By Owen Morgan
Jay Harris’s spectacular form in the ring during 2019 has won him a world title shot in America next month.
The Swansea boxer will face Julio Cesar Martinez for the WBC flyweight title in Frisco, Texas on February 29.
Martinez won the belt in December with a ninth round stoppage win over Cristofer Rosales in Phoenix, Arizona, after former champion Charlie Edwards vacated the title.
A delighted Harris said of the opportunity to face the Mexican in his first defence, “I want to say a big thanks to Matchroom and MTK Global for giving me the opportunity to fight for the WBC title in Frisco on such a big event.
“Julio is a great young fighter but I am feeling in the form of my life and this gives me the opportunity to shock the world.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn says Harris deserves his big chance and added: “Jay Harris has impressed lately, looking great last time out knocking out Paddy Barnes and capturing the Commonwealth and European titles.
“The styles should gel perfectly here for a real fan friendly war on what promises to be a huge night of boxing.
The BEAST is straight back live on @dazn_usa !! Feb 29 on the #GarciaVargas card @wbcboxing Champ Julio Cesar Martinez defends against Wales’ Commonwealth and European champ @jayharris19 at @thestarinfrisco @caneloteam @MTKGlobal pic.twitter.com/y3Zo3nKmUL
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) January 3, 2020
“Julio is just brilliant to watch and the fans in Frisco are in for a real treat as this new Mexican star makes the first defence of his world title.”
The fight takes place on the undercard of Mikey Garcia’s welterweight bout with Jessie Vargas, with Harris looking to add world honours to what is already an impressive collection of belts.
During a hugely successful 2019, the undefeated Welsh star won the European flyweight title with a dominant points win over Angel Moreno, before following that up by winning the IBF Inter-Continental belt with a stoppage win over Paddy Barnes after four incredible rounds of action at Belfast’s iconic Ulster Hall.
Those titles were added to the Commonwealth crown that he secured in 2017 with a win over Thomas Essomba, before defending that in style by knockout out Ross Murray inside three rounds in November 2018.
Next month’s fight takes place in the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco and will be shown live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
The new year could be an exciting one for Welsh boxing with Liam Williams having grabbed the WBO No.1 middleweight challenger berth with a devastating fifth-round stoppage of Alantez Fox in London just before Christmas.
The Clydach Vale man lived up to his “Machine” nickname as he produced a systematic destruction of the highly-ranked American to put himself into pole position for a 2020 world title shot.