Tuesday night at the Palms Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, WBA World super featherweight champion Javier Fortuna (28-0-1, 20 KOs), from La Romana, Dominican Republic, will defend his title against Carlos “Twin Dream” Velasquez (19-1, 12 KOs), from Miami, Florida, by way of Catano, Puerto Rico.
At just 26 years old, Fortuna has already won two world titles. With those accomplishments and an unbeaten record, he has to be considered one of the best young fighters in the sport.
He won his first title at 126 pounds before losing it on the scales ahead of his bout with Miguel Zamudio on April 19, 2013. He captured his current title by winning a hard-fought unanimous decision over Bryan Vasquez on May 29.
Velasquez could present some matchup issues for Fortuna. At 5’9”, Velasquez is four inches taller. It’ll be interesting to see how Fortuna handles the 31-year-old Puerto Rican’s length. Velasquez also brings into the ring a noteworthy amateur career to validate his strong pro record.
In his only defeat, Velasquez was thoroughly beating Rico Ramos—a once highly touted prospect—before the latter caught him with a huge shot in the 10th and final round.
Velasquez was knocked out and Ramos escaped with the win.
Since then, Velasquez has only fought in fights scheduled for six rounds, but he’s 4-0 since the loss. This bout represents his return to the ring against premier competition.
“It’s been a childhood dream of mine to become a world champion,” said Velasquez, “and now that time has come to show the world that I’m worthy. I’m going to leave everything in the ring against Fortuna. He’s one of the best fighters in the division and a win against him will open up many doors for my career.”
Velasquez might be “worthy,” but Fortuna didn’t sound too worried about his background or fighting style.
“He’s a good amateur fighter making the transition to pro,” said Fortuna, “but he has not yet completed that task. At times, he keeps his guard up really high and shows no regard of people going to his body. But this is a huge opportunity for him, so I will be at my absolute best that night. I think I will knock him out. He stands up too straight and I will catch him, but he’s a good boxer with a good record. Hopefully he’ll show up with no excuses.”
Fortuna’s best attribute is his power and aggressiveness. He pursues the stoppage win in all of his fights, and he’s been successful in just under 69 percent of them. Velasquez will have to prove that the chin and defense that failed him against Ramos have improved. Can he pull the upset, or he will be Fortuna’s 21st KO victim? We’ll find out Tuesday night.
Javier Fortuna vs. Carlos Velasquez will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 9 PM. ET/6 PM PT.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.