“A victory (over Cristobal Cruz) would mean that I’m ready for big things and big fights against the world champions.”
Featherweight magician Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (19-0, 14 KOs) is in heavy preparation for his upcoming showdown with former IBF Featherweight Champion Cristobal Cruz (39-13, 23 KOs) on Friday, July 6, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and televised live on ESPN Friday Night Fights.
The 22-year-old southpaw from La Romana, Dominican Republic, is one of the hottest young fighters in the world, coming off his spectacular Friday Night Fights-televised first-round annihilation of Yuandale Evans last April.
Fortuna and Cruz will meet in the main event of the Sampson Boxing and Greg Cohen Promotions show entitled “The Moment of Truth”, which will also feature Russian heavyweight power puncher Magomed “Mago” Abdusalamov (14-0, 14 KOs) defending his WBC United States (USNBC) Silver Heavyweight Championship in a 10-round battle against fellow up-and-coming heavyweight Maurice “Freight Train” Byarm (13-1-1, 9 KOs).
The opportunity to fight Cruz came earlier this month when the event’s original main event fell apart due to injury.
During a break in training Fortuna sat down to answer the following questions, via translator.
Isn’t this a tough fight to take on somewhat short notice? How do you feel about it?
All the fights are difficult and all opponents go into the ring to beat you. I feel good because since my last fight I have continued to train hard.
What do you think of Cristobal as a fighter?
Like all Mexican fighters, he’s strong and comes forward, but we are prepared for everything.
What did your last fight do for your confidence?
The only confidence I have is that I train really hard. I beat an undefeated fighter and that just made me keep working hard and want it even more.
What would a victory over Cristobal Cruz mean for your career?
A victory would mean that I’m ready for big things and big fights against the world champions.
You are a young man. Are you ready for the added pressure that comes with stepping up to a main event televised fighter?
Yes I’m ready for all the pressure. I know this is a fight against a great boxer like Cristobal Cruz, but we are ready.
How will this fight end?
I’m going to try to do my boxing and beat him by KO.
Tell me about fighting for Sampson Boxing.
It’s going very well and I’m proud to be fighting for him. I’m very happy he’s in charge of my career.
What was the reaction from fans in the Dominican to your last fight?
They are very loyal and follow all my fights. They were very happy because I beat Evans.
Headlining the undercard, popular heavyweight and current interim PABA Heavyweight Champion “Bronco” Billy Wright (37-4, 28 KOs) will continue his successful comeback in a 10-round bout.
Also scheduled to fight six-round bouts are Las Vegas, via Puerto Rico, super middleweight Carlos De Leon Jr (21-3-2, 14 KOs); and undefeated Las Vegas featherweight Rocco Santomauro (8-0).
Scheduled for four-rounders are Jackson, Michigan, cruiserweight William “Lil’ Tyson” Williams (5-2-1, 4 KOs); Henderson, Nevada, cruiserweight Brandon Harris (5-0, 3 KOs) and Romanian import Ronald Gavril (2-0, 1 KO).