Javier Fortuna intent on tipping the scale in his favor in title defense against Carlos Velasquez

After Javier Fortuna knocked off Bryan Vasquez in May, he earned himself a vacant 130-pound championship in the process. Now that he’s set to take on Carlos Velasquez on Tuesday night at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, he’ll get his first taste of title defense in the division.

Javier Fortuna and Carlos Velasquez

Javier Fortuna, left, and Carlos Velasquez did plenty of jawing at each other during Monday's weigh-in for their 130-pound title fight in Las Vegas. (Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions)

While Fortuna’s last title, at 126 pounds, was lost on the scale before his fight with Miguel Zamudio in 2013, this one will find its fate determined in the ring, as both Fortuna and Velasquez weighed in Monday night at 130 on the nose.

So that’s one less thing for Fortuna to worry about. Then again, he doesn’t sound too worried about the in-ring portion of the equation, either.

“I’m very proud of [the title],” Javier Fortuna (28-0-1, 20 KOs) said. “I’m just waiting for someone to challenge me.”

Stepping up to fill that role is Carlos Velasquez (19-1, 12 KOs), who will be stepping up to a 12-round fight for the first time in his career. His lone loss came via 10th-round knockout at the hands of Rico Ramos in September 2013.

It’s that knockout that has Fortuna’s trainer, Hector Bermudez, sanguine about his charge’s chances against Velasquez.

“We’re just going to apply pressure to him and get him out of there early,” Bermudez said. “He’s nothing to be concerned about. I know he’s going to come ready, but Fortuna’s got plans. Velasquez is not in his plans.”

Before joining up with Bermudez in 2013, Fortuna was trained by Pablo Sarmiento, who also trained longtime 160-pound world champion Sergio Martinez.

Martinez’s steady presence was an important part of Fortuna’s development. Fortuna credits Martinez with helping improve his movement, in particular.

“[Martinez’s retirement] affects boxing as a whole,” Fortuna said. “He was a great champion. It’s always sad to see a warrior and a great champion leave the sport.”

That’s not the only thing Martinez instilled in his protégé. He also imparted a certain swagger when it comes to assessing one’s place in a division.

“I know I’m the most dangerous one in there,” Fortuna said. “There’s no one more dangerous than me.”

For complete coverage of Fortuna vs Velasquez, make sure to check out our fight page.

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