NEWARK, New Jersey – Vito Mielnicki Jr. is done with James Martin, just not in the way that the welterweight prospect had hoped.
Martin was way over the contracted weight of 147 pounds for what was supposed to be an immediate rematch Saturday night at Prudential Center. Once Mielnicki’s team learned Friday morning that Martin wouldn’t even come close to making 147 pounds, Mielnicki agreed to instead face Noah Kidd in the eight-round co-feature of a “FOX PBC Fight Night” broadcast scheduled to start at 8 p.m. EDT.
Kidd (6-3-2, 5 KOs), of Jefferson City, Missouri, was supposed to face Mienlicki’s stablemate, Keeshawn Williams, in a non-televised, six-rounder Saturday night. Williams (7-0-1, 2 KOs), of Lanham, Maryland, will now fight Martin.
It had not been determined at the time this story was posted if the six-round Williams-Martin match will be televised as part of an FS1 telecast that’ll start after FOX’s main event between heavyweights Michael Coffie (12-0, 9 KOs) and Jonnie Rice (13-6-1, 9 KOs).
Philadelphia’s Martin (7-2, 0 KOs) upset Mielnicki (8-1, 5 KOs), of nearby Roseland, New Jersey, by majority decision in an eight-rounder April 17 at Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles.
Their first fight was contested at a catch weight of 152 pounds, but Mielnicki admitted fighting at a higher weight was a mistake. That’s why the weight limit for their rematch was set at 147 pounds.
“I’m a true professional,” Mielnicki, who weighed in at exactly 147 pounds, told BoxingScene.com. “Him coming in overweight shows a lot. I’m gonna do my job, regardless. Now Keeshawn Williams, my stablemate, is gonna take care of what I was gonna take care of. You won’t hear about James Martin no more after tomorrow night.
“I’m past that [the Martin rematch] now. I’m looking forward. Like I said, Keeshawn Williams will handle what I was gonna do that night. Keeshawn’s gonna dominate him. Like I said, you won’t hear the name James Martin anymore after tomorrow night.”
The 19-year-old Mielnicki still expressed disappointment over Martin missing weight.
“It sucks, obviously,” Mielnicki said. “I worked my ass off for eight weeks to go in and fight James Martin. But at the end of the day, James Martin is here because I let him be here. And I’m gonna keep going to become a superstar. I’m blessed to be with the best in the game, Al Haymon, and I’m still fighting in front of my family and friends, and I’m gonna put on a show.”
Martin, meanwhile, officially weighed in at 151½ pounds for his fight with Williams, who weighed 148 pounds.
“I had to lose five pounds [Friday morning], and I couldn’t lose no more,” Martin told BoxingScene.com. “I’m disappointed in myself, that I can’t come out here and give [Mielnicki] another loss. I don’t really know much about [Williams], but I’m gonna give him his first loss, too.”
FS1; 10 p.m. EDT (or immediately after the completion of FOX’s broadcast)
Andre Dirrell (27-3, 17 KOs), Flint Michigan, 175½ pounds vs. Christopher Brooker (16-7, 6 KOs), Philadelphia, 175 pounds, 10 rounds, light heavyweights.
Norman Neely (8-0, 7 KOs), Paterson, New Jersey, 226¼ pounds vs. Juan Torres (6-3-1, 3 KOs), Cypress, Texas, 247¾ pounds, 6 rounds, heavyweights.
Karl Dargan (19-1, 9 KOs), Philadelphia, 137½ pounds vs. Ivan Delgado (13-3-2, 6 KOs), Los Angeles, 139½ pounds, 8 rounds, junior welterweights.
Michael Anderson (20-3-1, 14 KOs), East Orange, New Jersey, 147¾ pounds vs. DeMarcus Rogers (14-3-1, 5 KOs), Chattanooga, Tennessee, 146½ pounds, 6 rounds, welterweights.
Nicky Vitone (4-0-1, 4 KOs), Denville, New Jersey, 142¾ pounds vs. Jordan Rosario (3-10, 0 KOs), Jersey City, New Jersey, 4 rounds, welterweights.
Malik Nelson (pro debut), Avenel, New Jersey, 129¾ pounds vs. Alejandro Ramirez (0-1), Northglenn, Colorado, 134½ pounds, 4 rounds, lightweights.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.