LAS VEGAS – After struggling to make weight at light heavyweight and catchweights for a majority of his pro career, Dallas boxer Adrian “Monta-Ru” Taylor has finally found his comfort spot in the cruiserweight division.
The 30-year-old Taylor (11-1, 4 KOs) takes on Armenian knockout artist Rafayel “Bam” Simonyan (9-1, 8 KOs) in an 8-round bout this Thursday night on the latest installment of RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS, presented by Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions and 360 Boxing in association with World Cup Boxing Series.
The Sept. 16th event will stream live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, from Quiet Cannon Event Center in Montebello, California. To sign up for UFC FIGHT PASS, please visit www.ufcfightpass.com.
Taylor was a decorated amateur boxer who captured top honors in a pair of national tournaments, in addition to being the 2016 USA Boxing Olympic Alternate in the heavyweight division. As “Monta-Ru” (“God of War”) notes, he fought as an amateur in the weight category closest to cruiserweight division as a professional.
“Fighting at 175 pounds wasn’t good for me,” Taylor explained. “My natural fighting weight is between 196 and 198. I couldn’t lose thirty-five pounds every time I fought. It’s hot in Texas and working out and sparring is really hot. Getting hit in the head and trying to stay hydrated every day in the gym was tough. The pandemic messed me up bad, too.
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The Abel Sanchez-trained Simonyan is coming off a disputed loss by way of an 8-round majority decision this past March to Abraham Tebes. Taylor, who has won his last four fights, has gained invaluable experience as world welterweight champion Errol Spence’s sparring partner.
“I’m going in the ring to scrap,” Taylor said. “They may probably think I’m just BS. Its boxing and I have to prove myself. I want to be world champion and he’s in my way. I don’t underestimate him at all. I don’t think he’s coming to lay down and I hope he doesn’t think I am. I’ll need to adjust during the fight. I’m not looking for a knockout but, if it comes, it comes. Everybody wants to see a victory knockout, but I’m going to do what I do, and that’s fight smart.”
Headlining “Hollywood Fight Nights” is Ukrainian super welterweight Serhi “El Flaco” Bohachuk (19-1, 19 KOs), fighting out of Los Angeles, against upset-minded Houston super welterweight Raphael “Trouble” Igbokwe (16-2, 7 KOs) in the 10-round main event. A former Texas State and ABF USA Super Middleweight Champion, Igbokwe is riding a 3-fight win streak into the ring versus the explosive Igbokwe.
Kazakhstan super middleweight Ali Akhemedov (16-1, 12 KOs), a former WBC International Silver Super Middleweight Champion, faces veteran Peruvian fighter David “La Pantera” Zegarra (34-5, 21 KOs), who is fighting out of Mexico City, in the 10-round co-featured event.
Undefeated California super featherweights Adrian Corona (7-0, 1 KO) faces Daniel “Big Dawg” Robles (7-0, 5 KOs) are matched in a classic 6-round boxer-puncher matchup, while undefeated female lightweights Austria-born Elvina “Warrior” White (5-0, 2 KOs), fighting out of Los Angeles, and Chelsey “Mae” Anderson (3-0, 1 KO) battle in a 4-round fight to open the UFC FIGHT PASS action.
Card subject to change.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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