“I’ve had a long layoff, but in some ways, I believe it’s been good. The ten months off will have given me lots of time to heal some nagging injuries and start fresh. I believe I will come back even better. I’m pumped up and ready to defend my title at home.”
Boxing’s Hall of Fame Promoter Bob Arum and his Top Rank Boxing return to El Paso on Friday, February 17th when El Paso’s World Featherweight Champion, Jennifer Han and rising Mexican Star Jose Felix headline a nationally televised card at UTEP’s Don Haskins Center.
Han will be making the third defense of her IBF World Featherweight title when she takes on challenger and former World Champion, Olivia Gerula (18-16-2, Winnepeg, Canada). Gerula, the former WBC World Super Featherweight Champion, will be fighting her 8th world title fight.
Han captured the crown on September 19, 2015 when she defeated Helen Joseph. She twice defended her title in 2016, the last being October 15th against Liliana Martinez.
All three of Han’s world championship bouts have been in El Paso.
As for her next challenger, Han is taking the same approach as she always does- take on all comers. “For me, I just take the next one in line and know that I have the belt that they want,” noted Han.
Han adds, “When you’re the champion, you know that everyone is coming with their best shot and make the most of their opportunity to be a champion. For most, it can be a once in a lifetime opportunity. But my opponent here, Olivia Gerula, she’s a former World Featherweight Champion and knows what it’s like to be at the top. She’s hungry to get her title back, but I believe I’m hungrier to keep the one that belongs not just me, but the fans of El Paso.”
The #3 World Ranked Felix, 35-1-3, of Los Mochos, Mexico, will battle Peru’s Jonathon Maicelo, 24-2, in a Special Attraction 10-Round Lightweight bout.
Top Rank, regarded as Boxing’s biggest promoter, has brought El Paso its biggest Boxing events over the past twenty years, most notably the Sun Bowl extravaganzas featuring Oscar De La Hoya (1998) and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (2012). DYNAMIC DUO will be their first event in the Sun City since Chavez Jr. defeated Andy Lee at the Sun Bowl on June 16, 2012.
For Arum, Top Rank’s return to El Paso is always around the corner. “We’re always looking for an opportunity to return to El Paso- one of the great fight towns in America.” said Arum, from his Las Vegas offices.
“This event on February 17 is an opportunity for fans in El Paso to enjoy a terrific card. Not only do they get to witness the Dynamic Duo of their exciting world champion, Jennifer Han and one of Mexico’s emerging stars on the world stage, Jose Felix. And the icing on the cake is all the top prospects and future champions they will see in action,” Arum added.
The five-bout undercard will feature several undefeated Top Rank prospects, including an Olympian and two sons of former World Champions.
Esquiva Falcao (14-0, Brazil), the explosive 2012 Olympian, faces Tony Jeter (20-5-1, Columbia, Maryland in an 8-Round Middleweight bout.
Jesse James Leija, Jr. (3-0, San Antonio), the son of former 2-Time world champion, Jesse James Leija, is slated for 4-Rounds in the Jr. Welterweight division.
Arturo Marquez (5-0, Houston) father is former U.S. Olympian and World Champion, Raul Marquez. Leija is scheduled for a 4 round Jr. Welterweight Bout. Marquez will be in a 6-Round Welterweight fight.
Opponents for Leij and Marquez are to be announced, as is the remainder of the card.
Tickets, priced at $100, $60, $40, $25 (plus ticket service fees), go on sale January 18 at the UTEP Ticket Center and all Ticketmaster outlets, including online, and by phone at 915-747-5234.