November 5: Luis Melendez-Thomas Mattice Junior Lightweight Showdown Added as Co-Feature to Mikaela Mayer-Maiva Hamadouche Card at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas and LIVE on ESPN+
Las Vegas native Andres Cortes set to face Filipino contender Mark Bernaldez in an eight-rounder at junior lightweight
Tickets starting at $25 are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting AXS.com
LAS VEGAS (Oct. 29, 2021) — Junior lightweights Luis Melendez and Thomas Mattice stayed ready. The contenders, on less than two weeks’ notice, agreed to face off Friday, Nov. 5 in the eight-round co-feature to the Mikaela Mayer-Maiva Hamadouche title unification tilt at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, part of Curio Collection by Hilton.
Melendez-Mattice replaces the Janibek Alimkhanuly-Hassan N’Dam middleweight showdown, which has been postponed to a later date.
The entire card will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing and OPI Since 82, tickets starting at $25 are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting AXS.com.
Melendez (16-1, 13 KOs), from Puerto Rico, turned pro with a first-round knockout on a Top Rank card in July 2018. The only blemish on his pro ledger came via split decision defeat in his third pro fight in September 2018. Since that setback, Melendez is 14-0 with 11 knockouts, including eight victories since last December. Mattice (17-2-1, 13 KOs), from Cleveland, Ohio, is no stranger to American boxing fans. He has won two straight fights since a February 2020 majority decision loss to rising lightweight Isaac Cruz on a nationally televised card.
“I’m grateful to Top Rank and ESPN for this opportunity, and I’m coming to give the fight fans a great show,” Melendez said. “When you stay ready, good things happen. I’m always in the gym and in shape, and I give credit to Mattice for being ready as well.”
Mattice said, “I’ve been staying ready, and when the opportunity came to fight Melendez, I did not hesitate. Everybody has been turning me down at 130 pounds. This is a big opportunity.”
In a special feature, undefeated Las Vegas-born junior lightweight Andres “Savage” Cortes will battle Mark Bernaldez in an eight-rounder. Cortes (15-0, 8 KOs) notched more than 100 wins as an amateur, including a pair of triumphs over current undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez. His professional breakthrough came in August in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when he knocked out former world title challenger Genesis Servania in one round. That was the first time Servania had been knocked out in 37 professional fights. Bernaldez (23-4, 17 KOs) is a 10-year pro from the Philippines who has won three straight fights by knockout since a July 2020 decision defeat to Albert Bell.
Cortes said, “This is a huge opportunity to show out in front of my fans in Las Vegas. After my big win against Servania, I am coming to do a number on Bernaldez.”
In other undercard action:
- Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno (14-0-2, 12 KOs) returns in a scheduled eight-round lightweight contest against Damian “El Macho” Araujo (21-3, 8 KOs). Adorno is coming off a pair of draws, including a Fight of the Year contender in April versus fellow unbeaten Jamaine Ortiz. Araujo last fought in April, losing a decision to then-unbeaten junior welterweight prospect Omar Juarez.
- Abdullah Mason, a 17-year-old lightweight prodigy from Cleveland, will make his professional debut in a four-rounder against Florida native Jaylan Phillips (1-0, 1 KO). Mason, considered one of America’s top amateur talents, signed with Top Rank earlier this month and is managed by James Prince.
- Unbeaten middleweight prospect Tyler “Hercules” Howard (19-0, 11 KOs) returns from a nearly year-long layoff to fight the upset-minded Ian Green (14-2, 11 KOs) in an eight-rounder. Howard was last seen on the Terence Crawford-Kell Brook undercard grinding out an eight-round decision over KeAndrae Leatherwood.
About Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is a reimagined and re-conceptualized casino resort. The property is part of Curio Collection by Hilton. The integrated resort intermixes a passion for food and beverage with music and culture and features three hotel towers totaling over 1,500 Chambers and suites; the 60,000 sq. ft. Mohegan Sun Casino, operated by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment; a five-acre desert pool oasis including Élia Beach Club and a multi-functional event lawn; live music and entertainment theater with 4,500 capacity; 24 Oxford showroom accommodating 650 guests; an exclusive portfolio of twelve food and beverage venues including Todd English’s Olives, Kris Yenbamroong’s Night + Market, the legendary Nobu, Michael and David Morton’s One Steakhouse, Kassi Beach House from restauranteur Nick Mathers, Casa Calavera by global hospitality company Hakkasan Group, the sports entertainment, daylife and nightlife venue Money, Baby! from Justin Massei and Mikis Troyan of Clive Collective, famous Afters Ice Cream, Pizza Forte by the Ferraro Family and signature Virgin Hotels restaurants and bars including The Kitchen at Commons Club, The Bar at Commons Club, The Shag Room and Funny Library Coffee Shop. The property is owned by JC Hospitality, LLC, in partnership with Juniper Capital Partners, Virgin Group, LiUNA, Fengate Asset Management, Dream and Orlando Development. The off Strip playground is located at 4455 Paradise Road. For more information, visit www.virginhotelslv.com.
About Virgin Hotels
Virgin Hotels is a lifestyle hospitality brand that combines heartfelt service, straightforward value, and a seamless, personalized hotel experience with the track record of innovation and smart disruption that Sir Richard Branson’s global Virgin Group has pioneered for 50 years. Each property intermixes a passion for food and beverage with music and culture, fusing with the local landscape and providing a vibrant and inclusive environment for travelers and locals alike. Virgin Hotels Chicago – named the “#1 Hotel in the United States” in 2016 and “#1 Hotel in Chicago” in 2016, 2017, and 2020 by the Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards – Virgin Hotels Dallas – named the “#16 Hotel in Texas” – Virgin Hotels Nashville, Virgin Hotels New Orleans and Virgin Hotels Las Vegas are now open. Locations in New York, Miami, Edinburgh and Glasgow to follow. Virgin Hotels continues to explore hotel and office conversions and ground-up development in Boston, Los Angeles, Austin, Seattle, and London.
About Curio Collection by Hilton
Curio Collection by Hilton is a global portfolio of more than 100 one-of-a-kind hotels and resorts in nearly 30 countries and territories. Curio Collection properties offer guests authentic, curated experiences through distinctly local offerings and elevated amenities, while providing the benefits of Hilton and its award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors. Experience a positive stay at Curio Collection by Hilton by booking at curiocollection.com or through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. Learn more about the brand at newsroom.hilton.com/curio, and follow Curio Collection by Hilton on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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