By Francisco Salazar
Flyweight contender Francisco Rodriguez Jr. and Elias Joaquino will square off in a crossroads bout Saturday night.
The 10 round bout will take place at the Arena Oasis in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Televisa (in Mexico) will air the fight, along with the WBC heavyweight title bout between Alejandra Jimenez and Vanessa Lepage Joanisse.
After suffering back-to-back losses to Donnie Nietes and Moises Fuentes in 2015, Rodriguez (23-4-1, with 15 KOs) has gained momentum in recent fights. The former world minimumweight titleholder has won his last five bouts.
In his last bout on June 3, Rodriguez, who resides in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, knocked out overmatched Hector Gusman in the third round.
Jaoquino (11-0-1, with 6 KOs), who resides in Manila, will take a significant step up in opposition. The Filipino fighter has only faced three fighters with winning records thus far in his career.
Jimenez (8-0, with 6 KOs) won the WBC title by defeating Martha Salazar by majority decision in March of last year. Jimenez has since knocked out two overmatch opponents.
Lapage Joanisse (3-0, with 1 KO), who is French-Canadian, stopped Maria Jose Velis in the third round of her last bout on December 23.
Yuriorkis Gamboa (26-2, with 17 KOs) faces Alexis Reyes (15-2-1, with 7 KOs) in a 10 round lightweight bout. Gamboa hopes to rebound his seventh round knockout loss to Robinson Castellanos on May 5.
Super middleweight Maricela Cornejo (7-2, with 2 KOs) will square off against Vanessa Rodriguez (0-1-1) in a six round bout. Cornejo, who resides in the Los Angeles area, has won her last three bouts.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing