Raymond Ford will face unbeaten local talent Richard Medina at the Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday June 25 live worldwide on DAZN – with fellow young guns Marc Castro, Nikita Ababiy and Khalil Coe in action on the undercard of the quadruple header of World title action, led by San Antonio’s own Jesse Rodriguez making the first defense of his WBC World Super-Flyweight title against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
Ford (11-0-1 6 KOs) steps through the ropes in his fourth title fight and puts the WBA Continental Americas Featherweight strap on the line that he won by split decision in his last outing, edging out another unbeaten man in Edward Vazquez in Phoenix.
‘Savage’ is ranked at #8 with the WBA and is closing in on the top five and can make an impact in the IBF rankings too, with the IBF North American belt on the line and Ford currently sitting at #13 with the organization.
Those belts and rankings will have Medina (13-0 7 KOs) licking his lips as he fights for a title for the first time in career and on home turf. The 21 year old landed his seventh win inside the distance in his last outing in March, forcing Armando Frausto to retire after seven rounds of their clash in San Antonio.
"This is the third time in my last five fights that I've gone and taken on an undefeated fighter in front of their fans,” said Ford. “I don't see any of these other prospects stepping up to the plate.
“They keep putting these guys in front of them and I'm going to keep handling my business. I know I'm going right to the top in this game and if I have to do it the hard way by fighting these guys in their hometowns, then that's what I'm going to do.”
“I’m excited and thankful for the opportunity,” said Medina. “I want to thank my promoter Rick Morones of TMB Promotions and my manager Greg Hannley, and Matchroom for the opportunity. I’m looking forward to fighting in my hometown and putting on a spectacular show for my fans and family.
“Getting to fight on the undercard of one of my closest friends, ‘Bam’ Rodriguez, who I’ve known practically my whole life and grew up fighting with, is an honor. I’m ready to showcase my skills to the world.”
Ford and Medina will close the ‘Before The Bell’ broadcast on a huge night of action in Texas, and the New Jersey talent is joined by more rising American stars on a stacked bill.
Marc Castro (7-0 5 KOs) tastes action for the third time in 2022 and does so against unbeaten Puerto Rican Jean Guerra Vargas (6-0 1 KO) over eight rounds at Lightweight. Castro landed his seventh win in the paid ranks earlier in the month in his fourth fight on a Canelo Alvarez card, and the Fresno talent is grateful to be so active as he continues to hone his craft and test himself against the hungry Vargas.
“I’m grateful to stay healthy and stay active,” said Castro. “I’m continuing to work hard daily and ready to put on a show for my supporters.”
Nikita Ababiy (11-0 6 KOs) fights for the first time in 2022, and ‘White Chocolate’ believes he’ll dazzle as he takes on Noe Larrios Jr (14-1 6 KOs) over eight rounds at Middleweight.
“I’m super excited to get back in that ring and show everyone what I’ve been working on,” said Ababiy. “I’m just excited for everyone to see me show out. I know everybody missed the White Chocolate, time to make some noise again and give the people the excitement they’re missing!”
Big hitting Light-Heavyweight Khalil Coe (3-0-1 2 KOs) is back in action in his fourth paid outing, and takes on unbeaten Dominican Joaquin Berroa Lugo (3-0 2 KOs) over six rounds.
“June 25, Big Steppa, we are back at it,” said Coe. “I’m fighting an undefeated opponent and these are the challenges I want. I know what I’m capable of and the ability I have and I’m excited to showcase my skills. This is opportunity for me to show just how good I am and that’s exactly what I plan on doing.”
Rodriguez and Rungvisai headline a huge night of action with those young talents joined by three more World title tussles.
Julio Cesar Martinez (18-2 14 KOs) and McWilliams Arroyo (21-4 16 KOs) pick up where they left off from their curtailed firefight for Martinez’s WBC World Flyweight title, where both men hit the canvas in the opening round and Arroyo touched down again in the second, before the action in New Hampshire in November had to be halted after Arroyo suffered a nasty cut from an accidental headclash.
World title clash number three on the bumper card will see IBF and WBA World Super-Bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev defend his titles against Ronny Rios. The pair were set to meet in New Hampshire in November, but COVID ruled Rios out and he was replaced by game late challenger Jose Velasquez. Akhmadaliev (10-0 7 KOs) retained his belts with a near-shutout on the cards, going the distance for just the third time in his 10th pro bout, and second as a World champion. Rios (33-3 16 KOs), the mandatory challenger for the WBA crown, goes for glory for the second time in his 36-fight career after challenging Rey Vargas for the WBC strap at 122lbs in August 2016.
Undisputed Welterweight ruler Jessica McCaskill (11-2 4 KOs) makes the third defense of all her marbles at 147lbs against Alma Ibarra (10-1, 4 KOs). McCaskill ripped the straps from long-standing ruler Cecilia Braekhus on the streets of Downtown Tulsa in August 2020 and saw off the Norwegian in a rematch for her first defense in March 2021. The Chicagoan recorded the fourth stoppage win of her career in the second defense of the belts in December, ending Kandi Wyatt’s challenge in the seventh, and will face the tough test in the form of Ibarra.