Jhonson on the Fast Track
While his compatriot, Erislandy Lara, may be getting the lion’s share of the limelight this Friday night in the main event at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, he may not even be the best Cuban light middleweight on the card.
Yudel Jhonson, a silver medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, has faced Lara six times in the amateurs and they split 3-3.
In his nine-fight pro career (9-0, 6 KOs), he has already defeated respectable veterans Dorian Beaupierre, Louie Leija, Juliano Ramos and Frankie Santos.
29-year-old Jhonson will face tough fellow Miami resident Richard Gutierrez in the televised 10-round co-main event this Friday, March 25, on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights broadcast from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
How did training for this fight go?
Training went dynamite. I sparred over 100 rounds, so I’m in tremendous shape.
What do you now about Richard Gutierrez?
He’s a rough Colombian and a very good fighter. He’s fought some of the best out there and even had Fernando Angulo almost out on HBO. He can crack with either hand.
How do you feel coming into this important showcase fight?
To me it’s a great situation to be on ESPN in the most beautiful casino in the world. A guy like me coming from Cuba, I’m blessed to be here. John Unwin and the people from The Cosmopolitan have given me a great opportunity.
Would you ever fight Erislandy Lara?
We fought six times in the amateurs and we’re three and three. Two top Puerto Ricans have fought each other – Camacho and Rosario. You never know. A year from now, we might be fighting each other at this great casino and calling it Cuban civil war. He’s a good friend of mine but it’s just business. I prefer not to though.
Do you feel an increased sense of urgency given your relatively advanced age of 29?
That’s the reason I’m already going 10 rounds. My promoter, Luis DeCubas, set me up because I’m a silver medalist. In fact I believe I was robbed and deserved the gold medal. Luis told me to be ready to step up right way when I turned pro.
When will we see you in a world title fight?
That’s up to my promoter. I’m ready for anybody in the world. I especially want Miguel Cotto. I have the style to beat him. That would be a great showdown someday.
On fight night, doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the first fight beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets for “Fight Night at The Cosmopolitan” are priced at $50.00, $75.00 and $250.00 for VIP seats, which include access to a VIP terrace, comfortable couch seating and an open bar and are available for purchase at www.cosmpolitanlasvegas.com.
About The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas:
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is a unique luxury resort offering a decidedly different perspective, situated in the heart of The Strip. The resort’s uniquely vertical multi-tower design offers spectacular views of the vibrant city. The new 2,995-room resort features oversized, residential-style living spaces with expansive, one-of-a-kind private terraces. The Cosmopolitan’s luxurious resort amenities include a 100,000-square-foot casino; Sahra Spa & Hammam; three unique pool experiences at The Pool District; Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub at The Cosmopolitan, a multi-level integrated nightclub; and 150,000 square feet of state-of-the-art convention and meeting space. An eclectic lineup of new-to-market retailers include AllSaints Spitalfields, Beckley, CRSVR Sneaker Boutique, DNA2050, Droog, Molly Brown’s Swimwear, Retrospecs & Co, Skins 6|2 Cosmetics and STITCHED. Signature restaurants include Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill by restaurateurs Bruce and Eric Bromberg; Comme Ça by Los Angeles Chef David Myers; Estiatorio Milos, by international restaurateur Costas Spiliadis; Holsteins from Block 16 Hospitality; Jaleo and China Poblano restaurants by acclaimed Chef José Andrés; Scarpetta and D.O.C.G. by award-winning Chef Scott Conant; and popular steakhouse STK from The One Group.