Dominican super lightweight Victor “Mermelada” Cayo (31-3, 22 KOs) knows the dire consequences on his boxing career another loss will have and is training like his future as a top contender depends on it.
Cayo is in the final stretch of his preparations to meet once-beaten Emmanuel “The Tranzforma” Taylor (16-1, 11 KOs) on Friday, March 8, 2013, in the 10-round main event of promoter Sampson Lewkowicz’s “Friday Night Fights” boxing in the Superstar Theater at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Cayo vs. Taylor will be televised live on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights (10 PM Eastern on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, online through WatchESPN.com, and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app.) along with the night’s 10-round, co-featured televised bout between a couple of very promising heavyweights: undefeated Russian powerhouse Magomed “Mago” Abdusalamov (16-0, 16 KOs) defending his WBC United States (USNBC) heavyweight title against once-beaten former Puerto Rican Olympian Victor Bisbal (21-1, 15 KOs).
Once rated as high as #3 in the world, 28-year-old Cayo stumbled badly of late, losing by KO to Lamont Peterson in July 2011 and then dropping a shock TKO to shopworn former champion Nate Campbell in March 2012.
Since then, Cayo has righted the ship somewhat with four straight victories over solid, but lesser-known opposition. Taylor, however, represents his first real test at a higher level since the double disasters.
“I know what’s at stake,” said Cayo through an interpreter. “I have to beat this guy and look good if I’m going to fight for a world title. I have trained like everything I worked for is on the line in this fight and in many ways it is.”
Cayo, who started boxing at the age of 11, has spent his entire adult life dreaming of one day wearing a championship belt.
“I have worked my whole life for a shot at a title. I have been very close a couple times and things went wrong. I cannot let Taylor take away my chance for another try. Every fight I fight from now on, I will treat as though it is my world championship fight because if I lose I may never get one. I’m not coming to Atlantic City to do anything but show the world Victor Cayo is one of the world’s best.”
Headlining the undercard will be Virgin Islands-based “The Hawk Flock”, the sons and nephew of former world champion Julian “The Hawk” Jackson, each of whom is an up-and-coming contender in the respective divisions.
WBC Super Welterweight Youth World Champion John “Dah Rock” Jackson (14-1, 13 KOs), super middleweight contender Julius “The Chef” Jackson (14-0, 10 KOs) and junior middleweight contender Samuel “Rock City Cobra” Rogers (12-0, 7 KOs) will each make appearances.
Also scheduled to appear in separate bouts are local favorites such as Millville, New Jersey, light middleweight Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna (10-0, 6 KOs), Brooklyn lightweight Scott “Bang Bang” Burrell (6-1, 5 KOs) and a special showcase featuring the son of former heavyweight champion Bruce Seldon, undefeated super middleweight Isiah Seldon (6-0, 3 KOs).
The event is promoted by Sampson Boxing. The main event is presented in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.
Tickets start at $40 and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Resorts Casino Hotel box office on fight night.
The Resorts Casino Hotel is located at 1133 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. On fight night, doors open at 6:00 pm and the first bout is at 7:00. All bouts are subject to change. For more information, visit sampsonboxing.com or resortsac.com.