Starting tonight at 9:00 pm EDT, BLH will be here with live coverage and updates for ESPN Friday Night Fights, which will air on ESPN2, which it seems like you probably know by now, and didn't need to be said, really, but I figure if I didn't say it, someone might ask. It happens.
In the main event, Javier Fortuna (22-0, 16 KO) returns to take on Cuba's Luis Franco (11-1, 7 KO) in a 10-round main event with a 128-pound catchweight. Fortuna lost his interim WBA featherweight title on the scales before his last fight against Miguel Zamudio on April 19, then knocked out Zamudio in 68 seconds. Fortuna is a Sampson Lewkowicz fighter, and Sampson has been his usual self and tried to compare Fortuna to past finds Manny Pacquiao and Sergio Martinez, but we're a long way from that.
Franco, 31, could be a dangerous opponent here. He lost his last fight on the road in Argentina, but there was plenty of debate about the scoring in that one, with two cards going against him at 115-114 and 115-113, and the third in his favor at 118-110. If Fortuna has one of his nights where he doesn't look too sharp, this could be a trap fight. If he's as good as he's appeared on other nights, he might eventually start living up to Sampson's hype.
In the co-feature, Kermit Cintron (33-5-2, 28 KO) is back again so that I might remind you how overrated he always was, at least in my estimation. He's back at welterweight to take on Jonathan Batista (14-1, 7 KO), a fighter who lost a controversial six-round decision on the previously mentioned April 19 FNF card. Batista says that when he heard Teddy Atlas' outrage on TV, he decided he would fight in the States again. Thanks, T-Bone!
Cintron, even if we concede he was never all that good, is really not very good anymore. He's coming off of a draw against club fighter Adrian Granados in March. Granados is a tough dude and may have gotten some hometown lovin' on the cards in Chicago for that fight, but even still, Cintron probably shouldn't be going 10 competitive with that guy. Kermit's a gatekeeper at this point, but there's a chance Batista is taking a step too far here, too. I don't know. It's Kermit Cintron. Maybe if he wins, Golden Boy will try to sell him against Keith Thurman, or Top Rank will line him up for Jessie Vargas.