Lewkowicz dismisses critics, says Javier Fortuna is ready for anyone at featherweight

Jeff Bottari

Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz says Javier Fortuna will stay at featherweight, where he's confident the Dominican prospect will beat anyone put in front of him.

Javier Fortuna had an easy time on this past week's ESPN Friday Night Fights, stopping Miguel Zamudio in just one minute, eight seconds. Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz has dismissed critics who said the fight was an obvious mismatch, and says he's ready to put Fortuna in against anyone at 126 pounds.

"How can anyone make that determination?" Lewkowicz said. "What Fortuna did to Zamudio is what he did to Yuandale Evans, who was undefeated and many thought was going to beat Fortuna. It's the same thing he did to Cristobal Cruz, a former world champion. It's what he did to Victor Valenzuela, who was 8-0.

"He did the same thing to Zamudio that he did to two of his last three opponents and there was no questioning their quality as fighters. It's impossible to say based on what we saw if Miguel Zamudio belonged in there. Fortuna would do that to anyone in the division."

The difference, of course, is that Fortuna had done that to enough fighters that the argument is that he doesn't need to do it to more of them. It's certainly not what he did to Patrick Hyland in December, when Fortuna labored through a 12-round decision against an unheralded prospect.

The 23-year-old Fortuna also missed weight for the fight on Friday, but Lewkowicz says he'll be staying at featherweight, and he's calling out anyone in the division.

"Javier was only .6 overweight, and it's possible he could have lost the weight, but even though it cost me money I would not let him risk his health. My fighters are like my children. He will make the weight next time," said Lewkowicz.

"I am putting a challenge out to the promoters of any world champ or any top featherweight to come and face Javier Fortuna. He is the best of the best at featherweight and he will do what he did to Zamudio to anyone. It really doesn't matter who I put in front of Javier. They're getting knocked out."

Fortuna, now 22-0 (16 KO), definitely has the talent, and Lewkowicz has a track record. Is this another Manny Pacquiao or Sergio Martinez, past Lewkowicz "discoveries"? Probably not. But that's a high bar to be setting, too. Fortuna is a contender at 126, and could be more than that soon, if his drive matches his ability.

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