The future stars of boxing take center stage on FS1 PBC Fight Night on back to back shows Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19.
This weekend (Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19), Premier Boxing Champions showcases hard-hitting prospects in back-to-back nights of action on FS1 PBC Fight Night and FOX Deportes, live from Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield, California.
On Saturday, exciting lightweight prospect Jose Valenzuela (9-0, 6 KOs) puts his unbeaten record on the line against Colombia’s Deiner Berrio (22-3-1, 13 KOs) in the 10-round main event. The FS1 telecast begins at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and features undefeated featherweights Rajon Chance and Elon de Jesus battle in a six-round bout. Also on the card, undefeated Amed Medina faces Abdur Abdullah in six-round super featherweight action.
On Sunday, undefeated super featherweight prospect Maliek Montgomery (10-0, 10 KOs) faces Aleem Jumakhonov (9-3-2, 5 KOs) in the 10-round main event. The FS1 telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and will also feature all-action super lightweight Omar “El Relámpago” Juárez against Jairo Lopez in an eight-round contest. In a special attraction to open up the show, exciting prospect Angel Barrientes takes on Victor Torres in a four-round super bantamweight clash.
Jose Valenzuela vs. Deiner Berrio
Jose “El Rayo” Valenzuela, right now, is perhaps best known by the online boxing community as the kid who reportedly dropped Teofimo Lopez in sparring. However, this 22-year-old from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico by way of Seattle, Washington is quickly earning a reputation as a top prospect in the game.
A talented athlete with a special aptitude for offense, the southpaw Valenzuela, who can also fight from the orthodox stance, throws punches in bunches, varying tempo and angle of delivery with fluidity a la camp mate, former super middleweight world champ David Benavidez. The left hand is especially strong and can be delivered as a hook, an uppercut, or as a straight shot behind a blistering jab.
The 30-year-old Colombian Deiner Berrio fights out of a shell defense, winging punches when opportunities present themselves. Unorthodox in style and delivery, the eleven-year veteran is a durable presence who has yet to be stopped as a pro.
Berrio’s favored punch is a wild overhand right, but his shorter punches, notably his left hook, may be more effective offensive weapons. Letting his hands go, however, has been an issue for the former super featherweight champ of Colombia and giving rounds away due to inactivity has been a major negative factor in his career.
For Valenzuela, this bout against the durable and defensively solid Berrio should be a good test. The rising young prospect is on a five-fight stoppage streak and it’ll be interesting to see how he works to take apart an unorthodox foe who simply does not open himself up all that much.
On the other side of the ring, Berrio has the tools to do damage to a young fighter with some defensive lapses like Valenzuela. In particular, his overhand right and sweeping right hand-- two weapons that are textbook-effective against southpaws-- could find a home against “El Rayo,” who is generally hyper-focused on offense.
Maliek Montgomery vs. Aleem Jumakhonov
Maliek Montgomery’s reputation as a hard-working, ambitious young fighter, alongside brothers Mikhail and Michael Jr., is well-established on the pro boxing gym circuit. A member of Team Shawn Porter and trained by Shawn’s father, Kenny Porter, the 26-year-old Macon, Georgia native is a two-time national Golden Gloves champion and has knocked out all ten of his opponents as a pro.
Aggression is Montgomery’s game and that’s clearly evident by his constant march forward in the ring and his eagerness to let his fists go. Gifted with quick hands and benefiting from solid coaching, the former 5-time Georgia games champion is a strong offensive fighter who makes few mistakes and applies non-stop pressure. His best offensive weapon is probably a wicked-quick right hand, but everything he throws is fast and accurate.
Aleem Jumakhonov’s record may not be flawless, but the three losses and two draws on his ledger are a deceptive blight. All five non-victories have come against higher-level opposition and all but one are disputable.
Like Montgomery, the 28-year-old Tajikistan-born, Reseda, California resident is all about aggression. By both design and necessity, he likes to bull his way forward and fight on the inside where his relatively small frame and lack of next-level athleticism don’t work to his detriment.
Jumakhonov is tenacious and tough with decent hand speed and good all-around instincts. His greatest offensive asset is the pressure he puts on opposition with his always-forward approach. Yet to be stopped as a pro, he’s also shown himself to be durable and defensively sound.
On paper and without context, Montgomery may look to be a prohibitive favorite in this Sunday’s main event. However, Jumakhonov has faced the much tougher competition over the course of his 7-year career with his opponents sporting a combined record of 63-20-4. Meanwhile, Montgomery has thus far been matched much lighter, with his opposition having a combined record of 26-95-5. Jumakhonov will be only the second fighter with a winning record Montgomery has faced as a pro.
Stylistically, Montgomery-Jumakhonov is a guaranteed war. Both are pressure fighters who come forward and look to engage. Both have impactful right hands and a good variety of offensive assets. Expect a phone booth war of attrition and a true test of whether both are “for real.”
All in all, fans should be in for a weekend of quality action featuring some of the sport’s top offense-minded prospects.
For a closer look at Valenzuela vs Berrio, check out our fight night page.
For a closer look at Montgomery vs Jumakhonov, check out our fight night page.