocked out Tommy Ayers, of Cincinnati, OH, in the first round.
Abreu, 35 now living in Las Vegas, NV, is a solid fighter with a poor record (4-11-2). The combined record of his 17 opponents is 95-21-5 and he turned pro in 2005 in Mexico against Gilberto Flores Hernandez
, who was left-handed and 12-4 at the time. Abreu has boxed nine men who were undefeated.
A third six-rounder features a rematch between junior welterweights David
Gonzales, of Philadelphia, and Ryan Belasco, of Wilmington, DE. They boxed a six-round draw on May 8 in the same ring.
Gonzales, 25, is 5-0-2,1K0. Belasco, 31, is 18-6-5, 3 K0s.
Three additional four-rounders complete the card: Edgar Cortes, of Vineland, NJ, vs. Antonio Conigliaro, St. Clair, PA, super bantamweights; Scott Kelleher, Philadelphia, vs. Alberto Manuykan, Union City, NJ, junior welterweights; Avery Sparrow, Philadelphia, vs. tba, lightweights.
The seven-bout fight card figures to attract a sold-out crowd.
From bantamweight Sixto Escobar, who became the first Puerto Rican world champion in 1935, to current title-holder Danny Garcia, of Philadelphia, Puerto Ricans have had a long and storied history in boxing.
Among area fighters looking to display their talents on the Oct. 2 card are local Puerto Rican fighters from Philadelphia and New Jersey. Many of them bring a loyal following to their fights.
In addition, invitations to attend and sign autographs will be sent to outstanding Puerto Rican fighters up and down the East Coast.
About Oct. 2
The Inaugural Puerto Rican Boxing Classic, featuring seven bouts, begins at 7pm at the 2300 Arena at 2300 South Swanson Street in South Philadelphia. Doors open at 6 pm. The Oct. 2 event is being sponsored by Parx Casino, DonQ Rum, The Penthouse Club, Lyrics Lounge, Nationwide Auto Warranties and Cricket Wireless. The card will be streamed live by www.gofightlive.tv and on a delayed basis by Comcast SportsNet. Tickets are $50 and $75 and can be purchased by calling Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922) and Wanamaker’s Tickets ( 215-568-2400 ). Tickets also can be purchased online at www.peltzboxing.com and www.wanatix.com
About Oct. 4
The Puerto Rican Day Parade is the Crown Jewel of the Puerto Rican Festival every year in Philadelphia. It is a showcase of Puerto Rican and Latin culture. The Parade begins Sunday morning, Oct. 4, at the Eakins Oval in center city and continues throughout the day along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with music, concerts and vendors selling their wares. City officials expect more than 5,000 people to attend. The Parade, one of the first of its kind to be televised, will be aired on ABC-TV locally and on Univision nationally