Sam Soliman & Vassiliy Jirov Back In Action On Aug. 18
25.07.06 - While his promoter Dan Goossen continues to try and secure his well-deserved shot at a world middleweight title against Jermain Taylor, Sam “King” Soliman is not one to simply sit back and wait. He is willing to put such an opportunity at risk to remain active and stay in front of his U.S. based fans – even against a talented and hungry fighter. Soliman (32-8, 13 KOs) will be doing just that on Friday night, August 18 when he takes on the determined and hungry Enrique Ornelas (24-2, 14 KOs) in the 10-round headliner of ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights.”
Article posted on 25.07.2006
The event will be hosted by the beautiful Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California and is being presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions and Ringside Ticket.
A 32-year old southpaw from Australia, Soliman wowed boxing fans worldwide last December when he battled heavily-favored Winky Wright toe-to-toe for 12 grueling rounds in coming up just short in the eyes of the ringside judges in an IBF/WBC Middleweight Elimination bout televised on HBO. Many believed, including Soliman, that the verdict should have gone his way. In his most recent outing back in March, Soliman, filling in for an injured Vernon Forrest on five days notice, flew in from the “Land Down Under” and stopped Raul Munoz in the sixth round at Pechanga in a performance fit for a “King.”
Speaking from his training camp in Australia, Soliman boldly predicted a sensational victory over Ornelas. “I captured the fans attention against Wright in December and certainly softened Wright up for (Jermain) Taylor. Now Taylor is looking to downgrade his championship status to that of contender, with a possible bout later this year against a 5-round fighter.” “Well, the best way to counteract foolish moves is to put myself in front of the fans, media and the networks, against a risky opponent and earn my way to the Taylor bout. There will be absolutely no excuses for Taylor not to fight me mate, unless of course he ‘doesn’t want to put another shrimp on the Barbie.’”
Soliman, who is ranked #3 in both the IBF and WBC, will be giving away seven years of age and nearly five inches in height to the rising 25-year old Ornelas, who hails from nearby La Habra, California. Ornelas has won both his bouts by decision in 2006 against tough veteran competition, defeating Darnell Boone at Pechanga back in March and Sergio Rios in May.
“This is a great battle of two hungry fighters; one who has established himself as a championship caliber fighter and a fan favorite in Sam versus another (Enrique) who is younger and looking to advance his own career by knocking off a championship caliber boxer,” Goossen explained.
“Sam will be looking to solidify his status as a top world contender and a Jermain Taylor title shot with an impressive win, while a victory by Enrique in front of a worldwide television audience would propel his career and earning potential. This should be a very entertaining fight for the fans.”
Former World Cruiserweight Champion and 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist Vassiliy “Tiger” Jirov (36-3-1, 30 KOs), of Kazakhstan, will appear in the televised 10-round co-feature bout. Since making his move back down to Cruiserweight, Jirov feels revitalized and, more importantly, stronger.
“Although I feel I was able to go toe-to-toe with the heavyweights, my natural weight has always been below 200 lbs.,” said Jirov. “Now I feel I’m the bigger man against my opponent. The fans will see the same aggressive style that they became accustomed to seeing on ESPN next month and then I’ll look for that big fight at the end of the year.”
The card will also showcase the talents of the exciting and unbeaten junior middleweight Francisco Santana (4-0, 3 KOs), of Santa Barbara, California in a scheduled four-round contest.
Doors to the arena at Pechanga Resort & Casino, located at 45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula, CA, open at 5:00 pm with the first ESPN2 TV bout starting at 6:00 pm (Pacific Time). For ticket information, call 877-711-2WIN or go on the web to www.pechanga.com.
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