Puerto Rican fighters Orlando Cruz and Felix Verdejo will return to action in separate bouts on April 19 at the Bahia Shriners Event Center in Orlando, Fla., on UniMas' Solo Boxeo Tecate, Top Rank Promotions and All Star Boxing have announced.
Cruz (20-3-1, 10 knockout) has a featherweight bout against countryman Gamalier Rodriguez (23-2-3, 16 KOs), a 27-year-old winner of 15 consecutive fights, 12 by knockout.
A 20-year-old former Olympian, Verdejo (11-0, 8 KOs) will pursue his third straight stoppage win against an opponent to be determined in a lightweight bout.
Cruz was last in the ring in October when he was knocked out in the seventh round by former two-time titleholder Orlando Salido in a failed attempt to win the WBO's vacant featherweight belt.
Cruz was attempting to become the first openly gay boxer to win a major belt but instead witnessed the end to his four-fight winning streak, which included three knockouts.
"I want to thank Top Rank and All Star Boxing for this opportunity to redeem myself by getting me this [regional] title fight with Rodriguez," said Cruz. "By winning this fight, I will be right back on the verge of another world title opportunity and conquer my dream of being a world champion."
FRANK GALARZA FIGHTS FRANKLIN GONZALEZ ON SATURDAY
Brooklyn junior middleweight Frank Galarza (12-0-2, 8 KOs) will be after his fourth straight stoppage win, this time against Franklin Gonzalez (16-12, 10 KOs) on Saturday's International Fight Night show from the Resorts World Casino New York City in Jamaica, Queens, according to a release.
Galarza is 4-0-1 with four knockouts in his last five bouts, and is coming off January's second-round stoppage of previously unbeaten John Thompson.
NEVADA BOXING HALL OF FAME'S "PARTY WITH BOXING'S LEGENDS" ON APRIL 11
The Nevada Boxing Hall Of Fame will hold its "Party with Boxing Legends" event on April 11 in the Havana Room of the New Tropicana in Las Vegas.
Held the night before the rematch between WBO welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the event has confirmed the attendance of former champions Sugar Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Mike McCallum, Cornelius Boza-Edwards, Ishe Smith, Kevin Kelley and Clarence "Bones" Adams.
"We are excited to kick off our 2014 events and especially thrilled to be hosting this event at the all-new Tropicana resort in Las Vegas. Fans will absolutely be blown away by the Havana Room. Not only is it one of the most elegant and unique Las Vegas event venues but it's the perfect backdrop for this night of fun and fundraising," said Rich Marotta, Founder and President of the NVBHOF.
"The event will be a combination meet-and-greet, autograph and photo session with music mixed in and a great raffle for boxing memorabilia. With the Pacquiao-Bradley fight the next night, and the ESPN Friday show earlier that night, we are hoping boxing fans in Vegas take advantage of this unique opportunity to engage boxing legends up close."
Others expected on hand are referees Kenny Bayless and Richard Steele, broadcasters Al Bernstein of Showtime, Harold Lederman of HBO and internationally known Colonel Bob Sheridan and trainer Miguel Diaz.
The event begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are going for $35 in advance and $45 at the door.
NAIM NELSON FACES JEROME RODRIGUEZ IN A CLASH OF UNBEATENS
Philiadelphia's Naim Nelson (11-0, 1 KO) will battle southpaw Jerome Rodriguez (6-0-3, 2 KOs) of Trenton, N.J., on May 16 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, promoter J. Russell Peltz announced on Tuesday.