Jr. Middleweights Nelson, Grajeda to Meet Outdoors in Nevada Desert on ESPN Friday Night Fights and Noche de Combates

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Jr. Middleweights Nelson, Grajeda to Meet Outdoors in Nevada Desert on ESPN Friday Night Fights and Noche de Combates

Undefeated Super Middleweight Nemesapati to Meet Escalera in Co-Feature
2008 Olympic Silver Medalist Zhilei to Make Professional Debut

ESPN Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates presentado por Corona Extra heats up on Friday, August 8, when the show takes place outdoors in the Nevada desert as the seventh annual “Fallon Fights: Rural Rumble” from the Churchill County Fairgrounds in Fallon, Nev., is televised live at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2, broadband Spanish-language ESPN Deportes+ and WatchESPN. Jr. Middleweight contender Willie “The Great” Nelson (22-1-1, 13 KOs) and Luis Grajeda (17-2-2, 13 KOs) will be featured in the10-round main event. The card is promoted by DiBella Entertainment.

Commentators: Teddy and Todd Aug. 8
Todd Grisham  will be ringside with analyst Teddy Atlas  describing the action for ESPN2, while studio host Doug Kezirian will provide all the latest boxing news and highlights. Alex Pombo and analyst Delvin Rodríguez will call the fights for Noche de Combates on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes+, while Claudia Trejos and Leopoldo González will anchor the studio.

Main Event:
Cleveland’s Nelson, by way of Youngstown, Ohio, has won his last six fights, including most recently a first-round TKO over Darryl Cunningham. Grajeda, who hails from Mexico, is looking to score a win following an eight-round draw against Said El Harrak.

“I’ve seen a few of Grajeda’s fights,” Nelson said. “He fights at a slow, steady pace and throws loopy punches, sort of like Michael Medina. There’s nothing really special about him besides his power. He really does have big punching power, but his quality of opponents wasn’t the best.”

Grajeda said through an interpreter, “I’ve been watching videos of Willie Nelson. He’s a boxer and uses his reach a lot. This is the first time I’ve fought anybody that tall. I’m just going to be intelligent in the fight, and maintain the distance that I fight at. I’m going to go to the body a lot, too, because he’s so tall. I’m going to give my all in the ring – I’m going to fight my heart out.”

Friday’s eight-round co-feature will pit undefeated Super Middleweight Norbert Nemesapati (14-0, 13 KOs) of Hungary, against New Jersey’s Jason “Monstruo” Escalera (14-2-1, 12 KOs). Nemesapati, who will be making his U.S. debut, is coming off a sixth-round TKO win over Ivan Stupalo. In his last outing, Escalera won a six-round split decision over previously undefeated 2008 Swedish Olympian Naim Terbunja.

Opening Fight:
Friday’s show will open with a four-round Heavyweight bout between China’s Zhang Zhilei and Tennessee’s Curtis Lee Tate (6-4, 6 KOs). Zhilei, a 2008 Olympic silver medalist, will be making his professional debut.

Upcoming Schedule:

Date Time (ET) Main Event Location Networks
Fri, Aug 8 9 p.m. Willie Nelson (22-1-1, 13 KOs) vs. Luis Grajeda (17-2-2, 13 KOs) — 10 rounds, Jr. Middleweights  Churchill County Fairgrounds,
Fallon, Nev.
ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN
Fri, Aug 15 9 p.m. Rustam Nugaev (27-6-1, 17 KOs) vs. Denis Shafikov (33-1-1, 18 KOs) — 12 rounds, Lightweights Chumash Resort & Casino,
Santa Ynez, Calif.
ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN
Fri, Aug 22 9 p.m. Austin Trout (26-2, 14 KOs) vs. Daniel Dawson (40-3-1, 26 KOs) — 10 rounds, Jr. Middleweights Pechanga Resort & Casino
Temecula, Calif.
ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN

*Schedule subject to change

Friday Night Fights and Noche de Combates Social Media:

  • Follow ESPN Friday Night Fights on Twitter @ESPNFNF or like it on Facebook.
  • Score the fights round-by-round with the “Live Friday Night Fights Facebook Voting App,” an application on the ESPN FNF Facebook page that allows viewers to score the fight round-by-round.
  • Follow ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates on Twitter @ESPNBoxeo. 
  • For the latest ESPN.com boxing news and analysis follow @ESPNBoxing.

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