John Bauza to face Tony Luis Jr. on ESPN, March 19
Junior welterweight prospect John Bauza will face Tony Luis Jr., on March 19, Top Rank announced Friday afternoon. The eight-round bout will take place inside The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, in New York City, opening an ESPN telecast (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).
The Bauza-Luis clash replaces the bout between US Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis and Esteban Sanchez after Davis withdrew from the fight earlier this week due to a non-COVID-related illness.
Bauza (16-0, 7 KOs), originally from Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico and now residing in North Bergen, New Jersey, dropped previously-unbeaten Michael Williams Jr. six times en route to a fourth round TKO victory last June. The win over Williams took place six months after Bauza stopped Christon Edwards in the second round.
The 23-year-old is managed by David McWater, who also manages former Ring Magazine lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez, unbeaten junior middleweight Charles Conwell and fringe welterweight contender Giovani Santillan, among others.
Luis (29-4, 10 KOs), who resides in Cornwall, Canada, has not fought since August 2020, losing by unanimous decision to junior welterweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr. Prior to the loss to Barboza, Luis had won his previous 10 fights against modest opposition.
In the main event of the “Top Rank on ESPN” telecast, undefeated super middleweight contender Edgar Berlanga (18-0, 16 KOs) of nearby Brooklyn will square off against Toronto’s Steve Rolls (21-1, 12 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
Rounding out the ESPN telecast will be an eight-round junior middleweight bout between 19-year-old Xander Zayas (12-0, 9 KOs), of Sunrise, Florida, and Louisiana’s Quincy LaVallais (12-2-1, 7 KOs).
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.