Two-Division Champion Erislandy Lara Defends WBA Middleweight Championship Against Crowd-Pleasing Gary O’Sullivan in Co-Main Event from Barclays Center in Brooklyn in Premier Boxing Champions Event
Plus! Exciting Rising Star Jesús Ramos Battles Rugged Luke Santamaría and Hard-Hitting Eduardo Ramírez Faces Puerto Rico’s Luis Meléndez in Telecast Opener at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT
The SHOWTIME PPV undercard for Gervonta Davis vs. Rolando Romero will feature three exciting, explosive matchups entering the ring in high-stakes action on Saturday, May 28 live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
Two-division world champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara will defend his WBA Middleweight Title against hard-hitting, Irish crowd-pleaser Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan in an all-action co-main event of the telecast, which begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Sensational young star Jesús “Mono” Ramos will put his unbeaten record on the line against rugged super welterweight battler Luke Santamaría in a 10-round showdown on the pay-per-view, while hard-hitting contender Eduardo Ramírez battles Puerto Rico’s Luis Meléndez in a 10-round super featherweight thriller that shapes up to deliver toe-to-toe action opening up the telecast.
“When you look at the matchups, this is an edge-of-your-seat pay-per-view undercard,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Erislandy Lara, a highly skilled champion who has engaged in numerous exciting action bouts, will have everything he can handle against Gary O’Sullivan, who has never backed up in a boxing ring. Fans will also get to see exciting young star Jesús Ramos bringing that heat-seeking knockout mentality to the ring against rugged brawler Luke Santamaría, and Eduardo Ramírez versus Luis Meléndez, as they look to add their duel as the latest chapter in the classic Mexico vs. . Puerto Rico boxing rivalry. Whether you’re watching at Barclays Center in Brooklyn or watching live on SHOWTIME PPV, you’re going to be entertained all night long.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, GTD Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased through seatgeek.com and barclayscenter.com. Tickets are also available for purchase at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center.
Lara (28-3-3, 16 KOs) was the longest reigning 154-pound world champion before he lost a tough split-decision to Jarrett Hurd in a title unification match in 2018 that earned “Fight of the Year” from the BWAA. Lara returned from that fight and battled current 154-pound world titleholder Brian Castaño to an exciting draw in another narrow fight that could have gone Lara’s way. Lara most recently moved up to middleweight, capturing his WBA title with a first round knockout of Thomas LaManna in May 2021. Lara faced a slew of the top 154-pounders in the sport, including Canelo Alvarez, ahead of his middleweight debut.
“I’m ready to get back in the ring and show the fans that I’m still a world class fighter,” said Lara. “Gary O’Sullivan has proven to be a tough opponent for everyone he’s faced, and his only losses are to champions. I’ve been in many great fights and it will be no different when I step into the ring at Barclays Center. Being on this stage always brings out the best in me and fans can expect to see my power in this fight.”
A native of Cork, Ireland, O’Sullivan (31-4, 21 KOs) has won three of his last four fights leading into his title shot against Lara on May 28. O’Sullivan’s aggressive style has made him a fan-favorite each time he steps into the ring. He has faced a deep roster of top names, including David Lemieux, Jaime Munguia, Chris Eubank Jr., and Billy Joe Saunders. O’Sullivan scored a career-best victory in December 2017, as he stopped rising prospect Antoine Douglas during a five-fight knockout streak.
“From the very first time I watched boxing, I’ve always dreamed of being a world champion and from the first day I turned professional I’ve worked towards that goal,” said O’Sullivan. “I’ve had some setbacks, but I’ve gone back to the drawing board, regrouped, righted some wrongs and kept pushing forward. I’ve always known that one day the chips would fall in my favor. I’m coming to rip that belt back to Ireland and hear the words, ‘And the new!’”
A strong southpaw who at 21 has yet to come close to hitting his ceiling as a fighter, Ramos (18-0, 15 KOs) is the nephew of welterweight contender Abel Ramos, who was defeated in February by Santamaría via unanimous decision. Jesus knocked out tough contender Vladimir Hernandez in February on that same card. Prior to that impressive outing, Ramos had shown the ability to outpoint his opponents with back-to-back 10-round unanimous decisions over Brian Mendoza in September 2021 and Javier Molina in May 2021. Overall, the youthful Ramos has gained recognition with highlight- reel KOs, stopping six of his last eight opponents, showing a desire to end his fights early.
“Training out in Las Vegas has been going great so far,” said Ramos. “We’ve had some great sparring out here. We expect Santamaria to move around the entire fight, so we’re going to be ready to cut the ring off and land heavy shots. I’m going to win on May 28 because of the preparation I’ve been doing, but I’m not underestimating anyone and will prepare to the best of my ability.”
The 24-year-old Santamaría (13-2-1, 7 KOs) will look to continue his success against the Ramos family as he steps into the ring after impressive back-to-back victories, first defeating two-division champion Devon Alexander in August 2021 before defeating Abel Ramos in February on less than two weeks’ notice. Santamaría had previously dropped a decision to top prospect and SHOBOX: The New Generation® alum Paul Kroll in October 2020, following an August 2020 triumph over veteran contender Mykal Fox that saw him put Fox down in the first round. The Garden Grove, Calif. native also owns a decision over Willie Jones and a majority draw against SHOBOX® prospect Marquis Taylor in his 2019 contests.
“I’m daring to be great in this fight,” said Santamaría. “That’s the main reason I agreed to fight Ramos. I’ve shown that I’m willing to compete against anyone, because I believe in my training and my abilities. This is going to be a great fight for the fans and I can’t wait to step in there on May 28.”
Fighting out of Sinaloa, Mexico, Ramírez (26-2-3, 12 KOs) has risen up the rankings with four-straight victories, including most recently defeating Miguel Marriaga in December 2021. He previously had stopped then-unbeaten Leduan Barthelemy in November 2019 before blasting out Miguel Flores in December 2020. The 29-year-old is currently riding wins in six of his last seven fights since losing to then featherweight champion Lee Selby in 2017. He’s won 17 of his last 20 fights overall, including a March 2019 knockout victory at Barclays Center.
“I’m happy to be returning to Brooklyn for this fight,” said Ramírez. “I scored a big knockout last time I was there, even though I was the underdog going into the fight. My plan is to deliver a moment like that once again. I’m already in great shape and I will be prepared for a war on May 28.”
Originally from Puerto Rico and now fighting out of Miami, Fla., Meléndez (17-1, 13 KOs) has moved into contender status with an undefeated streak after dropping his third pro fight back in 2018 via split decision. The 24-year-old was busy in 2021, winning eight times, including six victories by knockout. Most recently, Melendez scored a career-best victory over Thomas Mattice in November, winning a unanimous decision after eight rounds. Melendez’s clash with Ramírez shapes up to be a classic Puerto Rico-Mexico ring war.
“I’m very excited to be on a big card like this,” said Meléndez. “I’m grateful for the opportunity and I’m coming to put my name on the map come May 28. The winner of this fight is going to be the fans. I’m going to make Puerto Rico proud once again and display my talents in the ring. I want to thank my team and say that I’m not going to disappoint, because this is just the beginning for me.”