CANCUN, Mexico (February 9, 2017) – The first installment of the 2017 “Cancun Boxing” series, presented by Pepe Gomez’ Cancun Boxing in association with Neon Star Sports & Entertainment, will air tomorrow night (Friday night, Feb. 10) in North America, starting at 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PT, on CBS Sports Network.
The event took place Feb. 4 at Grand Oasis Cancun the Hotel Complex, Cancun`s ONLY Ultimate All-Inclusive Entertainment Resort, which hosts all series events.
The main event and co-feature showcased a pair of world-class Mexican fighters, former minimumweight world champion Francisco “Chihuas” Rodriguez and No.1 world rated lightweight Dante “Crazy” Jardon, in critical matches that had immediate world title fight implications.
The main event was a scheduled 10-round flyweight bout between Rodriguez (20-4-1, 13 KOs) and Hajime Nagai (14-7-2, 4 KOs), of Japan. Rodriguez captured the World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimumweight title March 22, 2014 in Mexico, by way of a 10-round technical knockout over previously unbeaten Merlito Sabillo (23-0-1), who was making his third title defense.
Rodriguez dropped IBF minimumweight title-holder Katsunari Takayama (27-6) once en route to his 12-round unanimous decision victory August 9, 2014, in Mexico, in their unification match. Rodriguez later vacated both of his world minimumweight titles.
Rated as the No. 3 flyweight contender in the world by the WBO and No. 11 by the IBF, as well as No. 9 as a light flyweight by the World Boxing Council (WBC), Rodriguez can position himself for a potential title shot against WBO reigning flyweight champion Zou Shiming (9-2, 2 KOs), the 2-time Olympic gold medalist from China, who is scheduled to fight an opponent to be determined March 6 in Macau.
In the 10-round co-feature, WBC No. 1 contender Jardon (30-5, 23 KOs) defended his WBC International Silver lightweight title belt against his fellow Mexico City challenger, Francisco “Paquito” Rojo (18-2, 11 KOs).
Jardon’s most notable victories have been over two-time world title challenger Miguel Roman (WDEC12) in their 2012 rematch, world title challenger Adrian Verduro (DQ2) and former world super featherweight titlist Gamaliel Diaz (KO8) in 2013, and two-time world champion Juan Carlos Salgado (DEC12) last March.
WBC Diamond title-holder and reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight world champion, Jorge Linares (41-3, 27 KOs), of Venezuela, is scheduled to fight Mar. 24 in a rematch with former WBA champion Anthony Crolla (31-5-3-3, 13 KOs) in Manchester, United Kingdom.
If Jardon impressively defeated Rojo, he could be on the long list to fight Linares later this year, or now, as the No. 1 mandatory challenger, he could take on new WBC lightweight king Mickey Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs), the rising American star who recently knocked out defending WBC 135-pound division champion Dejan Zlaticanin (22-1, 15 KOs). Garcia was rated No. 2 to Jardon in the most recent WBC lightweight world ratings.
The televised action starts with an eight-round welterweight bout between Ivan “Zurdo” Alvarez (24-7, 16 KOs) and undefeated prospect Henry “Bestia” Franco (8-0, 5 KOs). Portions of an eight-round bantamweight match follows, pitting Francisco “Panchito” Horta (12-3-1, 6 KOs) versus Francisco “Relampago” Hernandez (6-1, 2 KOs).
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