Junior welterweights Pablo Cesar Cano and Fidel Maldonado Jr. will square off on June 17, Golden Boy Promotions announced Wednesday morning.
The 10-round bout will take place at Tostitos Championship Plaza at The Star in Frisco, Texas, the practice facility and team headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys.
In the co-feature of the “Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN” telecast, super flyweight prospects Joshua Franco and Oscar Mojica will clash in a 10-round bout.
Both bouts will air live on ESPN2, beginning at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT.
The crossroads bout between Cano and Maldonado is intriguing as both fighters are boxer-punchers who come forward. The winner likely puts himself in the mix toward a world title shot or a big-money fight.
Cano (30-5-1, 21 knockouts), who resides in the Mexico City area, has not fought since a 10-round split decision victory over Mauricio Herrera on Nov. 18. He lost his previous bout to Alan Sanchez by split decision on May 6 of last year.
The 27-year-old Cano challenged for the WBA welterweight title in October of 2012, losing a controversial split decision to Paulie Malignaggi.
While some consider his best days are behind him, Cano believes he is still a legit contender.
“Even though I have been a professional for 11 years, I feel like I’m just hitting my prime,” said Cano, who has also faced Erik Morales, Johan Perez and Ashley Theophane. “With a win over Maldonado, I feel like I will be ready to take on the top opponents of 140 pounds and compete for a world title.”
Maldonado (23-3-1, 19 KOs) is coming off an eight-round unanimous decision over Mohamed Rodriguez on April 1 in the former’s hometown of Albuquerque.
Maldonado is unbeaten in his last five bouts since his stoppage loss to Amir Imam in January of 2015.
“I can’t wait to get in the ring with Cano and show the Texas fans what I’m all about,” said Maldonado. “People may call this a crossroads bout but I’m only interested in taking one road – towards a world championship.”
Franco (9-0, 5 KOs) resides in San Antonio and is trained by Robert Garcia. He does fight Thursday night against Marco Antonio Sanchez (12-4-3, with 7 KOs) in Tucson, Arizona.
Mojica (10-2, 1 KO), who resides in the Dallas area, is 2-2 in his last four bouts.
Junior welterweight prospect Vergil Ortiz (5-0, 5 KOs), who is trained by Joel Diaz and lives in the Dallas area, will fight in a six-round bout against an opponent to be determined.
Junior lightweight Hector Tanajara (8-0, 4 KOs) will square off against Eduardo Rafael Reyes (8-9, 6 KOs) in a six-round bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper, BoxingScene.com and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.
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Source:: The Ring – Boxing