When Caleb Truax (21-1-1, 12 KOs) steps into the ring against Chicago's Donovan George (24-3-2, 21 KOs) Friday at the Minneapolis Convention Center, it just may be the toughest prize fight in his career.
George, who lost a few pounds to move from super-middleweight to middleweight, is ranked 3rd in the U.S. among super-middleweights, according to BoxRec.com. Truax is ranked 10th among middleweights at the same site.
In other words, this is a real fight. That's an understatement, as is the fact that Truax has everything to gain with a victory.
Co-promoter Tony Grygelko believes a Truax win will put the 29-year-old Osseo native on a solid track to a title shot, perhaps after one more win.
"I don't think he's peaked," Grygelko says of Truax. "He only gets better.
"Caleb is a very hard puncher and so is Donovan, so we don't expect a distance fight. It will be bombs away in there. This will be a good old-fashioned middleweight war, and I'm very happy to be promoting it for Minnesota fight fans."
The fight is part of an ESPN package also featuring junior lightweights Rances Barthelemy vs. Fahsi Sakkreerin. The winner gets a shot at IBF champion Argenis Mendez.
So on live TV, (ESPN-2, to be exact), that fight will be the main event, with Truax and George preceding it.
Co-promoter Tim Peters says the group that handles Bathelemy and Sakkererin (Warriors Boxing) helped him secure the deal with ESPN.
"This is the first time we've been televised," Peters said. He and fellow attorney Rhett McSweeny purchased the promotion (Seconds Out Promotions) from Grygelko in 2011. He, too, is banking on a Truax win.
"If Truax wins, we want another broadcast event," Peters said.
If so, don't be surprised if it's in the Convention Center again. Peters calls that venue perfect for a what he's selling: professional boxing that will lure between 4,000 and 5,000 paying customers.
"We like a room that has energy," he said. "The energy in that room is great."
Which should help Truax and George shine under the glare of the ESPN lights.
"(It) will be huge for fight fans in this area," Grygelko said. "You're talking about two of the best middleweights in the country."