The return of two-time WBC cruiserweight challenger Francisco “DaWizard” Palacios, 21-2 (13), out of Puerto Rico will be at the Mela Room in Orlando, FL, on September 20th promoted by World Wide Elite Entertainment and co-promoted by Palacios. Palacios will be fighting in the main event against Epifanio “Diamante” Mendoza, 39-18-1 (34), of Colombia, winner of 4 of his last 5 fights over 8 rounds.
The former top contender has been inactive since September of 2012 when he lost a rematch in Poland with WBC cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk of Poland by decision. Their first fight was in April 2011 with Palacios losing a disputed split decision in Poland.
“Epifanio Mendoza is a very dangerous opponent and some have questioned why I’m taking on such a risky guy when I’ve been out of the ring for two years. My goal is to win a cruiserweight championship next year and facing a tough challenge in my comeback fight should show everybody how serious I am about making it to the top,” said Palacios.
The talent rich 9 bout undercard for this event is a good one with former WBA cruiserweight challenger Mike Marrone, 20-4 (15) of Vero Beach, FL, against Robert Dunton, 10-11-1 (6), of Wilmington, DE, in a 6 round heavyweight contest.
2008 Olympian Carlos Negron looks for his third straight knockout victory against Joseph Rabatte, 11-26-1 (3), of Myrtle Beach, SC, in a 6 round heavyweight scrap. The heralded Negron’s got an excellent 15-1 professional ledger with 11 wins by knockout and has his sights set on becoming the next world champion from the boxing-rich commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
2008 Cuban Olympian Idel Torriente, 1-0 (1), of Miami, FL, will meet in a 4 round light middleweight match. 10 of those losses were to unbeaten opponents. Local favorites James “Buddy” McGirt, Jr., Christian Camacho, Jelame Garcia, Joshua Pagan, Mike Sawyer and Lorenzo Ramos will appear in separate 4 and 6 round matches.
“I’m very pleased with the undercard. Fans will not only get to see my comeback but the return of Olympians, title contenders and undefeated prospects. The community has shown great interest in the card and we want to provide them with their money’s worth,” said Palacios.
World Wide Elite Entertainment was founded in 2014 by Palacios and Alejandra Quintero, and is a full-service promotional firm with the goal to right many of boxing’s wrongs. Their focal point will be guiding talented but misled fighters that weren’t provided fair opportunities in the past due to managerial or promotional issues. Will Ruiz will serve as the matchmaker for the September 20th show in Orlando.
Palacios has added top trainer John “Ice” Scully. “We’ve been working together for a few weeks and it’s so far so good. He’s coming along well. He’s picked a very tough opponent for his first fight back but we are expecting that a guy like this keep him alert and on his toes and make him that much sharper. He’s expressed to me that he’s eager to get in the mix and this would be an indication that he’s very serious about it. On that end we’ve had some very tough sparring partners to work with who are forcing us to get it done. Francisco has great talent and work ethic so I’m enthused about working with him definitely,” said Scully. Scully has worked with many top boxers including Chad Dawson. In my opinion not only is he a top trainer but a good commentator, writer and historian of amateur boxers who fought each other and are now in the professional ranks. B.J. Flores is ranked No. 9 by the WBC and is also a commentator. Possibly a “winner take all” if Palacios defeats Flores in the future Scully could take his job and Palacios his ranking?” Stranger things have happened in boxing.