Former world title challenger Demetrius “The Gladiator” Hopkins is primed and ready for battle against World Boxing Association’s #1 contender, Brad “King” Solomon this Friday night, March 18th at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
The Hopkins/Solomon scheduled ten round clash, for the WBA International Welterweight Title, is the main event on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.
With a record of 30-1-1 (11KO’s), the 30 year old Philadelphia veteran Hopkins presents the toughest challenge of the undefeated Solomon’s heralded three year career in which he has compiled a record of 16-0-0 with seven knockouts.
“I’ve watched tapes of him and it’s like a fake Roy Jones. All that dancing in and out, maybe that’s worked to keep other fighters off balance but it won’t work against me” said Hopkins.
The clash with Solomon marks Hopkins ’ third bout since moving up to welterweight. As a junior welterweight, he had lost only once, a split decision to then WBO Champion Kendall Holt in December 2008, which Hopkins took on very short notice.
“I’m so much stronger at 147. Previously fight week was a grind cutting those last few pounds, now this week has been terrific. I’ve trained hard to beat Solomon, not to lose weight” continued Hopkins.
“I spent a great deal of time training with Mike Jones, we compliment each other well and he’s perfect to spar with. Between him and a couple of other Philly pros, there’s nothing that Solomon can do on Friday night that will work.”
Not one to look past his current opponent, Hopkins did outline a path for 2011, should be get past Solomon. “Andre Berto, Kermit Cintron or Lovemore N’Dou. Kermit and I have a past history in the gym, he’s always looking for someone to fight him—look no further. I’d even go to 154 to fight him.”
Hopkins is coming off an ESPN2 Friday Night Fights televised ten round unanimous decision win over former world title challenger Mike Arnaoutis on July 2nd in Ontario , California . Prior to that he scored a ten round shutout victory over veteran Jesse Feliciano on March 25th in Commerce, California.
Said Chris Middendorf, "DHop took the title fight with Holt on ten days notice and lost a very close fight. With a full camp, Derek "Bozie" Ennis has Demetrius fit and ready. It should be a great night for one of the best welterweights in the world and a step towards another world title fight."
He is currently world ranked #12 by the International Boxing Federation.
Solomon defended his WBA International Welterweight Title with a convincing ten round decision over Anges Adjaho on December 7th at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
ESPN2’S Friday Night Fights is presented by The Heavyweight Factory. Doors will open at 6:30pm with the first bell of the card scheduled for 7:00pm. Advance tickets can be obtained through Ticketmaster, (www.ticketmaster.com)