Golden Boy inks two new fighters; Luis Ortiz-Bryant Jennings heavyweight bout announced

October 23, 2015

Golden Boy Promotions has added two fighters to its stable, as the company announced that it signed super welterweight contender Jorge Melendez (29-5-1, 27 KOs) of Puerto Rico and undefeated middleweight Bastie Samir (14-0-1, 14 KOs) of Accra, Ghana.

"It's a pleasure and honor to be part of an experienced and respectable team like Golden Boy, and I will continue to proudly represent my island of Puerto Rico," said Melendez in a statement. "All of the 154 and 160 pounders out there better be ready now that we will be having great wars in the big venues. The Destroyer is back!"

A rising star and former WBC Caribbean Boxing Federation, WBO Latino, and WBA Fedecaribe super welterweight titleholder, Melendez has shown audiences he is one to watch, most recently with a first-round technical knockout victory over Antonio Rodriguez in June 2015.

As an amateur, Melendez had a record of 48 wins and only five losses. In 2007, Melendez made his professional debut against Juan Aguirre, resulting in a draw, and quickly followed that up with a nine-fight win streak from 2007 to 2009. In December 2010, Melendez defeated William Correa to clench the vacant WBA Fedecaribe super welterweight title, and successfully defended the title against Chad Greenleaf in April 2011.

Continuing his winning streak, he claimed the interim WBO Latino super welterweight title, battling Eric Mitchell in October 2011 and later defeated challenger Marcus Willis in April 2012 to stay the titleholder. In March 2014, Melendez was awarded the vacant WBC Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) super welterweight title when he defeated Richard Gutierrez in Caguas, Puerto Rico.

Melendez started 2015 off on shaky ground with a tough loss to Ievgen Khytrov at the MGM Grand Marquee Ballroom in Las Vegas in March, but quickly rebounded with an impressive first-round victory over Antonio Rodriguez in June in La Romana, Dominican Republic.

Meanwhile, Samir has some impressive credentials of his own.  After a stellar amateur career (96-7) in Ghana that included qualifying for the 2008 Olympics, winning the 2007 African Championship in the welterweight division, and leading Ghana's national team, Samir relocated to the U.S. to pursue his professional career and has quickly captivated fans with an impressive 14 wins.

"I look forward to continuing the legacy of boxing that has been in my family for decades," said Bastie Samir in a statement. "I will be a force to be watched this coming year and thank Golden Boy for the opportunity to continue my boxing career in the ring. I couldn't ask for a better support team than my family, management team, and trainer Kenny Adams to keep me ready."

Now living and training in Las Vegas, Samir notched impressive victories over Billy Cunningham in November 2010, Eddie Hunter in February 2011, and most recently, Marciano Commey in November 2013.

Heavyweights Bryant Jennings and Luis Ortiz to meet on December 19 

Two tough heavyweights will close out 2015 with a bang on December 19, as former world title contender Bryant Jennings (19-1, 10 KOs) takes on recently-crowned WBA Interim Heavyweight belt holder Luis "The Real King Kong" Ortiz (23-0, 20 KOs) in a 12-round championship fight. The event will take place at Turning Stone Resort Casino, in Verona, New York and will be televised live on HBO.

Both camps have agreed to VADA drug testing, the strictest available and far more comprehensive than the weaker USADA testing utilized by Floyd Mayweather.

"To headline an HBO event and fighting a former world title contender like Jennings is what I have been preparing my whole career for," said Luis Ortiz in a statement. "I know that after this fight people will know that I deserve a shot at becoming the 'Heavyweight Champion of the World.' I think Jennings doesn't even know what he's stepping in to on the 19, I'm coming to make a statement. This fight is going to be an exciting stepping stone to achieve my dream."

Ortiz impressed on the undercard of Golovkin versus Lemieux last weekend, defeating Matias Ariel Vivdondo by third round knockout and gaining the WBA Interim Heavyweight World Title.

Ortiz had amassed nearly 350 wins before making his way to the United States to chase championship gold as a professional. Unbeaten in 25 bouts, the 36-year-old southpaw holds a knockout win over Monte Barrett and in June needed less than a round to dispatch Byron Polley.

Meanwhile, Jennings has faced some of the most feared fighters in the sport. In 2014 alone, Jennings defeated Mike Perez via split decision in July, and Artur Szpilka via technical knockout in January. In 2013, Jennings passed his first career test when he defeated Andrey Fedosov via sixth-round knockout in June.

"I'm excited to be getting back in the ring against Luis Ortiz, another big heavyweight," said Bryant Jennings in a statement. "He's coming off an impressive win and he thinks he's at the top of his game. These are the typical type of opponents I like to showcase my skills against. I've come a long way since my last fight against Klitschko, and I have continued to train with a fierce intensity. When you suffer defeat for the first time you learn things about yourself you never knew. I've improved a great deal on all aspects of my game both mentally and physically. The world will see a great fight when I square off against Ortiz, that I can guarantee you. I'll be driving the WBA belt back home to Philly."

Most recently, Jennings was seen in the ring against the heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in April, suffering his first defeat since his professional debut in 2010. Now, the titan is looking for redemption and another shot at world title stardom when he faces Ortiz for the WBA Interim Heavyweight Title.

By Staff of and news services

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