Rogers Mtagwa, of South Philadelphia, under new trainer and former middleweight contender Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts, put the finishing touches on his workouts this week for Friday’s (June 16) defense of his United States Boxing Association (USBA) featherweight title against Art Simonyan, of Glendale, CA, in a scheduled 12-rounder at the New Alhambra, Swanson & Ritner Streets next to Forman Mills, in South Philadelphia. First of seven fights at 7.30 p.m.
CN8 will televise the Mtagwa-Simonyan fight on a delayed basis (June 24, 7.30 pm) to more than seven million homes from Maine to Maryland.
Mtagwa, 27, won the vacant 126-pound title July 8, 2005, with a come-from-behind 10th-round knockout over Joe Morales, of San Antonio, TX, at the Greater New Haven (CT) Athletic Center.
That victory landed Mtagwa a fight with Orlando Salido, of Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, for the No. 1 spot in the world rankings. Unfortunately, a rib injury sustained in the first round against Salido on March 18 forced Mtagwa to retire in his corner after five rounds of their fight in Evansville, IN.
Mtagwa hopes a successful first defense of his USBA title will elevate his No. 13 world ranking with the IBF.
A pro since 1997, Mtagwa has a 19-10-2 record with 14 knockouts. He also holds a 10-round decision victory over Mexico’s Fernando Trejo.
Simonyan, 30, is the former USBA super bantamweight champion (122 pounds). He was stopped in five rounds by Israel Vazquez, of West Covina, CA, on Dec. 28, 2004, in a showdown for Vazquez’ IBF world title.
After losing his USBA title to the late, ex-world champion Agapito Sanchez last summer, Simonyan bounced back by beating Gilberto Sanchez and boxing a draw with Fred Neal in a pair of fights in California.
A pro since 2000, Simonyan has a 15-2-2 record with seven knockouts.
Tickets priced at $35, $45, $50 are on sale at the offices of Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc. (215-765-0922) or at www.peltzboxing.com