LOS ANGELES – Summer in the city can’t be any better.
For Golden Boy Promotions, one of the perks of owning your own building in downtown Los Angeles must be having press conferences on the second floor patio. A high 70 degrees and a gentle breeze added to the atmosphere.
Eric Gomez, vice president for Golden Boy, introduced Antonio Orozco and Jojo Diaz its leading contenders for world titles to a small platoon of reporters on Wednesday. Both will co-feature a HBO Latino fight card on July 30 at Fantasy Springs Casino.
“This is a big year for both fighters,” said Gomez.
It’s been two years since the big split when Golden Boy Promotions, Richard Schaefer and Al Haymon went different ways. Since that time the L.A.-based company changed direction and developed a winning strategy of signing local talent, especially in Southern California.
San Diego’s Orozco and South El Monte’s Diaz (pictured above) are the crème de la crème. There are others.
Orozco, 28, has been sizzling like a dark colored sedan parked in the Coachella desert. A first round knockout of former champion Miguel Acosta, a win over former champ Humberto Soto and a war of the worlds with Emmanuel Taylor are proof of his pedigree.
“I would say beating Humberto Soto, a former world champion, was proof of what I have learned,” said Orozco a super lightweight. “In that fight I was forced to change tactics. I was able to make the adjustments against a smart veteran to win the fight.”
Orozco (24-0, 16 KOs) was recently tabbed the number one contender by the WBC and faces Abner Lopez (23-5, 19 KOs) of Tijuana in the 10-round main event.
The co-main event features Diaz, a former US Olympian who recognizes that his promotion company has locked up many of the best super bantamweights and featherweights in Southern California and perhaps the world.
“I want to fight them all,” said Diaz. “Every single one of them.”
But first, the southpaw speedster Diaz (20-0, 11 KOs) will face some type of test once an appropriate opponent can be found.
Diaz blitzed by his last opponent Puerto Rico’s Jayson Velez on the Andre Ward fight card this past March in Oakland. No one doubts he has a large array of boxing tools.
HBO’s Tony Walker, who administers pay-per-view cards, sees two shining candidates for the premiere televised fight cards.
“These are our future pay-per-view stars,” said Walker. “It’s something for boxing fans to see. It’s going to be a great night.”
Also on the fight card is Nick Arce one of those small army of featherweight jewels that Golden Boy Promotions has signed.
“He sells a lot of tickets,” said Gomez about Arce who aside from his boxing talent does have a large following.
Arce (8-0, 6 KOs), a featherweight, could be one of those future 126-pounders facing Diaz in a couple of years. For right now, he’s on the first phase of an undefeated prospect.
“I’m so excited to be back in the ring so early,” said Arce who fought last month. “I plan to give a great show.”
In three weeks the trio will return in much hotter circumstances in Coachella Valley.
Golden Boy Contenders – Other Fight Chatter
Several undefeated prospects will headline an All Star Boxing fight card on Friday July 9 at Quiet Cannon golf course in Montebello. The long-running series features Adolfo Chavez, Jarrett Jeter, Hector Lopez Jr. and Francisco Ochoa among others. For more information call (323) 816-6200. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Kenia Enriquez (17-1, 8 KOs) battered Brenda Ramos (8-3) for eight dominating rounds in winning by unanimous decision on Friday in Tijuana, Mexico. Enriquez, 22, has become one of the fastest rising female stars in the sport. She defeated San Diego’s Amaris Quintana last April on the Gennady Golovkin fight card at the Inglewood Forum.
Undefeated light heavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev (29-0-1) returns to Russia to face Isaac Chilemba (24-3-2) on Monday, July 11, in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Kovalev holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles. A showdown between Kovalev and former super middleweight champion Andre Ward is expected in November should Kovalev win.
Fights on Television
Fri. Telemundo 11:30 p.m. Antonio Moran (19-1) vs. Juan Pablo Sanchez (30-12).
Sat. ESPN, 6 p.m. Mario Barrios (15-0) vs. Devis Boschiero (39-4-1).
Sat. 11 p.m. Jose Carlos Ramirez (17-0) vs. Tomas Mendez (21-7).
Mon. HBO, 7:15 p.m. Sergey Kovalev (29-0-1) vs. Isaac Chilemba (24-3-2).
Tues. Fox Sports 1, 8 p.m. Domonique Dolton (17-0-1) vs. Levan Ghvamichava (16-2-1).
Golden Boy Contenders