By Ryan Maquiñana
A pair of undefeated junior middleweight prospects will apparently lock horns on March 8 as Hugo Centeno and Daquan Arnett are close to a deal that would have them in a ShoBox main event at the Fantasy Springs in Indio, Calif. Golden Boy, who handles both fighters, would promote the card.
Centeno (17-0, 9 KOs), from Oxnard, Calif., would take a three-hour drive east to Indio for the matchup. Manager Joel De La Hoya kept the 21-year-old busy in 2012 as he went 6-0 with three knockouts, the last being a sixth-round stoppage of Allen Conyers in December. Centeno has started to gain notoriety as an outstanding sparring partner in Southern California circles, as he prepared Sergio Martinez and Peter Quillin for middleweight title bouts.
Meanwhile, Arnett (10-0, 6 KOs), a 20-year-old from Winter Park, Fla., has already fought this year, capturing a unanimous decision over Brandon Quarles in his first venture to eight rounds. In his penultimate outing--one that took place at the Fantasy Springs--Arnett showed veteran poise after being floored in the third round by fellow unbeaten fighter Jeremiah Wiggins last November. Not only did the Al Haymon-advised Floridian come back to win, he impressively stopped Wiggins with an avalanche of shots to end the scrap one round later.
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.