Added to the November 29 Terence Crawford-Raymundo Beltran undercard in Omaha, Nebraska will be an IBF featherweight title fight featuring defending champ Evgeny Gradovich (19-0, 9 KOs) putting his belt on the line against Puerto Rico’s Jayson Velez (22-0, 16 KOs).
This will be the fourth title defense for Russia’s Gradovich, who carries the nickname of “The Russian Mexican” for his come-forward style. Gradovich won the IBF belt from Billy Dib via split decision back in March of 2013.
The well-regarded Velez is still considered a world class prospect at this point, but could use a decisive victory over Gradovich for a recognized world title as a springboard to main stage status and, perhaps, a run at one of the more established names in the featherweight division like Nonito Donaire or Jhonny Gonzalez.
Gradovich-Velez will likely air as part of the HBO Boxing coverage on November 29, which will include Crawford-Beltran as well as a replay of the prior week’s Pacquiao-Algieri PPV bout.