Top Rank Boxing is at the Madison Square Garden Theater in Manhattan this Saturday, June 11th with a card that is a showcase for their up and coming international talent. The fights air on “free’ HBO, but you can be sure Top Rank and Bob Arum want some of the winners to develop into pay-per-view stars down the line. Not much in the way of competitive line son this card, but Top Rank is laying the groundwork for bigger things here. Front and center among the featured fighters is the Ukraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko. Lomachenko is 5-1 as a pro, but the technical wizard has already won a world title at featherweight and he is looking to add Martinez’ WBO belt at super featherweight here. Martinez is an experienced veteran who will not go down without a fight, and Martinez has a win and a draw over Orlando Salido, who is the only man to beat Lomachenko. Depsite that, Lomachenko is a huge -3600 favorite, with Martinez paying back at +1800. In Lomachenko, Top Rank feels they have a guy who may be the number one pound for pound most technical fighter on the planet, and this fight continues the process of introducing him to the world. Those in boxing circles already know what Top Rank has in him. The co-feature bout comes at Lightweight and is scheduled for 10 rounds as Mexico’s Juan Jose Martinez (25-2) faces Puerto Rico’s Felix Verdejo (21-0). Verdejo is perfect as a pro and he has a fine amateur pedigree that includes a 2012 Olympicss loss to eventual gold medal winner Vasyl Lomachenko. Top Rank sees Verdejo as a potential heir to Miguel Cotto’s top spot as a Puerto Rican draw. For this figh,t Top Rank is invoking the Mexico vs Puerto Rico rivalry, a formula that almost always resorts in fireworks. Nevertheless, Verdejo is a huge _5000 favorite, with Martinez returning at +2500. In a Flyweight scheduled for 10 rounds, Top Rank is debuting Shiming Zou outside of China. Zou is 7-1 as a professional, and he has 2 Olympic gold medals in his amateur career. Top Rank has been steady in bringing him along since he turned pro and they were dissappointed when Zou failed to win a world title in his first bid back in March of 2015. Now 35 years old, Zou is being handled very carefully. He enters this fight as a masive -12500 favorite, as he is facing Jozsef Ajtai og Hungary, who is returning at +5000. Ajtai is 15-2 overall and he is still just 19 years old, however tha tmeans he does not have the experience of Zou,. who has been boxing since before Ajtai was born.
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