LOS ANGELES, February 2 – They’ve risen steadily up the ranks, taking on all comers, and establishing themselves as two of boxing’s most exciting young stars. Now, on Thursday, February 17, Daniel Ponce De Leon and Johnny Gonzalez will attempt to move one step closer to the top when they square off against their toughest opposition yet in a pair of elimination bouts to be televised on HBO Latino’s “Oscar De La Hoya Presents Boxeo De Oro” live from The Avalon in Los Angeles, California.
The unbeaten De Leon (24-0, 23 KOs) will battle Celestino Caballero (20-2, 15 KOs) in a 12 round IBF junior featherweight title eliminator, while in the co-feature, the power-punching Gonzalez (26-4, 24 KOs) squares off against Adonis Rivas (28-5, 13 KOs) in a 12 round WBC bantamweight title eliminator.
This exciting night of world-class boxing action, presented by Golden Boy Promotions, begins at 5:15pm (doors open at 4:45pm). The HBO Latino broadcast will start at 10pm PT / ET.
One of the sport’s most avoided young fighters, concussive punching Daniel Ponce De Leon tore through all opposition in an amazing 2004 that saw him go 7-0 with 6 knockouts. A native of Cuauhtemoc, Mexico, the 24-year-old former 2000 Olympian is looking to strike gold with his fists this year, and a win over Caballero will earn him a mandatory shot at IBF champion Israel Vazquez.
Colon, Panama’s Celestino Caballero has his own sights set on world title honors as well, and the rugged southpaw is planning on showing the young De Leon a thing or two on February 17. A decorated junior featherweight with four regional titles to his credit, Caballero is coming off a fifth round stoppage of Victor Peralta on October 15.
Bantamweight bomber Jhonny Gonzalez may only be 23 years old, but his poise and ability to break down his opponents are traits of a seasoned veteran. Having already won the WBC Continental Americas, NABO, and Mexican bantamweight championships, Mexico City’s Gonzalez, who is riding a 12 fight knockout streak dating back to 2002, would like to add the WBC belt to his trophy case later this year, and a win on February 17 will put him in line for a shot at the championship.
Yet Gonzalez has to get by a man who has been to the top of the boxing mountain before in former world champion Adonis Rivas. The 32-year-old native of Leon, Nicaragua, who is no stranger to boxing fans, has held the WBO super flyweight and flyweight championships during his stellar ten-year career, and has been impressive in his last two bouts in 2004, easily decisioning Erick Perez and Davis Arosemena in late-2004.
Heading up the undercard on this “Boxeo De Oro” card, which takes place two days before the long anticipated middleweight title bout between undisputed champion Bernard Hopkins and top challenger Howard Eastman on February 19 at the STAPLES Center, will be highly regarded featherweight prospect Aaron Garcia, who will put his 1-0 record on the line against Phoenix, Arizona’s Miguel Medina (1-4-2) in a six round featherweight contest.
Also in action will be three intriguing young fighters who boxing insiders have their eyes on as future stars: unbeaten heavyweight Christian Areola, who has won all eight of his pro bouts by knockout, without a loss; junior middleweight Rene Armijo (2-1), who starred in the Fox television series “The Next Great Champ”; and Las Vegas super middleweight Ronald Johnson (1-0).
Opponents for these three prospects will be announced shortly.
Tickets prices are as follows: $25.--, $35.-- & $55. --
Tickets are being sold at Golden Boy Promotions, limited seating available.
Call to order your tickkets: 213-489-5631
1738 Vine Street
Los Angeles, CA
For more information on Golden Boy Promotions, please visit our website at www.goldenboypromotions.com
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV