Undefeated Dusty Hernandez-Harrison To Face Michael Balasi in Live TV Opener.
PALA, CA, February 11, 2014….Highly-ranked (WBA No. 3, WBC No. 7 and IBF No. 9) Russian lightweight Rustam Nugaev (26-6-l, 16 KOs) will put his five-fight winning streak on the line when he meets hard-punching Marvin Quintero (25-4, 21 KOs) from Tijuana, Mexico, in the 10-round main event of the March 7 edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights in the Events Center at Pala Casino Spa & Resort.
Tickets, $150, $100, $50 and $25, are on sale with no service charge, at the Pala Box Office in the casino, or call 1-877-946-7252. Tickets also are available at Star Tickets, 1-800-585-3737, or at
In the co-main event, Khabir Suleymanov (16-3, 6 KOs) from Los Angeles, CA, by way of Russia, will take on undefeated prospect Ramon Morales (17-0, 9 KOs) in what should prove to be an exciting, eight-round super bantamweight clash.
Opening the live telecast, undefeated welterweight teen sensation and WBC Youth welterweight champion Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (20-0, 11 KOs) from Southeast Washington, D.C., will face Hawaii’s Michael Balasi (10-3, 7 KOs) in an eight-round matchup.
Popular local fighter and former amateur standout Aaron Garcia (13-3-2, 4 KOs) from Vista, CA, will meet an opponent to be named in a super featherweight bout. The remainder of the card will be announced shortly.
“You don’t have to appreciate boxing to enjoy the kind of excitement expected on March 7,” said promoter Gary Shaw. “The main event involves two fighters who always come to fight. The style matchup will be pleasing to fans. But the stakes are higher for both Rustam and Marvin, which makes me believe the degree of action could be raised as well.”
“I am excited to be fighting on the West Coast for the first time as a pro,” Hernandez-Harrison said. “I know Mike Balasi is coming all the way from Hawaii and is training very hard, so I know this will be a challenging fight. He has a 70 percent knockout rate. That is strong.”
“We are elated to host ESPN Friday Night Fights and to be partnering with ESPN in what we feel will display the quality of events for which Pala Casino Spa & Resort is known,” said Bill Bembenek, Pala’s chief executive officer.
Doors will open at 5 p.m., and the first bout will start promptly at 5:30 p.m. (PST). The live ESPN Friday Night Fights telecast will start at 6 p.m. (PST).
International poker champion Phil Ivey has announced he will attend the fight to support Hernandez-Harrison and Pala’s sponsorship of the event. Ivey recently won the $3.5 million championship in the Aussie Millions LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge poker tournament in Sydney, Australia.