FEATHERWEIGHT WORLD TITLE FIGHT BETWEEN JELENA MRDJENOVICH AND ERIKA CRUZ HERNANDEZ TO HEADLINE THURSDAY NIGHT’S RING CITY USA EVENT ON NBC SPORTS NETWORK
Franklin vs. Shaw Postponed, Mominov vs. Ruiz Added to NBCSN Telecast
On Thursday night, Ring City USA will return with another high-stakes world title main event when Jelena Mrdjenovich makes the sixth defense of her WBA Featherweight World Title against Erika Cruz Hernandez, live from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. and on NBC Sports Network. The main card on NBCSN will feature two additional bouts beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, with a three-fight undercard beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT around the world on Twitch.
The previously announced main event heavyweight clash between undefeated contenders Jermaine Franklin (20-0, 13 KOs) and Stephan Shaw (14-0, 10 KOs) was postponed due to Franklin testing positive for COVID-19.
Mrdjenovich (41-10-2, 19 KOs) returns to the Ring City USA squared circle following her fifth world title defense, a 10-round unanimous decision victory against Iranda Paolo Torres on December 17, 2020 at the Wild Card Boxing Gym in Los Angeles, Calif. The three-division world champion won the WBA world title in March 2016 defeating champion Edith Matthysse. A pioneer for women’s boxing in her home country of Canada, Mrdjenovich, 38, is currently the second-ranked featherweight in the world by Ring Magazine, behind only recent Ring City victor Amanda Serrano.
The upset-minded Cruz Hernandez (12-1-0, 3 KOs) will be challenging for her first world title. The 30-year-old southpaw is currently riding an 11-bout winning streak including victories over world ranked contenders Vissia Trovato and Jocelyn Morales Torres. As an amateur, the Mexico City native bested 2012 U.S. Olympian Queen Underwood.
Making his United States debut, heavy-handed Juan Pablo Romero (13-0, 9 KOs) arrives for battle following a ten-round unanimous decision over Sergio Torres on November 28, 2020 in Mexico City, Mexico. Prior to his most recent outing, Romero, 31, has faced top competition for a rising prospect and performed well by knocking out four consecutive opponents within the first four rounds.
Romero will face Deiner Berrio (22-2-1, 13 KOs) who returns to the ring following back-to-back knockout wins in his two most recent performances. In his last fight in August 2019, Berrio scored an impressive knockout of Gustavo Sandoval in the second round in his second career bout at 140 pounds. Thursday’s fight against Romero will mark his U.S. debut. Romero was previously scheduled to fight undefeated prospect Jonathan Navarro who was forced to withdraw with an injury.
Now added to the NBC Sports Network telecast, Kazakhstan’s Bobirzhan Mominov (12-0, 8 KOs) will face the most difficult test of his professional career when he takes on Angel Ruiz (16-1, 12 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico in a welterweight fight scheduled for eight rounds. Now fighting out of California, the unbeaten 29-year-old prospect notched two impressive decision wins in 2020 as he continues his ascension to contender status. Standing in his way is the hungry 23-year-old Ruiz, who is trained by Manny Robles out of Southern California and returns to the ring after a nearly 18-month layoff following his first professional loss in 2019.
Bonus undercard action will stream live around the world on Twitch with West Point cadets taking center stage in amateur contests at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT.
Armed Forces Network Europe and Pacific will also make the broadcast available to U.S. Forces serving overseas on AFN TV.
Main Card on NBC Sports Network
9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
WBA Featherweight World Title Fight – 10 Rounds
Jelena Mrdjenovich (41-10-2, 19 KOs) vs. Erika Cruz Hernandez (12-1, 3 KOs)
Junior Welterweight – 8 Rounds
Juan Pablo Romero (13-0, 9 KOs) vs. Denier Berrio (22-2-1, 13 KOs)
Welterweight Fight – 8 Rounds
Bobirzhan Mominov (12-0, 8 KOs) vs. Angel Ruiz (16-1, 12 KOs)
Bonus Undercard on Twitch
6:30 p.m ET/3:30 p.m. PT
Super Middleweight Fight – 8 Rounds
Christian Mbilli (17-0, 16 KOs) vs. Jesus Antonio Gutierrez (27-4-2, 14 KOs)
Featherweight Fight – 6 Rounds
Jalan Walker (8-0, 7 KOs) who will battle Angel Antonio Contreras (11-4-1, 7 KOs)
Junior Lightweight Fight – 4 Rounds
Daniel Bailey (3-0, 2 KOs) vs. Luis Alvarado (1-2)