The next challenge in Christian Carto’s goal of becoming a world champion will take place Friday night.
The 22-year-old bantamweight and rising star will put his 17-0 (11 knockouts) record on the line against Victor Ruiz (22-10, 15 KOs) at the 2300 Arena as part of an eight-fight card titled “Philly Special."
Carto has aspirations to one day be in the world rankings and to become the next in a long line of great Italian boxers from the South Philadelphia area.
Ruiz, a Mexican southpaw, is expected to test Carto because of his experience in professional boxing and unorthodox style.
Russell Peltz, the promoter who facilitated the match, said this fight comes as the next step in Carto’s potential ascendance through the boxing ranks.
“It’s the right fight at the right time,” Peltz said on Jan. 9 at a promotional event for the fight. “There are plenty of left-handers out there that he’s going to have to fight during the course of his career.”
Carto comes from a boxing family. His grandfather, Ninzio Carto, and two great-uncles, Frankie and Joe, all fought in the 1930s and ’40s. Frankie Carto was world-rated in the 126-pound division for a time, and his grandfather fought at Madison Square Garden.
In his last fight, Christian Carto beat 31-year-old Pedro Antonio Rodriguez (15-23 three KOs) of Mexico by unanimous decision at the SugarHouse Casino in November.
Carto’s trainer, Billy Briscoe, who has also trained Philadelphia middleweight and world championship challenger Gabriel Rosado, has been working with Carto on head movement, combating and attacking a left-handed fighter, and being more free with his hands.
Carto began his career with 11 straight knockouts, but he has endured a drought of sorts in his last six fights.
“I want the knockout, but my last fight I looked for it too much and wound up getting hit too much,” he said. “I always want to get a knockout because that’s what the fans want to see. So this fight I’m going to box and break him down, and if the knockout comes, then it comes, and if it doesn’t, then I will go to the next fight.”
Philadelphia heavyweight Darmani Rock (13-0, eight KOs) shares the co-feature, fighting Steven Lyons (5-3, two KOs).
Rock is coming off a victory by technical knockout over Pedro Julio Rodriguez (23-6 19 KOs) last October.
The event will be aired on Facebook’s “Fightnight Live," a free streaming platform.
The rest of the card is as follows:
Welterweight Marcel Rivers vs. Derrick Whitley Jr.
Heavyweight Sonny Conto vs. Jimmie Levins
Bantamweight Alejandro Jimenez vs. Edgar Joe Cortez
Lightweight Gerardo Martinez vs. Osnel Charles
Bantamweight Jonathan Torres vs. Dallas Holden
Bantamweight Jeremy Adorno vs. Sebastian Baltazer
When: Friday, Feb. 8.
Where: 2300 Arena, 2300 S. Swanson St.
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Streaming: Facebook Live
Tickets: Sold out