Junior middleweights Glen Tapia and Boyd Melson will square off in an eight-round fight that has been added to the undercard of the Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Geale middleweight title fight at Madison Square Garden in New York on July 26.
K2 Promotions, looking to add some local ticket sellers to the card, worked things out with Tapia's handlers, Top Rank and manager Pat Lynch, to add him to the show. With Tapia being from Passaic, New Jersey and Melson from Brooklyn, the fight was a natural since both fighters have their share of fans.
"We're excited to add this fight between these two local fan favorites to an already stellar HBO doubleheader," said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions. "Tapia and Melson are both very popular in the New York City area and have a lot to gain with a win. Fighting on the sport's biggest stage will no doubt bring out the best in each of them and give them the most publicity for their career."
The 24-year-old Tapia (21-1, 13 KOs) suffered his first loss in December at the hands of powerful James Kirkland, who stopped him in the sixth round. Tapia, now being trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, rebounded for a first-round knockout victory against Keenan Collins on June 14.
Melson (14-1-1, 4 KOs), a 32-year-old southpaw, who is 6-0-1 in his last seven bouts, donates all of his purse money to help fund research on spinal cord injuries.
Another Top Rank/Lynch fighter was also added to the card in welterweight prospect Julian Rodriguez (4-0, 3 KOs), a former amateur standout from Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. He will face an opponent to be determined in a four-round bout.
"Although only 19-years-old, Rodriguez is one of the most talked about young fighters in the sport and fans are in for a real treat with his all-action style," Loeffler said.
Loeffler also said that cruiserweight contender Ola Afolabi, who has had three cracks at titleholder Marco Huck and come up short each time (going 0-2-1), will also be on the card.
Afolabi (20-3-4, 9 KOs), 34, of England, will face Pawel Kolodziej (33-0, 18 KOs), 33, of Poland, in a title eliminator. K2 Promotions won a recent purse bid for the fight. The winner will become the mandatory challenger for titlist Yoan Pablo Hernandez.