(Minneapolis, MN) — Former Olympian Gabriel Maestre of Venezuela has a new opponent for his nationally televised title fight this Saturday night, August 7, at the Minneapolis Armory.
Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) confirmed Monday that Mykal Fox (22-2, 5 KOs) will battle Maestre (3-0, 3 KOs) for the WBA interim welterweight title. Maestre’s original opponent, Cody Crowley, had to pull out after a positive COVID-19 test.
Also featured on the card, in a WBA title eliminator, is hard-hitting rising welterweight contender Eimantas Stanionis, who will face former world champion Luis Collazo in a 10-round title eliminator.
The August 7 card puts a national spotlight on the highly competitive welterweight division. Among the division’s elite fighters is WBA titlist and Minneapolis native Jamal “Shango” James, an Armory fan favorite. At the event, James will get a close-up look at some of his top rivals, including Maestre. The Venezuelan represented his country in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
Maestre had an extensive amateur run that included victories over Brian Castano, Carlos Adames, Alexander Besputin, Oscar Molina and Brian Ceballo. The 34-year-old turned pro in 2019 with a pair of impressive triumphs, stopping previously unbeaten Jeovanis Barraza before earning a TKO over veteran contender Diego Chaves. August 7 will mark Maestre’s U.S. debut professionally.
Fox, fighting out of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, towers at nearly six-feet-four-inches tall and has used his length and excellent boxing ability during his pro career that dates back to 2014. The 25-year-old bounced back from a 2019 loss to Shohjahon Ergashev to win his next three outings. In his most recent fight, Fox lost a close decision to Luke Santamaría in August 2020.
Kicking off the broadcast, former two division world champion Devon Alexander “The Great” will return to action for a 10-round welterweight showdown against Santamaría. Alexander (27-6-1, 14 KOs) makes his return after a June 2019 defeat to Ivan Redkach stunted a previous comeback attempt that saw Alexander go 1-1-1 in fights over a 10-month stretch. Before that stretch, a period of inactivity saw him seek treatment for an addiction to painkillers and eventually prove an inspiration in returning to deliver exciting fights against Andre Berto, Victor Ortiz and Walter Castillo. The St. Louis native had an impressive run at super lightweight and unified titles in that division before scoring victories over Marcos Maidana, Lucas Matthysse and eventually Randall Bailey to capture a welterweight championship.
The 32-year-old Santamaría (11-2-1, 7 KOs) steps into the ring to make his FOX debut after dropping a decision to top welterweight prospect Paul Kroll last October. Santamaria had previously scored an August triumph over veteran contender Mykal Fox that saw him drop Fox in round one of their battle on FS1. The Garden Grove, California native also owns a decision over Willie Jones and a split draw against Marquis Taylor in his 2019 contests. Santamaría was unbeaten in 10 fights since his first loss before facing Kroll, with his only other defeat coming via a four-round decision in his third pro bout in 2015.
The Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) card, which will be televised on national FOX TV and FS1, further establishes the Armory as a go-to place for high-profile boxing events.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Warriors Boxing and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at the Armory at http://ArmoryMN.com/ and through Ticketmaster.