Sammy Vasquez to face Emmanuel Lartei Lartey on Feb. 20
Unbeaten welterweight Sammy Vasquez could earn his ninth consecutive stoppage win against Emmanuel Lartei Lartey on Feb. 20 at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa..
Vasquez-Lartey will be televised on Showtime’s “ShoBox: The New Generation,” according to a release.
The 28-year-old Vasquez (17-0, 13 knockouts) of Monessen, Pa., was last in the ring for a first-round stoppage of Alberto Mosquera in November that had followed a ninth round technical knockout of previously undefeated James Stevenson in August.
“Lartey is a good, tough fighter and it’s going to be a good fight,” said Vasquez, who, like Lartey, is a southpaw. “I know I’m going to keep my KO streak going. Whether it’s in the first or the 10th, it will happen. He’s never been knocked out and I like those kinds of challenges.”
A 33-year-old from Ghana who has also never been knocked down, Lartey (16-2-1, 7 KOs) is coming off a unanimous decision over former junior lightweight titleholder Steve Forbes in June to rebound from consecutive decision losses to Errol Spence in October 2013 and Felix Diaz in April. Spence and Diaz are undefeated.
“I’ve faced much tougher competition than Vasquez and I’m not worried about fighting in his hometown. Sammy is a very tough fighter but so am I,” said Lartey. “He’s been knocking out a lot of guys but he hasn’t faced anyone like me. I had a few setbacks and I’m very grateful for this opportunity. This is my time to shine and show the world how good I am.”
“We’re honored to present Sammy’s return to action against Lartey. For decades, Western Pennsylvania has produced world champions and some of the boxing’s toughest warriors and Sammy fits right in,” said Tom Brown of Goossen Promotions. “He’s really made CONSOL his home. With the tremendous past support from the Pittsburgh area for his fights, we strongly encourage fans to purchase tickets well in advance.”
In the co-feature of the Goossen Promotions event, former Cuban amateur star Umberto Savigne will face Craig Baker in a light heavyweight bout. Also, in the opening bout of the telecast, featherweight Claudio Marrero will fight an opponent to be announced in an eight-round match.
Savigne, 34, is coming off a second round technical knockout of former super middleweight beltholder Jeff Lacy in July. The bout represented his 10th consecutive victory since falling by second round knockout to Harvey Jolly in his third career bout in April 2010.
“The only thing I know is that Baker is going to go down before the fifth round. I’m going in there to knock him out and make it a quick night. I don’t know what he is thinking about me but I know I’m not underestimating him. I’m going to do my job like I always do. It doesn’t matter what he does. I’ll be ready. I’m going to prove that I’m the new don of the light heavyweight division. I feel I was ready for a world title fight since last year,” said Savigne.
“I’m looking forward to getting a win on Feb 20 and facing the big names in the light heavyweight division. I’ve been training hard and I’ve been patient and humble. When the time comes, I’m going to be in prime shape and ready to fulfill my dream of becoming a world champion. Whether it’s early this year, late this year or next year, I’m ready. I want to fight the champions at 175 pounds but I need to take care of Baker first. I want Adonis Stevenson. I feel that I’m better than him. He’s never fought a guy like me and I don’t see enough skill set in him to be able to defeat me.”
Baker, 30, was last in the ring for a third round knockout of Sergio Daniel Cordoba in November that marked his third consecutive stoppage win.
“I’m always the underdog, so this is nothing new. I’ve been in this position before. You just have to do what you’re supposed to do you’ll get the win. We’ve been waiting for this opportunity to prove who we are. When I win, it will mean everything; it will be a dream come true. It’s going to open some doors for me. I’ll be 16-0 and be right there to face some of the top fighters at 175 pounds. I’ve faced guys like him before,” said Baker.
“At the end of the day, all that matters is what you bring to the ring. On the national level, in the amateurs you can face guys with a few hundred fights on the first day of a tournament. So his amateur pedigree doesn’t scare me. I’m just expecting a ‘W’ any way it comes. That’s what I want and that’s what I’m getting. He’s just like any other fighter. You have to wait and see what they have. We’ll find out on fight night.”
Marrero, 25, has won three straight, the past two by stoppage, since being unanimously decisioned by RING No. 9-rated Jesus Cuellar in August 2013.