EL PASO, Texas (July 28, 2005) – El Paso's Juan Lazcano, Ring Magazine's #3 world-rated lightweight, returns to the ring for the first time in over a year when he takes on California State lightweight champion Marco Angel Perez on Friday, August 19, at UTEP's Don Haskins Center, according to his promoter Oscar De La Hoya, head of Golden Boy Promotions.

The Lazcano vs. Perez ten round main event will be one of seven bouts on a nationally televised fight card billed as “Juan at The Don.” The first bout of the evening begins at 6:30 p.m.

In addition to Lazcano, El Paso fighters Antonio Escalante and Rene Armijo will be participating on the card.

Escalante (7-1), considered a top junior featherweight prospect, will be paired against Ivan Cazarez (12-6), of Los Angeles in an eight round contest. Armijo (4-1), who gained notoriety as a competitor on De La Hoya's TV boxing reality show, “The Next Great Champ,” will be battling Dallas' Jesse Orta (4-5-1) in a six round junior middleweight bout.

For Lazcano, now 33-3-1, it will be his first fight since losing a hard-fought decision back on June 5, 2004 to Mexican legend Jose Luis Castillo for Castillo's WBC lightweight title. Castillo has since gone on to become one of boxing's top ten, pound-for-pound fighters in any division.

For Lazcano, it's back to business and focusing on another world title shot.

“I'm well rested and ready to go,” he said. “This fight on August 19th will be a great opportunity for me to get back in there and start another title run. That is still my only goal – to fight again for the title and become El Paso's first world champion. But first I have to get by a very tough opponent in Perez.”

According to De La Hoya, if Lazcano can defeat Perez, 21-7, he will be back in the hunt for the world lightweight championship.

“It is very important that a highly ranked fighter like Juan win every fight at this point in his career,” De La Hoya said. “If he can get through this fight and perhaps one or two more, he'll be in great position to challenge for another world title.

“But what he can't afford to do is lose in a situation like this. That's why he has to treat the fight with Perez as if it were a title fight. Without a win on August 19, there is no title fight any time soon.”

Perez should provide plenty of competition for Lazcano. He's currently the California lightweight champion, having won the title from Yani Vargas on March 22, 2003. He has since had one successful title defense.

“I know he (Perez) is a really experienced fighter and good puncher, as well,” said Lazcano.  “Of his 21 wins, 14 are by knockout so he can be dangerous. But I'm going to be in top shape by fight time and ready for anything he has to offer. I'll be ready to give the fans in El Paso a great show.”

Tickets for the event, priced at $20, $30 and $50, are on sale now at the UTEP Ticket Center and all TicketMaster outlets. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 915-544-8444.