Sammy Valentin-Alejandro Barboza headline final Telemundo card of the season

By Francisco Salazar

It was all going so well for Sammy Valentin. The welterweight prospect had made it look easy while putting together an unbeaten record, dominating 12 consecutive opponents.

Then came the abrupt knockout loss to the unbeaten Giovani Santillan, almost four months ago.

Valentin now hopes to embark on another string of victories, beginning Friday, when he squares off against the unbeaten Alejandro Barboza at the Osceola Heritage Center in Kissimmee, Florida.

The 10-round bout will air on Telemundo (11:35 pm. ET/ PT). The broadcast will conclude the 2017 season of ‘Boxeo Telemundo.’

Both fighters made weight for tonight’s clash with Valentin at 146 pounds and Barboza on the division limit of 147.

Valentin (12-1, 9 knockouts) is of Puerto Rican descent and resides in nearby Tampa. The 23-year-old prospect has scored knockout victories over Cosme Rivera and Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez, but he was stopped by the unbeaten Santillan in two rounds.

Barboza (11-0, 7 KOs), who resides in Jamay, Jalisco, Mexico, is coming off a six-round unanimous decision over Gilberto Valadez in July. The 22-year-old boxer-puncher has only scored one victory over a fighter with a winning record.

On the undercard, featherweight Jean Carlos Rivera (12-0, 7 KOs), who was born in Puerto Rico and resides in Orlando, squares off against Edgar Cantu (7-1-2, 1 KO) in an eight-round bout.

Cantu resides in the border town of Laredo, Texas.

Unbeaten middleweight Esquiva Falcao (18-0, 12 KOs) will face Jose Miguel Fandino (11-3, 7 KOs) in an eight-round bout. Falcao, who won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and is promoted by Top Rank.

In a clash of unbeaten bantamweights, Antonio Vargas (4-0, 3 KOs), who represented the United States at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, squares off against Jonathan Garza (6-0, 1 KO) in a six-round bout.

Hard-hitting lightweight Aidar Sharibayev (6-0, 5 KOs) of Kazakhstan will face former world title challenger Daulis Prescott (31-5, 23 KOs) in an eight-round bout.

Junior lightweight Hairon Socarras (16-0-2, 11 KOs) squares off against hard-hitting Gabino Cota (19-8-1, 17 KOs) in a six-round bout.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at santio89@yahoo.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing

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