By Rob Soucy
Uncasville, CT- In the main event of Saturday’s HBO Latino Boxing Event at the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino, once beaten light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrrera (18-1, 13 KO’s) will battle Paul Parker (8-1, 4 KO’s) in an interesting 10-round crossroads type matchup. The fight headlines the second installment of the “Mohegan Sun Rising Star Boxing Series” presented by Main Events and the Mohegan Sun.
Barrera is coming off of the biggest win of his career, an impressive knockout victory over unbeaten Vyacheslav Shabranbskyy. Conversely, Parker’s lone defeat is a knockout loss at the hands of Shabranskyy. Barrera, 35, of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba now trains and fights out of Miami, FL. His only setback was a one sided decision loss to the undefeated lineal light heavyweight champion Andre Ward.
Parker, 32, of Toledo, Ohio is rather unheralded and a big underdog to the much more seasoned Barrera. However, he will have a great opportunity to put his name in the mix to fight the best that the 175 lb. division has to offer. “ I did get stopped by Shabranskyy but I dropped him twice in the first round and had him hurt bad. I think the fight should have been stopped but it is what it is”, said Parker. “I’m pretty sure he (Barrera) watched the fight and took my blueprint to knock Shabranskyy out. I took this fight on three weeks notice but I’m in very good shape and ready to go 10 hard rounds if I have to.”
It was Barrera’s win over Karo Murat that catapulted him from prospect to legit contender resulting in a shot at Ward. An upset win by Parker on HBO would do the same for his career going forward. Barrera has big plans in the near future but must dispatch of Parker first. “I feel like I should be in the conversation to fight any of the top light heavyweights,” stated Barrera. “I haven’t overlooked Parker at all, I know he has a good jab and a good straight right hand but we are prepared for whatever he brings. After this fight, I think I would like to fight Joe Smith. Our styles would make for a great fight.”
In the televised co-feature, middleweight prospect Vaughn Alexander (7-0, 5KO’s) the older brother of former world champion welterweight Devon, will battle Andres Calixto Rey (14-3, 9 KO’s). The fight was moved to the televised portion of the card after Russian slugger Arif Magomedov (18-1, 11 KOs), who was originally scheduled to face Mexican prospect Elias Espadas (13-3, 8 KOs), was sidelined due to an illness. “I don’t know anything about Andres Rey and I don’t care because I work too hard and am ready for whatever he brings.,” stated Alexander. “I feel like Main Events has moved me well but I also think I am ready to step up my competition. I don’t like to give predictions but I’ll just say I plan on putting on a great performance.”
Main Events CEO Kathy Diva stated, “It’s a shame to lose Arif’s fight, but this is an excellent replacement. I’m thrilled that more boxing fans will get to see Vaughn Alexander in the ring. He’s quickly making up for lost time and this is a chance for him to really get his name out there in what I expect to be a tough fight against Andres Calixto Rey.”
The HBO Latino telecast begins at 11:00 p.m.(live ET/tape-delayed PT) while doors open at 7:00 p.m. and first fight at 8 p.m. Tickets, which are priced at $50 and $75, are available through Ticketmaster, the Mohegan Sun box office, or the main events office. The fight card is presented by Main Events and sponsored by Corona Extra.