A national heavyweight championship, a noted junior welterweight veteran, an undefeated cruiserweight and an undefeated young lightweight will highlight the domestically non-televised undercard matches supporting the March 6 HBO-televised (9:30 p.m. ET/PT) world championship unification main event at Mohegan Sun pitting undefeated WBC super lightweight champion Devon Alexander “The Great” against IBF junior welterweight champion Juan “Iron Twin” Urango.
WBC USNBC heavyweight champion Derric Rossy (22-2, 12 KOs), from Medford, N.Y., will defend his title in a rematch with upset-minded Zack Page (20-27-2, 7 KOs), from Warren, Ohio; respected junior welterweight veteran Steve Forbes (34-7, 10 KOs), from Las Vegas, will take on dangerous Dominican Republic puncher Harrison Cuello, now fighting out of Bronx, N.Y.
Undefeated cruiserweight contender Ryan “The Irish Outlaw” Coyne (13-0, 4 KOs) will square off against clubbing cruiserweight Paul Jennette (11-2, 8 KOs), from Greensboro, N.C.; and an intriguing young lightweight prospect Angelo “La Cobra” Santana (7-0, 4 KOs), originally from Cuba now based in Miami, will attempt to remain unblemished opposing a fighter with a penchant for going the distance, Francisco Palacios (4-10-5, 1 KO), from Stamford, Conn.
A former three-year starter on the Boston College football team at defensive end where he earned a pre-season All Big East selection, Rossy is currently riding a six-fight winning streak. His most recent win came just last week (Feb. 20) in Merida, Mexico, when he blasted out Joseph Harris, scoring a second-round technical knockout while maintaining his FECARBOX continental heavyweight title.
Also holder of the WBC USNBC national heavyweight title, which he will defend against Page, Rossy continues to bloom in his transition from football to boxing.
“From Mexico to two weeks later fighting nearer to my Long Island home at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, I’m working as hard as I can to win fans and move up in the rankings,” Rossy said.
Currently ranked by the WBC as the No. 9 heavyweight in their world ratings, Rossy expects a tough challenge in the rematch with Page. Rossy won a unanimous eight-round decision when the two met in 2007, but Page has sought out a rematch ever since.
In his last match on Jan. 9, Page traveled to Germany and stunned previously unbeaten heavyweight Sebastian Koeber (19-0), winning a majority decision after six rounds.
Forbes, 32, has tangled with Oscar De La Hoya and Andre Berto—and he defeated the highly touted Francisco Bojado when they met in 2007. His goal is to get into position to fight for another world championship.
A step in that direction would be to defeat Dominican Republic boxer Harrison Cuello. To accomplish this, Forbes will need to stay away from Cuello’s noted power, which has led to 14 of 18 wins for the southpaw coming by knockout.
Nobody is happier to be fighting on this card than newly signed Don King Productions cruiserweight Ryan Coyne. “The Irish Outlaw” was tentatively slated to fight on March 19—two days after St. Patrick’s Day.
“My Irish eyes were smiling when I was told I’d be moving to March 6,” Coyne said. “It’s hard to maintain your Irish ‘street cred’ when you can’t show up for the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Now I can have my cake and eat it, too.”
The St. Louis native is ecstatic to be on the same card as fellow undefeated St. Louisan Devon Alexander.
“Nothing would make me happier than to win my fight and then cheer Devon on to victory,” Coyne said.
Coyne, also a collegiate football player at the University of Missouri from 2001 to 2002, participated in last year’s season of The Contender. He fought successfully into the semi-finals before suffering an accidental headbutt that forced him to leave the competition.
Standing in his way is the North Carolina cruiserweight Paul Jennette. Eight of his 11 victories have come by knockout, so Coyne will have to be on his toes against this dangerous puncher.
Angelo Santana’s meteoric rise began days after defecting from Cuba when he literally washed up on the shores of Miami. Ten days later he signed with promoter Don King, and a few months later the lightweight made his professional debut at Madison Square Garden (Jan. 19, 2008) on the undercard supporting the Felix “Tito” Trinidad vs. Roy Jones Jr. main event.
Santana has steadily progressed and has yet to stumble. He will face Francisco Palacios, an interesting opponent in that 17 of his 19 fights have gone the distance.
Also appearing on the card are two Puerto Rican boxers trained by Manny Siaca, the patriarch of the noted fighting Siaca family of the same island. Antonio Sanchez (2-0, 2 KOs) meets Eric Ricker (3-5), from Toledo, Ohio, while Andres “Pajita” Navarro (4-2-1, 4 KOs), will face James Hope (4-4, 4 KOs) from Rock Hill, S.C.
Tickets priced at $175, $95, $50 and $35 are on sale now at the Mohegan Sun Box Office and through Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster customers may log on to ticketmaster.com; call Ticketmaster's national toll free Charge-By-Phone number (800) 745-3000; or visit any Ticketmaster outlet.