Saturday, September 23, 2023  |



Gabriel Flores gets step-up fight against Ryan Kielczweski on October 3

Fighters Network

Lightweight prospect Gabriel Flores will face Ryan Kielczweski on October 3, Top Rank announced Tuesday afternoon.

The 10-round bout will take place at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and will precede the main event bout between junior welterweight contenders Ivan Baranchyk and Jose Zepeda.

Both fights will stream live on ESPN+ (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).

Flores (18-0, 6 knockouts), who is originally from Fresno, California and now lives and trains in Las Vegas, dropped Josec Ruiz of Honduras once en route to a one-sided decision victory. It was revealed after the fight Flores fought through pain in his lower back from an injury suffered during training camp.

The 20-year-old Flores recently signed a managerial deal with James Prince, who also manages the careers of former WBO featherweight titleholder Shakur Stevenson and unbeaten heavyweight Efe Ajagba. Flores believes he is ready to face the top fighters at 135 pounds after defeating Kielczweski.

“I want to show everyone that I’m ready for bigger and better competition,” said Flores, who signed a promotional deal with Top Rank at the age of 16. “I’m prepared for a world title shot.”

Kielczweski (30-4, 11 KOs) has not fought since March 29 of last year, when he defeated Nick Otieno by unanimous decision in Melrose, Massachusetts, not far from his hometown of Quincy.

The 31-year-old has won four of his last five bouts since losing to Frank De Alba in April 2017. He is confident he has the experience and skill-set to defeat Flores.

“I’m excited to get back in the ring on October 3 against a very talented prospect,” said Kielczweski, who turned pro in August 2008. “A win here will put me back where I need to be for bigger fights.”

In preliminary action (7:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 p.m. PT):

– Heavyweight prospect Guido Vianello (7-0, 7 KOs) of Italy will square off against Phoenix’s Kingsley Ibeh (5-1, 4 KOs) in a six-round bout. October 3 will mark the third time Ibeh (5-1, 4 KOs), who is originally from Nigeria, will fight on a Top Rank card in ‘The Bubble’ in Las Vegas.

– Featherweight Duke Ragan (1-0, 1 KO) of Cincinnati, Ohio, who made his pro debut last month will fight against an opponent to be determined in a four-round bout.

– Haven Brady, a 2019 Junior Olympic gold medalist who signed a promotional deal with Top Rank last week, will make his pro debut in a four-round featherweight bout against an opponent to be determined.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also cover boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing