Home Boxing News Heavyweights Gurgen Hovhannisyan and Viktor Faust to clash on Spence Jr vs...

Heavyweights Gurgen Hovhannisyan and Viktor Faust to clash on Spence Jr vs Crawford card

Three all-action showdowns featuring prodigious rising stars, ascending Mexican fan-favorites, unbeaten contenders and more will highlight the stacked Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. vs. Terence “Bud” Crawford SHOWTIME PPV on Saturday, July 29 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The pay-per-view begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features hard-hitting contender Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz facing unbeaten Giovanni Cabrera in a 12-round WBC and WBA Lightweight Title Eliminator in the co-main event, plus rising star Jesus “Mono” Ramos takes on Spanish contender Sergio Garcia in a 12-round WBC Super Welterweight Title eliminator. Kicking off the pay-per-view, unbeaten rising heavyweight Gurgen Hovhannisyan will duel the power-punching Viktor Faust in a 10-round matchup.

These intriguing showdowns serve as the prelude to the highly anticipated main event between unified WBC, WBA and IBF Welterweight World Champion Spence Jr. and WBO 147-pound world champion Crawford for the Undisputed Welterweight World Championship. The winner of this battle of undefeated superstars will become the first undisputed welterweight world champion in the four-belt era and likely emerge as the sport’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Man Down Promotions, TBC Promotions and TGB Promotions, are available through AXS.com.

“This pay-per-view lineup on July 29 is worthy of the mega-fight main event and will give fans high-stakes action leading up to the seismic showdown between Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Isaac Cruz and Jesus Ramos Jr. are two rising stars who deliver fireworks every time they get in the ring, and they’ll be pushed to be at their best in tough matchups on SHOWTIME PPV. Adding in an explosive heavyweight opener, and fans will want to make sure they get into their seats early at T-Mobile Arena.”

The 25-year-old Cruz (24-2-1, 17 KOs) has delivered back-to-back electrifying knockouts since dropping a competitive and entertaining decision against undefeated superstar Gervonta Davis in December 2021. A native of Mexico City, Cruz shot up the lightweight rankings in 2020, announcing his presence with an electrifying first-round knockout over veteran Diego Magdaleno in October before adding dominant decisions over Francisco Vargas and Jose Matias Romero. Cruz’s last two fights have seen him stop former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in April 2022 and veteran contender Eduardo Ramirez in September 2022.

“I can’t wait to be back in the ring on July 29 in the boxing capital of the world of Las Vegas,” said Cruz. “It’s even more exciting that I’ll be back on the biggest show of the year. It has always been a dream of mine to fight in Las Vegas, where so many Mexican legends like Julio Cesar Chavez, Salvador Sanchez and Erik Morales have fought before. Now it’s my opportunity and I will not disappoint the fans. As always, I’m coming for the knockout!”

Originally from Seattle and now residing in Chicago, Cabrera (21-0, 7 KOs) enters the ring off an impressive shutout victory over Gabriel Flores Jr. last July, capping a dominant three-win 2022 campaign. The 28-year-old has defeated seven undefeated fighters throughout a pro career that dates back to 2016. Cabrera kicked off his strong 2022 with a unanimous decision triumph over highly regarded Mexican contender Rene Tellez Giron in January and can establish himself as a member of the 135-pound elite if he can get past Cruz on July 29.

“It hasn’t been an easy road to this point, and I know that I have to beat ‘Pitbull’ Cruz to continue my path to the world title,” said Cabrera. “This is a hard fight, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want to earn my status as world champion. Spence vs. Crawford is reminiscent of the glory days of boxing when the best fought the best, and I want to continue that legacy. I respect Cruz and I expect a war. May the best fighter win on July 29.”

A strong southpaw who at 22 has yet to come close to hitting his ceiling as a fighter, Ramos (20-0, 16 KOs) blitzed then unbeaten Joey Spencer in March, dropping him in round one before stopping him in round seven to earn the TKO in his sensational 2023 debut. A native of Casa Grande, Ariz., Ramos also owns back-to-back 10-round unanimous decisions over Brian Mendoza and Javier Molina in 2021, which he followed up by defeating Luke Santamaria and Vladimir Hernandez in 2022. Overall, the youthful Ramos has gained recognition with highlight-reel KOs, stopping seven of his last 10 opponents, showcasing a desire to end his fights early.

“I’m coming to give the crowd a great show on the biggest card of the year,” said Ramos. “I’m very happy and excited to be back on another huge card. Sergio Garcia is a tough opponent and I know he’s going to bring the best out in me. That’s just gonna make for even more entertainment for the fans. I’m training hard and I promise I’m gonna be ready for whatever Garcia brings on July 29.”

The 30-year-old Garcia (34-2, 14 KOs) returned to the ring April to defeat Ricardo Sebastian Cabana before he steps into the ring for his third stateside bout on July 29. Garcia’s only career defeats have come via decision as he dropped a December 2021 bout against top contender Sebastian Fundora and an April 2022 clash against former world champion Tony Harrison. Fighting out of Torrelavega, Cantabria, Spain, Garcia has competed professionally since 2012. He ascended the rankings by traveling to the U.K. to defeat then unbeaten Ted Cheeseman on his home soil in 2019 and followed that up with a triumph over veteran contender Sergey Rabchenko.

“I’m very motivated by this new opportunity to fight in the U.S. and I want to thank my team for trusting to put me back in this position,” said Garcia. “I’m hoping to give the fans a great fight. Jesus has a great future ahead of him, but I also have a lot of experience in important fights and I think that will lead me to the victory. It will be a hard fight but I’m ready to be at my very best and use everything I have to get my hand raised.”

The 25-year-old Hovhannisyan (4-0, 4 KOs) has delivered four consecutive knockouts since turning pro in September 2021, showing the promise he originally displayed in his extensive amateur career. Originally from Yerevan, Armenia, he now fights out of Los Angeles as he looks to bolster his heavyweight resume. Most recently, Hovhannisyan earned a career-best victory, stopping previous top prospect Michael Coffie in six rounds last October.

“July 29 is a great opportunity for me to showcase myself in front of the world,” said Hovhannisyan. “Boxing is a serious sport, but if you train hard and understand it, you can understand exactly what you have to do in the ring. I’m going to prove what I can do in this fight and make a statement.”

Faust (11-1, 7 KOs) will look to get back in the win column after dropping a battle of unbeatens against Lenier Pero in February. His previous stateside outing saw him engage in one of 2022’s most unpredictable and fast-paced slugfests. The 31-year-old squared off with Iago Kiladze in January 2022 with both men hitting the canvas an astonishing five times combined in less than five minutes of action before the Ukrainian closed out the bout in round two to earn a TKO. Faust followed that up with decision wins over veteran title challenger Kevin Johnson in August 2022 and Franklin Lawrence in December 2022.

“I’m working very hard to come to Las Vegas and put on a great fight,” said Faust. “I’m excited to be back fighting in the U.S. and ready to show the fans what I can do. I had a rib injury in my last fight and couldn’t continue, but it has only made me more motivated to win on July 29. It’s an honor to be fighting on such a big card, and I know this is a big step that I can make toward becoming world champion. I’m sure Gurgen is going to come prepared just like me and that the fans are going to be the real winners.”