Former world champion Javier Fortuna (30-1-1, 22 KOs) and undefeated rising contender Omar Douglas (17-0, 12 KOs) are set to meet in a pivotal matchup as both men look to make a statement when they meet on Saturday, November 12 from Temple University’s Liacouras Center.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT and is headlined by undefeated world champion Danny "Swift" Garcia taking on Colombia’s Samuel Vargas. Also featured in televised action on Spike is undefeated rising star Jarrett Hurd battling former title challenger Jo Jo Dan. Garcia is teaming up with Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization, to arrange a regional food drive and raise money throughout the promotion.
The former champion Fortuna and the unbeaten Douglas will meet in a 50-50 fight that could put the winner in a position to fight for a world title soon. Fortuna is known for his aggressive style while Douglas looks to impress against his toughest opponent to date.
Here is what the fighters had to say about training camp, each other and more:
How has training camp gone for this fight?
Javier Fortuna: "I’m having an excellent training camp. We’re working hard and figuring out how to break down my opponent. Hector Bermudez does a great job and I’m very comfortable training here in Boston. I’ve gotten great sparring with guys like Will Madero and Alden Whatley. I’m going to be just as strong in the final round as I was in the first.
Omar Douglas: "Training has been going very well. I was already working and staying sharp, because I knew a big fight was on the horizon. Training in Delaware with Douglas Petitford has been great for me and I’ve had incredible sparring. I’ve been in there getting rounds with (2016 U.S. Olympian) Gary Antuanne Russell and a veteran in Hank Lundy."
What do you think of your opponent and how do you see this fight going stylistically?
JF: "Douglas is a prospect who has looked pretty good coming up. He wants to get to where I’ve been. He might be looking past me. I think that his style my style perfectly. I’m going to have openings and I just need to take advantage."
OD: "Fortuna is a very decent and explosive fighter. He’s a former world champion and I expect him to stand up and get back what he thinks is his. He wants his rematch with Sosa and we are in each other’s way. He’s a frontrunner in the ring. He will try to start strong and I am prepared for whatever he brings to the table. Whether he boxes or fights me. I will make adjustments."
What kind of problems does your opponent pose?
JF: "The only problem that he will pose is if he doesn’t show up and fight. I’m ready for anything he can bring, so I hope he’s ready to give the fans a show."
OD: "Me moves well. I can’t let myself get off-balanced trying to chase him. He’s awkward but I know that my jab will neutralize his strengths."
What are you looking for in the future if you can get the win on November 12? What are your goals for 2017?
JF: "I want to fight the best that are out there. My first choice is a rematch with Jason Sosa so that I can win my belt back. I’d love to fight Vasyl Lomachenko. I don’t think he’s fought a guy quite like me yet."
OD: "I want to fight for a world title. That’s the goal. He is a former champion who just lost his title and 2017 is my year to make a run for a title."
How have you improved as a fighter since your loss? Do you believe a win over Douglas proves you’re still on of the best in the division?
JF: "I have learned a lot of things since I lost. My defense and my confidence in myself has improved. If I can beat a guy who is 22-0 and make it two wins over previously unbeaten fighters, then I think I’m right back in contention. He’s still considered a prospect so I think whoever wins will be a contender at the top of the division.
How does fighting in Philadelphia motivate you, having fought there in the amateurs and being from nearby Delaware?
OD: "In the amateurs I was one of the only guys from Delaware. I had a lot of obstacles. I’ve been fighting against Philly’s best fighters for years. Philadelphia is where I achieved my first goals in the sport and it will always be special to me to fight in Philly."
Why do you believe you’ll be victorious on fight night?
JF: "With the work that I’ve been putting in, I know that I will be ready on fight night. I’ve been through too much not to leave the ring victorious."
OD: "I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life and I believe I am the hungrier fighter. He doesn’t want it as badly as I do. I’ve been waiting in the shadows for a long time. I have all the skills necessary to get the job done."
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October 28 2016