Unbeaten bantamweight Randy Caballero will face Kohei Oba in an IBF eliminator bout on April 4 in Japan, Golden Boy Vice President and matchmaker Eric Gomez confirmed on Tuesday.
The 29-year-old Oba (35-2-1, 14 knockouts) wrote in his blog last month that he would be facing the 23-year-old Caballaro (20-0, 12 KOs), marking his attempt at a seventh consecutive win since falling by 11th-round knockout to Rolly Lunas in December 2011.
Caballero has won five of his past six fights by stoppage, though has competed as a professional only twice outside of California — in Florida and Las Vegas. Twelve of his victories have taken place at The Fantasy Springs Casino in his native Indio, Calif.
"Randy's a project that we've had since day one," said Gomez. "We started him off, and he's finally getting his opportunity for a title, which is what every fighter dreams about and what every fighter aspires to become, and that's to become a world champion.
"For many young fighters who finally get that one shot, sometimes you have to go places where you're not accustomed to being, and this is one of those cases. It's rare to get a shot like this in your own neck of the woods, but as a promotional company, we feel that we've given him enough tools to pull it off. Randy has really, really developed into a nice little fighter, and I am happy for him, so we'll see what happens. We're excited about it, and hopefully, he'll be able to do it."
The winner of Caballaro-Oba earns the right to face titleholder Stuart Hall (16-2-1, 7 KOs) of England, whose next defense is on March 29 against Martin Ward (18-2, 4 KOs).
JOSE PEDRAZA MEETS ALBERTO GARZA ON SATURDAY
Junior lightweight contender Jose "Sniper" Pedraza (15-0, 10 KOs) will take on Alberto Garza (26-6-1, 21 KOs) on Saturday in a show promoted by Gary Shaw, Lou DiBella and Universal Promotions in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
"Puerto Rico is looking for a hometown champion they can call their own, and I want to be that man. This Saturday, I will continue to bring exciting fights to my fans," said Pedraza, 24, in a release.
"Garza is a very dangerous opponent, but that's what motivates me to be the best. I'm ready for the Puerto Rico vs. Mexico battle. I want to fight the best and it starts with Garza."
Pedraza-Garza will air live only in the U.S. and Puerto Rico on DirectTV at 9 p.m. ET.
"Garza is no pushover, and Pedraza knows what he has to do," said Shaw. "Pedraza will be ready. The fans are going to enjoy watching this fight. Everyone should be tuning in."
UNBEATEN THOMAS LAMANNA RETURNS ON APRIL 12
Thomas Lamanna (13-0, 7 KOs), 22, a 6-foot-2 middleweight from Millville, N.J., will return to the ring on April 12 against 35-year-old Ahsandi Gibbs (10-3, 4 KOs), of Tampa, Fla., at the Grand Ballroom at Bally's in Atlantic City, N.J., promoter Russell Peltz announced on Tuesday.