FONFARA VS. SMITH JR. PBC ON NBC PREVIEW
By Zo Crooks, Real Combat Media Chicago Boxing Correspondent
Chicago, IL (June 16, 2016)– The PBC (Premiere Boxing Champions) on NBC comes back to the city of wind live from the UIC Pavilion at this Saturday night (8:30 p.m. ET), with a triple-header featuring hometown, hard-hitting Andrjez Fonfara vs. Joe Smith Jr. in the main event and a bantamweight title fight as former U.S. Olympian Rau’shee Warren vs. undefeated Juan Carlos Payano as the co-main event.
Fonfara (28-3, 16 KOs) put on a hell of a performance at the UIC Pavilion last October against Nathan Cleverly in what gained a fight of the year consideration and saw a record number of punches landed (936) and thrown (2524) for a light heavyweight fight in CompuBox history. Prior to that, the 28-year-old became the first person to stop Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and lost a decision to world champion Adonis Stevenson in a fight that saw both men hit the canvas. From Warsaw, Poland but training out of Chicago, Fonfara will fight in the Windy City for the 20th time when he enters the ring in primetime on June 18.
Smith Jr. (21-1, 17 KOs) makes his national television debut against Fonfara. The Long Island, New York native is looking for his 16th straight victory come Saturday night. The 26-year-old was a highly decorated amateur who won the 2008 New York Golden Gloves with a victory over Seanie Monaghan. Many people are disappointed in the choice of the unknown Smith Jr., but anything can happen inside of the squared circle.
The fight that might steal the show is a rematch between Warren (13-1, 4 KOs) vs. Payano (17-0, 8 KOs) of the Dominican Republic. This bantamweight battle could very well set the place on fire! Warren is a three-time Olympian looking to avenge his lone professional defeat against Payano, who took his “0” by split decision in August 2015. Warren of Cincinnati, Ohio native is fighting close to home so the home field advantage seems to be in his favor.
Also on the card you will see rising star Erickson “The Hammer” Lubin (14-0, 10 KOs) who faces powerful Mexican Daniel Sandoval (37-3, 34 KOs) in a super welterweight contest.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Warriors Boxing and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, are priced at $201, $101, $61 and $41, not including applicable service charges, and are on sale now. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or UIC Pavilion Box Office at (312) 413-5740. Tickets are also available by visiting the UIC Pavilion Box Office (Thursday or Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.).