Keyshawn Davis, the lightweight star who earned a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, has a golden chance to shine on one of boxing’s biggest platforms. Davis (3-0, 2 KOs), in his first fight since signing a long-term deal with Top Rank, will face Mexican veteran Jose Zaragoza (8-3-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round bout Saturday, Dec. 11 on the undercard of the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Richard Commey lightweight main event.
Middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh (2-0, 2 KOs), grandson of “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali, will fight fellow unbeaten Reyes Sanchez (6-0, 2 KOs) in the four-round televised opener.
Lomachenko-Commey, an eight-round heavyweight showdown between Jared Anderson and Oleksandr Teslenko, Davis-Zaragoza and Ali Walsh-Reyes will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT following the 2021 Heisman Trophy Ceremony.
Davis, one of boxing’s most sought-after promotional free agents, signed a long-term contract with Top Rank last month. His notoriety soared following the Tokyo Olympics, a run that included a knockout win over France’s Sofiane Oumiha and a close loss to Cuban legend Andy Cruz in the gold medal match. Zaragoza has won three straight fights and has never been knocked out as a pro.
The full undercard will stream live on ESPN+ at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT and is scheduled to include the following bouts:
- Xander Zayas (11-0, 8 KOs), the rising Puerto Rican star and frontrunner for 2021 Prospect of the Year, will fight Italy’s Alessio Mastronunzio (9-1, 3 KOs) in a six-round junior middleweight clash. Zayas is 5-0 with three knockouts in 2021, including a fourth-round drubbing of Dan Karpency in October on the Shakur Stevenson-Jamel Herring undercard. Mastronunzio, who is making his American debut, is 4-0 in 2021.
- Undefeated welterweight Pablo “Pretty Boy” Valdez (5-0, 4 KOs), the popular New York City ticket-seller from the Lower East Side, is scheduled to fight Julio Cesar Sanchez (11-3, 6 KOs) in a six-rounder. Valdez fought Oct. 30 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, outlasting Alejandro Martinez in a toe-to-toe crowd-pleaser.
- Kelvin Davis (2-0, 1 KO), the older brother of Keyshawn Davis, will clash with Bryan Emmanuel Ramirez (1-1-1, 1 KO) in a four-rounder at welterweight. Kelvin Davis also signed with Top Rank last month.
- In an eight-round battle of unbeaten junior welterweights, John “El Terrible” Bauza (15-0, 6 KOs) will face Michael “Boy Wonder” Williams Jr. (19-0, 12 KOs). Bauza is coming off June’s second-round blitzing of Christon Edwards, while Williams seeks to tally his sixth victory of 2021.
- Staten Island-born featherweight prospect James “Crunch Time” Wilkins (9-2, 6 KOs) hopes to thrill the home city fans in an eight-rounder against Texas native Juan Tapia (10-3, 3 KOs). Wilkins, who was homeless on the streets of Staten Island early in his pro career, makes his Madison Square Garden debut with hopes of graduating to contender status.
- Former Irish amateur superstar “Mighty” Joe Ward (5-1, 2 KOs) looks to make it six wins in a row against Britton Norwood (10-3-1, 7 KOs) in a six-round light heavyweight tilt. Ward suffered a freak knee injury in his October 2019 pro debut against Marco Delgado and lost via second-round TKO. He avenged the loss with a one-sided decision over Delgado in March. As an amateur, Ward was a three-time European Championships gold medalist, a three-time World Championships medalist, and a 2016 Olympian.
In order to attend the event, all guests age 12 and older are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination (this means having at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine prior to attending). MSG’s comprehensive COVID-19 guidelines, including those regarding children under 12, can be found at https://www.msg.com/madison-square-garden/faqs.
Credit: Top Rank Media